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Matilda

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Overview

Matilda is a genius. Unfortunately, her family treats her like a dolt. Her crooked car-salesman father and loud, bingo-obsessed mother think Matilda's only talent is as a scapegoat for everything that goes wrong in their miserable lives. But it's not long before the sweet and sensitive child decides to fight back. Faced with practical jokes of sheer brilliance, her parents don't stand a chance.

Matilda applies her untapped mental powers to rid the school of the evil,...

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Matilda

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Overview

Matilda is a genius. Unfortunately, her family treats her like a dolt. Her crooked car-salesman father and loud, bingo-obsessed mother think Matilda's only talent is as a scapegoat for everything that goes wrong in their miserable lives. But it's not long before the sweet and sensitive child decides to fight back. Faced with practical jokes of sheer brilliance, her parents don't stand a chance.

Matilda applies her untapped mental powers to rid the school of the evil, child-hating headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, and restore her nice teacher, Miss Honey, to financial security.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Matilda is an extraordinarily gifted four-year-old whose parentsa crass, dishonest used-car dealer and a self-centered, blowsy bingo addictregard her as ``nothing more than a scab.'' Life with her beastly parents is bearable only because Matilda teaches herself to read, finds the public library, and discovers literature. Also, Matilda loves using her lively intelligence to perpetrate daring acts of revenge on her father. This pastime she further develops when she enrolls in Crunchem Hall Primary School, whose headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, is ``a fierce tyrannical monster . . . .'' Adults may cringe at Dahl's excesses in describing the cruel Miss Trunchbull, as well as his reliance on overextended characterization at the expense of plot development. Children, however, with their keenly developed sense of justice, will relish the absolutes of stupidity, greed, evil and might versus intelligence, courage and goodness. They also will sail happily through the contrived, implausible ending. Dahl's phenomenal popularity among children speaks for his breathless storytelling charms; his fans won't be disappointed by Matilda. Blake's droll pen-and-ink sketches extend the exaggerated humor. Ages 9-11. Oct.
Criticas
Gr 2-6-Resourceful Matilda is saddled with two hellish parents and an even worse headmistress. The evil Mrs. Trenchbull is out to get Miss Honey, Matilda's beloved teacher, and thinks nothing of flinging young innocents into nail-festooned boxes by their hair. Not to worry: Superbright Matilda dishes out revenge in high-comic style in this delicious page-turner for readers looking for laughs.
—Cheryl Scheer, Denver P.L., CO Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Ellen R. Braaf
She taught herself to read by the time she was three. When she was four, she'd finished all the children's books in the library and moved on to Dickens, Austen, Hemmingway and H.G. Wells. Matilda Wormwood is a genius cursed with heartless, half-witted, self-centered parents. Her father is a dishonest used car salesman; her mother, a soap-opera addict whose idea of a gourmet meal is a TV dinner. Unconcerned with their daughter's education, they enroll her late in the Crunchem Hall Primary School. Matilda's prodigious talents are soon recognized by her teacher. Miss Honey tries to secure an advanced placement for her gifted student. However, the school's muscle-bound, kid-hating headmistress won't consider it. A sadist in green britches, Miss Trunchbull's cruelty knows no bounds. Matilda learns to tap into her psychic powers. With mind over matter, she frees Crunchem Hall from Trunchbull's reign of terror and secures Miss Honey's professional and financial future. Her own "happily ever after" comes when she convinces her parents to leave her in Miss Honey's care as they flee the country two steps ahead of the police. It's a quirky tale that's delightfully Dahl. 1998 (orig.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6 Dahl's latest piece of madcap mayhem is a story filled with the elements that his fans cravesardonic humor, the evilest of villians, the most virtuous of heroines, and children who eventually defeat those big bad grown-ups. In this book, Matilda isn't just smart, she is ``extra-ordinary. . .sensitive and brilliant,'' reading Great Expectations as a four year old. Unfortunately, her TV-addict parents neither recognize nor appreciate their daughter's genius. Neglected Matilda finds mentors in librarian Mrs. Phelps and teacher Miss Honey, a woman as sweet as her name implies. Miss Honey, Matilda, and other students are tormented by the child-hating headmistress Trunchbull. Trunchbull has also cheated orphaned niece Miss Honey out of her rightful inheritance, leaving the teacher in extreme poverty. Having practiced revenge techniques on her father, Matilda now applies her untapped mental powers to rid the school of Trunchbull and restore Miss Honey's financial security. If the conclusion is a bit too rapid, the transitions between Matilda's home and school life a bit choppy, and the writing style not as even as in some of Dahl's earlier titles, young readers won't mind. Dahl has written another fun and funny book with a child's perspective on an adult world. As usual, Blake's comical sketches are the perfect complement to the satirical humor. This may not be a teacher's or principal's first choice as a classroom read-aloud, but children will be waiting in line to read it. Heide Piehler, Shorewood Public Lib . , Wis.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780141301068
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 6/1/1998
  • Pages: 240
  • Age range: 7 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 840L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.08 (w) x 7.84 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

