Review Blog

Feb 21 2017

Matilda by Roald Dahl

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Puffin, 2016 (1988). ISBN 9780141369365
(Age: 10+) Highly recommended. School, Family, Humour. With dad a used car dealer, not averse to putting sawdust in the engine to stop it being noisy, or winding back the odometer, Matilda finds it hard to understand just where she fits in. Her brother is the apple of everyone's eye, destined to follow in dad's footsteps. When Matilda offers opinions or heaven forbid, answers arithmetical problems, she is derided. Mum cannot abide a clever girl and tells her she will not be able to get a husband. But Matilda is determined to think for herself. Making use of mum's afternoon absences at bingo, she finds the library where a helpful librarian feeds her with books, allowing her, after she has read all the children's book, to read her way through the adult library as well despite being only five years old.
Going to school means that Matilda is way ahead of all other students, and kindly teacher, Miss Honey, suggests to the headmistress, that she should be advanced from grade one. The woman in charge, the redoubtable Miss Trunchbull already enamoured of Mr Wormwood who has sold her an excellent car, takes an instant dislike to Matilda, and is determined to make her life at school as unpleasant as possible.
So follows a very funny account of how their lives interact, and how Matilda with the help of meek Miss Honey and several other students who have felt Trunchbull's wrath, eke out their revenge.
This wonderful tale has been in print since its first appearance in 1988, and with the stage show open around the world, will be sought after again.
Fran Knight

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