Matilda by Roald Dahl

This is another one of those books that I’ve always wanted to read, but never had the chance to as a child (although I did watch the movie religiously).

Since she was born, Matilda was always an exceptionally bright child. By the age of 2, she was already walking and talking like an adult, and by time she reached the age of 5 she was already reading high school and college level books (even if she didn’t quite understand all of the meanings behind the words).

Unfortunately, no one in her family noticed. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Wormwood, didn’t like her very much and her brother chose to ignore her as well. This all changed when she finally went to school and her teacher, Miss Honey, recognized her talent and insisted she be moved up into an older class. However, Matilda would need to convince not only her parents, but the headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, as well, that she wasn’t just a snot nosed kid before she could fully succeed.

Roald Dahl definitely knows how to craft a world that drags the reader in, which can sometimes be especially tough when writing for children. In particular, I really enjoyed the opening chapter of this book, which describes children in all different ways: as noisy, as lazy, as dimwitted, before finally going into the introduction of Matilda.

What made me the most excited, though, is how close the movie was to the book. There were some bits added into the movie to make it longer, and some bits that were in the book but not in the movie, but overall the two were almost word for word exact. The casting director of the movie also did a very good job, choosing actors that portrayed the characters (except Mr. and Mrs. Wormwood were a little switched around, but that can be forgiven).

Matilda is definitely a great read for everyone in the family to enjoy and a must read for children of all ages. It shows that anyone, no matter their size, can truly make a difference in the world.

Grade: A

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