Book Review: “Matilda”

“Matilda” by Roald Dahl

Genre: Children’s Fiction, Fantasy

Source: Gift

Summary from Goodreads:

For most kids, The Trunchbull is pure terror, but for Matilda, she’s a sitting duck.

Who put superglue in Dad’s hat? Was it really a ghost that made Mom tear out of the house? Matilda is a genius with idiot parents—and she’s having a great time driving them crazy. But at school things are different. At school there’s Miss Trunchbull, two hundred menacing pounds of kid-hating headmistress. Get rid of The Trunchbull and Matilda would be a hero. But that would take a superhuman genius, wouldn’t it?

Review

Matilda is the perfect summation of Dahl’s style. It takes all those elements of children’s books: awful parents, awful school, the unfairness that comes with being a kid, and the kid who’s smarter than everyone thinks. If you’ve been reading my reviews for long, you’ve noticed that I’ve been picking up on those elements within Dahl’s book but I think it’s a rather common theme within children’s books in general. I think it’s because it’s something that everyone can relate to. No, not everyone has terrible parents or terrible teachers but there have been moments where we’ve been treated unfairly because of our age.

Matilda picks up that idea and simply runs wild with it. Being mistreated does suck but very few of us ever fight back against it. Matilda is every kid’s dream. Who wouldn’t want to fight back against the cruel people and circumstances in our lives? I love the build up of the pranks. They start off small and reasonable. They are things that could actually happen (super gluing her dad’s hat to his head and using a parrot to convince her parent there’s a ghost). Then we make the jump to out of this world but it’s fun. Who hasn’t at least tried to see if they had Matilda’s powers?

This book definitely has the potential to be a modern classic. The elements are timeless and will be loved for years to come. Matilda is fabulous heroine. Probably a bit unrealistic but you can’t help but love her.

The bottom line? I loved it.

This book was read as part of Book Hoarders Anonymous.

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This book was read as a part of my Roald Dahl Challenge.

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