Review / Roald Dahl – Matilda

Pages: 240 / Publishing: Puffin Books / Buy Here

Matilda is a sweet, exceptional young girl, but her parents think she’s just a nuisance. She expects school to be different but there she has to face Miss Trunchbull, a kid-hating terror of a headmistress. When Matilda is attacked by the Trunchbull she suddenly discovers she has a remarkable power with which to fight back. It’ll take a superhuman genius to give Miss Trunchbull what she deserves and Matilda may be just the one to do it! (Source: Puffin Books)

I may have said before that I am currently trying to collect this series of paperbacks with illustrations by Quentin Blake. As of now, I own three of Dahl’s children’s novels: Matilda, Fantastic Mr. Fox and The Twits. The novel could not overthrow my favourite, which is Fantastic Mr. Fox, but nevertheless it was a really enjoyable read.

Matilda is small girl who is a bit too smart for her age and who loves to read. Her parents, not really smart themselves, try to push her down whenever she says something. The only person who realizes her potential is her teacher Ms Honey. However, all attempts to educate her are put down by the mean head mistress Mrs Trunchbull. But one day, Matilda discovers powers in herself and fights back.

Although the story of Matilda has a much more realistic outlook than some of Dahl’s other stories, it nevertheless uses magical elements. This combination is one of the reasons why Matilda can be enjoyed by both children and adults. There is no difference in the amount of dislike each reader feels towards Matilda’s parents and the head mistress. I got really frustrated not being able to punch one of them in the face. The ending is essentially that of a fluffy, cute children’s story and a bit too easy for anyone over twelve.

However, considering that Matilda is supposed to be a children’s book, I was quite suprised at certain points. Of course, there is often a mean step parent in fairy tales, but Matilda’s biological parents are just utterly dislikeable, as is her enemy Ms Trunchbull. Also, the language is at times very rude and made up of a lot of swearing which is funny for an adult but probably not for someone reading the story to children.

Roald Dahl wrote books that both adults and children will enjoy reading. Matilda is the story of a small girl standing up for her remarkable self and against bullying. A lovely, inspiring and funny story for every age.


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