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By Roald Dahl - Matilda (Reprint) Paperback – Jul 17 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 260 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Puffin; Reprint edition (July 17 2007)
  • ASIN: B00IBP3AGM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 260 customer reviews
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Although I think the idea of unloving, uncaring parents and a violent teacher are not ideal for teaching very young children to trust adults in positions of authority in their lives, I think most older children and adults will find Matilda charming and entertaining.
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Format: Paperback
Matilda was, according to Roald Dahl, one the most difficult books that he ever wrote, but it is also one of his most popular, standing alongside Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, BFG and The Witches. It is a story that revolves around an exceptional little girl, whose intelligence is unrecognized by her parents. Because of this, she learns right from the start that she has to do everything by herself to get exactly what she wants. Very episodic in its first half (incidents with Matilda's parents), the story's plot shifts in a straight path in its last half as Matilda enters school and has to face an extremely vicious Headmistress, both to the students and to the teachers.

Those that have read Roald Dahl's books will know that children in his stories face difficult and cruel situations from imposing figures of authority. This will not please certain parents or adults who may consider those things too scary and upsetting for children; even accusing those books of promoting rebellious ideologies. But to me those opinions are just rubbish and untrue. Instead, I think this book is an excellent way to warn children and adults that there are adults who have no respect for them and that it is essential to stand up to them. In fact, every time I have read Roald Dahl's books, I have always felt that he is one of those writers who treats children, and readers, with respect because he is showing to them the brutal truth about the world, the adults and the bullies - including those that are respectable authority figures - who think that they can get and do whatever they want because they have the higher power.

As for the audiobook version, I was amazed by Joely Richardson's reading.
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Format: Paperback
Originally published in 1988, "Matilda" was one of the last books author Roald Dahl wrote before his death in 1990. Most authors as they age become more cynical and dour. Think of the final writings of Dickens or Twain and how bitter they seemed in their late years. Then look at "Matilda". Here we have a sweet charming little piece of literature about a girl that is both good and interesting. Creating characters that you identify intrinsically with is not only difficult but (in children's books) sometimes near impossible. Reading "Matilda", it becomes clear that Roald Dahl never lost his touch for creating wonderful original characters and situations.

The heroine of this little book also carries its name. Matilda is incredibly intelligent, even as a small child. Living with her boorish parents and oblivious brother, she teaches herself to read from the various magazine and newspapers lying about the house. Her parents are completely indifferent to their only daughter and it is only by playing small tricks on them when they've been particularly nasty that little Matilda is able to keep a hold on her sanity. By age five and a half Matilda has read all the children's books in the library and quite a few of the adult ones as well. On entering school for the first time, our protagonist comes face to face with a very worthy enemy. The Head Teacher, Miss Trunchbull, is the worst kind of dangerous violent adult. It is only through Matilda's cleverness that she is able to come to the aid of her teacher, Miss Honey, and save the school from the Trunchbull's insanity.

As I mentioned before, Matilda is just the nicest kid ever. Intelligent without ever becoming pig-headed. Nice without becomes precious. She's just a swell child all around.
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Format: Hardcover
Matilda is a five and half year old genius. She is neglected by her parents, but still manages on her own to advance her education beyond her years by reading books. To punish her parents, for their lack of interest in her and for their mishandling of her upbringing, she decides to play some practical jokes on them (or especially on her father who is a crooked car salesman). As a parent of two girls who are 5 and 7 I was a little apprehensive about appearing to give approval to some of the things Matilda does, so I had to remind my girls that this was just a story, and they seemed to understood (or at least I hope they did.) As the story progresses Matilda goes to school for the first time, and has to do battle with the evil headmistress Miss Trunchbull, who is an ex-Olympic hammer thrower. She has been terrorizing the school for years by physically abusing all of the children who do not measure up to her standards. She especially hates the younger children. If they do anything wrong, she twirls them around by their hair as if they were a hammer and throws them out windows and across the schoolyard to help her stay in shape. The kids would go home and complain to their parents, but the stories about the headmistress would be so outrageous that none of the parents believed they could be true. The kids were left to deal with the headmistress on their own.
Matilda's first grade teacher Miss Honey is extremely nice. She is the first person to recognize Matilda's brilliance and wants to help Matilda reach her full potential, but Ms. Honey has problems of her own, and isn't strong enough to face the Trunchbull either. Since Matilda is being held back and is not allowed to use her brain to the fullest of it's potential, a force builds up inside of her.
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