What We Are Reading: Matilda (a book review)

what charlotte is reading

matilda by Roald Dahl“Matilda” by Roald Dahl is the story about an extraordinarily gifted and humble 5-year-old little girl.  Before even entering primary school, she’s read every book in the children’s section in the library and moved on to the likes of Dickens, Steinbeck, and Faulkner.

Matilda’s home life leaves quite a bit to be desired.  Her parents are idiotic, crass, dishonest, and self-centered.  Because Matilda outwits her parents, she decides to play pranks on them to teach them little lessons every time they are unkind.  Once, she super-glues her father’s hat to his head.  Another time, she borrows a talking parrot and hides him in the chimney, convincing her family that the house is haunted.

Eventually, Matilda’s lazy parents enroll her in school where she proves to be the top student in her class and strikes up a friendship with her kind teacher, Miss Honey. However, a new set of challenges arises.  Miss Trunchbull, the head-mistress is a student’s worst nightmare.  She holds an assembly simply to humiliate a little boy by forcing him to devour an entire chocolate cake and, once, Matilda witnessed Miss Trunchbull swinging a little girl around by her pig-tales on the playground!

The big surprise in the story is when Matilda discovers a new facet to channel her astonishing intellect which she uses to aid her beloved teacher against Miss Trenchbull, but I’d hate to ruin the surprise by giving away any spoilers!

How did Charlotte enjoy it?

Despite that the age of recommendation for this book says 8 and up, and Charlotte is only five, she enjoyed “Matilda” immensely.  She was in awe of the fact that a 5-year-old girl could be so bright, giggled at the pranks Matilda pulled off, and squealed with delight when the big surprise occurred later in the story.

As a parent, I have to say it was refreshing to read a book where the main character was a strong little girl who didn’t happen to be  a princess, fairy, or well… a brat :).  Dahl’s imaginative writing captured my interest, and there were many nights we BOTH were interested in reading more than one chapter which made it a fast and fun read!

Check out what else Charlotte and I have read.
Check out what Charlotte’s big sister and I have read.

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6 Responses to What We Are Reading: Matilda (a book review)

  1. sara says:

    I can’t WAIT to introduce my daughter to Roald Dahl!! His books were some of my absolute favorites while growing up.

    • Celeste says:

      This was my first time reading one! I have no idea what kind of bubble I lived in to where I never read one of his books before. They’re SO good! We’re reading “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” now :)

  2. Roald Dahl is one of my absolute favorite children’s authors! When I was homeschooling my son, we read a bunch of his books: Witches, Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, The Boy, James & the Giant Peach, just to name a few.

    Check out Witches. It is not as well known, but is my son’s favorite.

  3. OOOH I remember Matilda from when I was a kid and while I can’t recall a lot of the story, I remember loving it. Right now, my son is obsessed with astronaut books. Sigh. Not very fun and exciting for me, but I really look forward to when he’s older and we do a chapter a night or something like that. Such fun! I’m glad that you both enjoyed this one so much.

    • Celeste says:

      When my daughter was younger she was obsessed with Thomas the Train books and I remember just waiting for the day we could dive into chapter books, haha :). Thanks for coming by :)