Roald Dahl (1916-1990) was born in Wales of Norwegian parents. He spent his childhood in England and, at age eighteen, went to work for the Shell Oil Company in Africa. When World War II broke out, he joined the Royal Air Force and became a fighter pilot. At the age of twenty-six he moved to Washington, D.C., and it was there he began to write. His first short story, which recounted his adventures in the war, was bought by The Saturday Evening Post, and so began a long and illustrious career.

After establishing himself as a writer for adults, Roald Dahl began writing children’s stories in 1960 while living in England with his family. His first stories were written as entertainment for his own children, to whom many of his books are dedicated.

Roald Dahl is now considered one of the most beloved storytellers of our time. Although he passed away in 1990, his popularity continues to increase as his fantastic novels, including James and the Giant PeachMatildaThe BFG, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, delight an ever-growing legion of fans.

Learn more about Roald Dahl on the official Roald Dahl Web site: www.roalddahl.com

Biography

"I have never met a boy who so persistently writes the exact opposite of what he means," a teacher once wrote in the young Roald Dahl's report card. "He seems incapable of marshaling his thoughts on paper." From such inauspicious beginnings emerged an immensely successful author whom The Evening Standard would one day dub "one of the greatest children's writers of all time."

Dahl may have been an unenthusiastic student, but he loved adventure stories, and when he finished school he went out into the world to have some adventures of his own. He went abroad as a representative of the Shell corporation in Dar-es-Salaam, and then served in World War II as a pilot in the Royal Air Force. After the war, Dahl began his writing career in earnest, publishing two well-received collections of short stories for adults, along with one flop of a novel.

The short stories, full of tension and subtle psychological horror, didn't seem to presage a children's author. Malcolm Bradbury wrote in The New York Times Book Review, "[Dahl's] characters are usually ignoble: he knows the dog beneath the skin, or works hard to find it." Yet this talent for finding, and exposing, the nastier sides of grown-up behavior served him well in writing for children. As Dahl put it, "Writing is all propaganda, in a sense. You can get at greediness and selfishness by making them look ridiculous. The greatest attribute of a human being is kindness, and all the other qualities like bravery and perseverance are secondary to that."

In 1953, Dahl married the actress Patricia Neal; two of his early children's books, James and the Giant Peach (1961) and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) grew out of the bedtime stories he made up for their children. Elaine Moss, writing in the Times, called the latter "the funniest children's book I have read in years; not just funny but shot through with a zany pathos which touches the young heart." Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was a colossal hit. A film version starring Gene Wilder was released in 1971 (as Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory), while James and the Giant Peach was made into a movie in 1996.

Dahl followed his initial successes with a string of bestsellers, including Danny, the Champion of the World, The Twits, The BFG, The Witches and Matilda. Some adults objected to the books' violence -- unpleasant characters (like James’s Aunts Sponge and Spiker) tend to get bumped off in grotesque and inventive ways -- but Dahl defended his stories as part of a tradition of gruesome fairy tales in which mean people get what they deserve. "These tales are pretty rough, but the violence is confined to a magical time and place," he said, adding that children like violent stories as long as they're "tied to fantasy and humor." By the time of his death in 1990, Dahl's mischievous wit had captivated so many readers that The Times called him "one of the most widely read and influential writers of our generation."

Good To Know

When Dahl was in school, he and his schoolmates occasionally served as new-product testers for the Cadbury chocolate company. Dahl used to dream of working in a chocolate manufacturer's inventing room. He wrote in his autobiography, "I have no doubt at all that, 35 years later, when I was looking for a plot for my second book for children, I remembered those little cardboard boxes and the newly invented chocolates inside them, and I began to write a book called Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."

