Matilda

by Roald Dahl (1988)

Matilda is now one of Roald Dahl’s most inspiring and lovable characters. She is multi-talented – a great reader, polite, firm, resourceful – and she sticks up for herself. But she sure is up against it. Her parents, especially her dishonest, vituperative father, don’t appreciate her. At school she must deal with the formidable Trunchbull, one of the most imposing and daunting villains in the Roald Dahl canon.

Matilda is up to the task. She knows how to fool her father with sly trickery, so the joke’s on him. With the help of the lovable, sweet, virtually perfect teacher, Miss Honey, she is also up to taking on the Trunchbull, developing and advancing her formidable gifts so that her nemesis is ultimately no match.

Matilda has now found so many fans that both the British and Broadway have adapted the novel into a still-running award-winning musical that trumpets all Matilda’s values – reading books, children versus an unjust system, and the value of resourceful, loving allies.

Matilda begins as a valentine to book readers, turns into a David and Goliath struggle (in which the wily Matilda has the better resources), and ends as a justice-is-served fairy tale. It includes all of Roald Dahl’s trademark macabre perils. And all of his creative, winsome, delightful storytelling, including talking parrots, a cake-eating contest, a vitally important newt, and two crucial cups of tea.

Take another with the master of James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and The BFG, and embrace the tiny, redoubtable heroine, Matilda!