Matilda is an extraordinarily gifted four-year-old whose parentsa crass, dishonest used-car dealer and a self-centered, blowsy bingo addictregard her as "nothing more than a scab." Life with her beastly parents is bearable only because Matilda teaches herself to read, finds the public library, and discovers literature. Also, Matilda loves using her lively intelligence to perpetrate daring acts of revenge on her father. This pastime she further develops when she enrolls in Crunchem Hall Primary School, whose headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, is "a fierce tyrannical monster . . . ." Adults may cringe at Dahl's excesses in describing the cruel Miss Trunchbull, as well as his reliance on overextended characterization at the expense of plot development. Children, however, with their keenly developed sense of justice, will relish the absolutes of stupidity, greed, evil and might versus intelligence, courage and goodness. They also will sail happily through the contrived, implausible ending. Dahl's phenomenal popularity among children speaks for his breathless storytelling charms; his fans won't be disappointed by Matilda. Blake's droll pen-and-ink sketches extend the exaggerated humor. Ages 9-11.
Matilda is one of my favorite childhood stories that I have read at least a dozen times and still love today. Dahl is able to capture the mind of a child and create a fantastical story that captures not just your attention but your heart as well. You root for Matilda, you put yourself in Matilda's shoes, and you get lost in the world that he creates. I would make a cup of hot cocoa and curl up with pillows and a blanket in the corner of my room and read Matilda. … more
Matilda is great, I loved reading this when I was younger. Matilda is a very independent and imaginative little girl, and I felt like I could see part of myself in her. I recommend this book to kids who like fantasy books, but not necessarily adults although it is a very good story maybe for your children/niece/nephew/etc. The setting of the book is not really specific, but most of the events occur either at Matilda's house, her teacher Miss Honey's house, or at her school. The story is … more