Dahl's first book for children, The Gremlins (1943), was a story about the mythical creatures that sabotaged British planes. (Dahl claimed for most of his life that he had coined the term "gremlins," but it had been in use by members of the Royal Air Force for years.) Walt Disney planned to use it as the basis for a movie, but the project was scrapped, and only 5,000 copies of the book were ever printed.

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    1. Date of Birth:
      September 13, 1916
    2. Place of Birth:
      Llandaff, Wales, England
    1. Date of Death:
      November 23, 1990
    2. Place of Death:
      Oxford, England

Table of Contents

The Reader of Books 7
Mr Wormwood, the Great Car Dealer 22
The Hat and the Superglue 30
The Ghost 38
Arithmetic 49
The Platinum-Blond Man 56
Miss Honey 66
The Trunchbull 82
The Parents 90
Throwing the Hammer 101
Bruce Bogtrotter and the Cake 117
Lavender 134
The Weekly Test 141
The First Miracle 159
The Second Miracle 170
Miss Honey's Cottage 177
Miss Honey's Story 193
The Names 206
The Practice 210
The Third Miracle 215
A New Home 227
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 286 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(224)

4 Star

(42)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(10)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 286 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 19, 2010

    GREAT READ

    I LOVED THIS BOOK USUALLY I AM A SLOW READER BUT THIS BOOK TOOK ME ONLY 2 NIGHTS TO READ. 'TS ONE OF THOSE BOOKS THAT YOU WOULD STAY UP ALL NIGHT READING. IT HAS BEAUTIFUL DESCRIPTAVE WRITING NOT TO MANY PICTURES THOUGH BUT YOU DONT EVEN NEED THEM YOU CAN IMAGINE IT RIGHT IN YOUR HEAD.

    EMMA :)

    29 out of 32 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2000

    What an Awesome Book!!!

    As a class we read this book weekly. My students love Matilda because she knows how to trick her parents. Ms. Trunchbull is a character we love to hate. We especially love the chapter on Bruce Bogtrotter. Very funny... We strongly recommend this book to anyone who loves Raold Dahl.

    26 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2008

    My Favorite Book of All Time!!! Always Forever!!!

    Matilda is wonderful book for people of all ages. I have read it about three or four times! Matilda is funny, cute, and inspiring. I recomend this book to everyone!

    19 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2000

    Best Roald Dahl Book Ever!

    Matilda was a very very good book to read. I would recommend it to kids 8-12. Roald Dahl's writing gave you a clear picture of what you were reading in Matilda. If you are close to a book store, run out and buy this book now and enjoy reading it, like I did!

    13 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 1999

    Matilda

    Matilda is about a young girl named Matilda. Matilda seems like the average child on the outside, but on the inside is very smart and mischievious. Besides dealing with the averagefamily problems, her family doesn't even love her. They dislike her because she is smart. Eventually, Matilda becomes so bored, because she isn't challenged enough, that she developes powers that enable her to do things by staring at it. In the end, everything works out for her, but how that happens is very exciting. You'll have to read 'Matilda', by Rauld Dahl to find out what happens.

    13 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2013

    Matilda By Roald Dahl

    "MATILDA
    Matilda is a genius. Unfortunately, her family treats her like a dolt. Her crooked car salesmanfather and loud bingo-obsessed mother think Matilda's only talent is a scapegoat for everything that goes wrong in their miserable lives. But its not too long before the sweet and sensitive child decides to fight back. Faced with practical jokes of sheer brilliance, her parents don't stand a chance. The Trunchbull however is a different story. Miss Trunchbull ex-Olympic hammer thrower and headmistress of Matilda's school has terrorized generations of Crunchem Hall students-and teachers. But when she goes after sweet Miss Honey, the one teacher who believes in Matilda, she goes too far." This is an extrodanary, fasinating and amazing book. I look forward to reading ALL of Roald Dahl's wonderous books.


    Written by: Samantha :)

    11 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2013

    Love it!

    This book is awesome! I read the book and watched the movie! Great read!
    Paris, age 8

    9 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2013

    One of my favorites!

    Great classic book to share!

