Matilda (Puffin Modern Classics)

Matilda (Puffin Modern Classics)

4.6 314
by Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake

See All Formats & Editions

“The Trunchbull” is no match for Matilda!

Matilda is a sweet, exceptional young girl, but her parents think she's just a nuisance. She expects school to be different but there she has to face Miss Trunchbull, a kid-hating terror of a headmistress. When Matilda is attacked by the Trunchbull she suddenly discovers she has a remarkable power with


“The Trunchbull” is no match for Matilda!

Matilda is a sweet, exceptional young girl, but her parents think she's just a nuisance. She expects school to be different but there she has to face Miss Trunchbull, a kid-hating terror of a headmistress. When Matilda is attacked by the Trunchbull she suddenly discovers she has a remarkable power with which to fight back. It'll take a superhuman genius to give Miss Trunchbull what she deserves and Matilda may be just the one to do it!

"Matilda will surely go straight to children's hearts." —The New York Times Book Review

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Roald Dahl has done it again. . . . Matilda will surely go straight to children's hearts. (The New York Times Book Review)
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.)
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.

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Puffin Modern Classics Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.13(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.63(d)
840L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
Roald Dahl has done it again. . . . Matilda will surely go straight to children's hearts. (The New York Times Book Review)

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 Peach, Matilda, The 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:

Brief Biography

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

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Matilda 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 314 reviews.
BOOKBUG101 More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"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 :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Abbie1 More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is awesome! I read the book and watched the movie! Great read! Paris, age 8
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great classic book to share!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.(:
SarahKatherine123 More than 1 year ago
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.)
Book_Worm_1998 More than 1 year ago
One of the best books by Roald Dahl along with The BFG. This book never gets old and it is hilarious!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
i think that Matilda is a great book. it's definatly fast reading.i reccomend it for people ages 8-12 give or take a little.
KarinaLove1 More than 1 year ago
I Absolutely Love Roald Dahl and his stories, and I really love this book I also really love the movie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you were to buy this book, which you should, keep reading because the feather you go with reading this book the more interesting it gets.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite Roald Dahl book and one of my favorite books of all time. Recommended for children and adults alike. The characters are hilarious, and I suggest seeing the movie and/or checking out the Broadway musical. Even if you aren't interested in either of those, READ THIS BOOK. Highs and lows, tears and laughter, and it gives you happy ever after!!!! Five stars no doubt. <3 this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
MicheleLeesBookLove More than 1 year ago
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.
LiodilesaysRAR More than 1 year ago
i really dont get how Roald Dahl writes so enchantingly. i love the way he writes. and he makes up his own words too!!!! and matildas a really cool girl. i sometimes i wish i was her.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book is so cool. It makes you think if your parents where like that!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was about a girl named Matilda, and her parents are very mean to her. She asks them for a book, and they say no. Her father told her that why would she want a book if she has the television to watch. So when she turned five, she went to school. It wasn't any ordinary school; it was a school with a cruel principal. The principal would do things to children that you wouldn't think of, but her teacher was nice. Her name was Ms.Honey. Ms. honey found that Matilda was very smart, so she invited her to have tea. Ms. Honey told Matida that the principal was her aunt. Matilda was shocked. Also, matilda do something bad to her parents and principal. Well if you want to know, read matilda!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Matilda is a wonderful book that I have enjoyed for years. The movie dose not give the book justice. The book is 1 millon times greater than any movie.It is outstaning.Another best seller by Roal Dahl. This book is very good. My favrte part for exsample is a part in the story where Matilda sticks a brid up in the chimmny. The bird is trained to say things 'Rattel my bones' she scears her family to death. Ut is a qonderfull book for any Child.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Everboby should read 'Matilda'! Our school is doing a play of it and I am Matilda. This is Roald Dahl's best book. I highly recommend it.