Matilda (Winner of the Children's Book Award)

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9780140327595: Matilda (Winner of the Children's Book Award)

Five-year-old Matilda longs for her parents to be loving and understanding but they are none of these things. Matilda invents a game of punishing them each time they treat her badly and she soon discovers she has supernatural powers.

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Review:

Matilda is a little girl who is far too good to be true. At age five-and-a-half she's knocking off double-digit multiplication problems and blitz-reading Dickens. Even more remarkably, her classmates love her even though she's a super-nerd and the teacher's pet. But everything is not perfect in Matilda's world. For starters she has two of the most idiotic, self-centred parents who ever lived. Then there's the large, busty nightmare of a school mistress, Mrs ("The") Trunchbull, a former hammer- throwing champion who flings children at will and is approximately as sympathetic as a bulldozer. Fortunately for Matilda, she has the inner resources to deal with such annoyances: astonishing intelligence, saintly patience and an innate talent for revenge.

She warms up with some practical jokes aimed at her hapless parents, but the true test comes when she rallies in defence of her teacher, the sweet Miss Honey, against the diabolical Trunchbull. There is never any doubt that Matilda will carry the day. Even so, this wonderful story is far from predictable--the big surprise comes when Matilda discovers a new, mysterious facet of her mental dexterity. Roald Dahl, while keeping the plot moving imaginatively, also has an unerring ear for emotional truth. The truly reader cares about Matilda because, in addition to all her other gifts, she has real feelings.

Review:

"The undisputed master-storyteller . . . Artful, funny, profoundly inventive and touched with the blessed knowledge of how to tap the basest in a child's nature and lead it towards the best" ( Daily Mail)

"Roald Dahl invented a new kind of literature for children full of the awful and gross - an exagerration of the everyday underpinned by serious observations about our best and worst inclinations" ( Waterstones Books Quarterly)

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Roald Dahl
Published by Puffin Books (1989)
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