    7 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 29, 2012

    Fun to read

    My fourth grade students are reading Matilda. They love the diverse "good guy", "bad guy" characters that Dahl develops. Vocabulary is rich and the adventures and determination of bright little Matilda make for a delightful read. We read Witches, by Dahl, earlier in the year. He is, indeed, an entertaining author!

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2013

    I love this

    I read the book in fourth grade for school and i fell in love with it. I asked for the movie for my bday and i love roald dahl iv read all of his books

    5 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2012

    I loved the book so much, that i decided to write a poem about i

    I loved the book so much, that i decided to write a poem about it!

    I was always pushed around,
    But this is the story of how I was found!
    In a way its a sad story, but at the end there is glory!

    I had nobody to turn to,
    But I never lost hope.
    I knew that when I found a friend,
    I would be able to cope.

    Next, I had found a friend that accepts me for me,
    She is a true friend indeed, that's her guarentee!
    She doesn't care about my flaws, that's what a friend would do,
    She's made my life so much better, Miss Honey, that person is you!

    You have taught me to stand up for mtself and to never cry,
    I know that I can be honest with you, and to never lie.
    Thank you for taking the horrible things in my life away,
    I promise to be there, loyal, and respectful to you each and every day!

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2013

    Read this book!

    I think this book is sooooo cool! Matida is smarter then me, and i am 8 years old! The movie is ok but they leave out the part about the parort! But i would still say it is about as good as the movie.(:

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2013

    Incredable!!!!!Must read!!!!

    :D ;D

    3 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2013

    Mikayah Michaud

    I like the book "Matilda." It's a very interesting and entertaining book by Roald Dahl, who passed away in 1990. What a depressing story. Anyway, I think some children should read this interesting and entertaining book "Matilda."

    -Mikayah Michaud

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 2, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Thrilling, Great, whatever you would like to call it!

    I thought Matilda was an extremely good book. I read it over a year ago, but I just remember not wanting to take my eyes off of it. It is a classic, and like all Roald Dahl books, will definitely satisfy you until the book falls apart. (That is why I would recommend the hard cover.)

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Awesome!

    One of the best books by Roald Dahl along with The BFG. This book never gets old and it is hilarious!!!!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2013

    Amazing book

    LOVE THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2013

    Miltilda

    Great book

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2013

    Love it.

    It took me ONE HOUR only to read this book. Amazing! I read it ten times already. Wo. Amazing, Rohld Dahl:)

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    An Absolute classic

    I purchased this book.

    Matilda is the classic story of an incredible smart little girl who develops telekinesis and uses it, not to improve her own horrible home life, but to help others. Don't know it? Perhaps you should.

    The differences between the book and movie versions are minute, but present. The movie is more Americanized and the story is smoother, but it lacks one of the books very strong points-a higher level of vocabulary.

    In Matilda Dahl (also the author of The BFG, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Witches and James and Giant Peach) presents his typical style, pitting a child against horrible adults who actively hate or seek to do the child harm. The title character lives in a home that not only doesn't appreciate her high level of intelligence, but ridicules it because her family is intimidated and scared by it. Matilda's family is emotionally abusive and neglectful, which some parents would seek to avoid, but I find an honest approach to life. Dahl's books don't treat children like they can't handle the darker side of things. Dahl doesn't ignore that there are some pretty crappy people out there, and sometimes they happen to have kids.

    Dahl, unlike a lot of authors, presents childhood as a battlefield. However not all children are perfect angels (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is an example here), and not all adults are horrendous bullies. In Matilda her family may be part of the problem, but she finds an ally in her teacher, Miss Honey, who is a survivor of a bullied childhood.

    Through the book we learn not about revenge on bad people, or being nice despite being bullied and neglected, Dahl teaches kids to recognize and treasure the good parts of life, without letting the bad parts define themselves, or their experience.

    Also a smart part of this book is the accelerated vocabulary, which again, shows that Dahl distinctly decides not to treat children as incapable or juvenile. Because of the number of big words, all used in a context that makes them easy to understand, this book is best read as a collaborative effort between an adult and child, unless an child closer to teendom is the reader.

    I highly recommend Matilda on every level, especially because in the realm of fiction girls are often sentenced to be side kicks and creatures of first crushes, but Matilda is a strong, independent, intelligent girl who solves problems on her own. Matilda is the precursor to the more recent Coraline, with less a less scary and a more over the top spin.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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