Matilda is a best-selling children’s book written by British author Roald Dahl that was first published in 1988. The novel is about Matilda Wormwood, a witty and clever child who was raised by ordinary and indifferent parents who did not realise and appreciate their daughter’s brilliance.
Ignored and neglected by both her parents, Matilda learned how to take care of herself from a very young age and taught herself to read. At the age of four, in her parents’ absence, Matilda would walk to a local library nearby to read books as her father did not allow her the luxury of reading at home. When she was ill-treated, she would retaliate on her parents and punish them in comical ways.
At school, Matilda befriended her teacher Miss Honey, a shy, humble, and nice person was very affectionate towards the children in her class. Miss Honey was astonished when she found out that at the age of four, Matilda could read sentences and solve difficult multiplication problems. She suggested to the headmistress that Matilda be promoted to a higher class. But the headmistress Miss Agatha Trunchbull, who was an intimidating figure to the children at school and liked punishing the little kids, was quick to reject her request. Matilda’s parents, too, showed little interest in their daughter’s incredible abilities. Miss Honey formed a bond with Matilda and they would often spend time together. She then began to confide in Matilda and revealed how she was raised by an aunt. However, her aunt took over her inheritance and left her to survive on her own. That aunt was the menacing Miss Trunchbull herself.
One day when Miss Trunchbull was taking a class, Matilda discovered that she had an unusual power after she tipped a glass of water over on Miss Trunchbull. She could make things happen using her mind and concentration. What do you think happened next? Did Matilda’s parents learn about her powers? Did the book end on a good note?
For that, dear readers you will have to read the book. As always Roald Dahl used his creativity, brilliant imagination and his knack for storytelling to create this masterpiece of a children’s book. The novel’s contents are simple and to the point and can keep readers engrossed and intrigued. He also sends out clear messages that children should not be ill-treated, should not be kept under restrictions and their abilities should not be underestimate at home or school.
Matilda received widespread critical acclaim and a film adaptation of the book was released in 1996.