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by Cathleen and Keilani for

Novel Madness 2013

You walk into the library looking for a funny book. You then see Matilda glowing in the bookshelves. It catches your eyes. You pick up the book and begin to read. Some may say that BFG is a better book because it is about a big giant; however, Matilda has real people and not a fictional giant. Matilda is easier to relate to, it is hilarious, and it is heartfelt.

Some may say that BFG is somewhat relatable, but Matilda is in a kid’s perspective so you can put yourself in her shoes. Matilda has real people, a real school, and a real family. Well…somewhat real family. In BFG, the good giant sends kid’s dreams, but Matilda is just a girl who loves to read and is smarter than all the kids in her class. Matilda surprised Ms. Honey with her smartness. She surprised me, too. In the BFG, giants eat people and steal their dreams. In your opinion, which book is more realistic? It should be really obvious.

Although some people may think that BFG is funnier than Matilda, when Matilda does her magic thing, there are funny moments in between them. For example, Matilda “haunted” Ms. Trunchbull. She went to her house and used her magic. One of the things she did was have a picture of Ms. Honey’s father float around the house heading towards Ms. Trunchbull. In your head you are probably thinking that is scary, but when the author describes Ms. Trunchbull’s expressions and what she does, you will literally fall off your seat! Another moment was when Matilda super glued her father’s hat to his head. She also mixed her mother’s and her father’s hair products, leaving her dad with blonde hair.

You may think that BFG is a sad book, but Matilda’s family barely even knows her. That is what makes this book sad. Matilda’s parents forgot her in the car on the day she came home from the hospital. They left her in the car! Also, at the end of the book her whole family had to move to Guam, because her father cheated people on their cars. Ms. Honey adored Matilda and Matilda refused to leave. Ms. Honey cared and loved her. Matilda loved her, too, so Ms. Honey adopted her.

            You closed the book. You realized that you picked the right book. Some say that BFG is a better book; however, Matilda is a book where a little girl uses her magic to get back at the people who treated her unkindly. What is there not to like about that? Matilda is relatable and it is crazy hilarious. Plus, it is emotional. Vote for Matilda, and if you don’t Matilda will haunt you!


by Amrita

Matilda is a realistic fiction/fantasy novel by Roald Dahl. It is about a child prodigy (Matilda) who has horrible parents, a terrifying school headmistress, and a wonderful teacher. This is the fantasy element: she can move things with her eyes.

This story is for everyone because it is universally relatable. She expresses feelings like any kindergartener, but has a partially grown-up mindset. Her emotions are realistic, unlike most books meant for a younger audience. She shows fear, quirkiness, feeling different, accomplishment, sympathy, and the rest of the rainbow of feelings without telling it directly. This magic in Dahl’s words makes the novel a classic.

The situation is another vital element that makes Matilda memorable. Being afraid of a headmistress, liking a teacher, and arguing with parents are all common situations in books, but Matilda’s reaction and super power make it unique.

Roald Dahl writes with an identifiable style. He makes both subtle and outright jokes in his books, especially Matilda, that appeals to younger and older children, teens, and adults. This was Dahl’s last book before he died, so it is possible that this perfect sense of humor in writing came from years and years of writing books meant for both adults and children.

There are many themes and messages in this subtly complex, yet appealingly simple novel, another example of Roald Dahl’s amazing writing skills. It could be, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” because of Matilda’s small appearance and intelligence. The theme could be perseverance because of Matilda’s relentless efforts to achieve her goals, or it might be intelligence because of her method of getting what she wants.

Matilda is a five-star must-read novel for everyone!

18 thoughts on “Matilda”

  1. Submitted on 2012/05/09 at 9:00 am

    This book is truly amazing. It can definitely be read by people of all ages, and can be read over and over again. Being one of Roald Dahls’s last books, he still managed to make it one the best books ever. Normally authors tend to lose their touch as they come to the end of their writing career.
    Also, even though parts of this book are fantasy, the characters are relatable. I am sure that everyone has been as old as Matilda at some point in their life. I also enjoy the different personalities of the characters. Matilda’s parents are lazy and mean, while Matilda herself is kind, sweet, and gentle.

  2. Submitted on 2012/05/10 at 9:57 am

    I’ve always loved this book. It is truly a classic. I have read it more times than I can count. I would definitely recommend this story to anyone I know. (Of, course, most have already read it- and they love it too!)

  3. This book is amazing! It is so packed with descriptive details. What really surprised me in the book was how cruel and strong the principal of the school, Miss Trunchbull, is. She threw an innocent girl over the fence just because she was wearing pigtails.

  4. I love Matilda! MY heart sunked when she was like neglected. Her family didn’t even care about her. Also, the part when Matilda switched the bottles and her dad’s head was a different color and that his head was stuck in his hat.

  5. Matilda is one of my favorite book. The book is very funny and has a lot of adventures by Matilda suffering from Miss Trunchbull, the mean principal. The part that made me happy was when Miss Honey took good care of Matilda, while Matilda’s other family was so in love with money.

    1. I think it’s really mean for a family to not love a child of their own. Matilda’s father is mean. He cheated on selling cars. Matilda is smart and independent

  6. i LOVE Matilda! Roald Dahl really described how each of the characters felt with descriptive language. i also like who he made Miss Trunchbull and Matilda’s family all mean and lazy while Matilda and Miss Honey were nice and thoughtful.

  7. It is pretty unbelievable when you meet her harsh dad. Usually people would love their children, but for some reason her dad was different. Since Matilda lost her power right after Miss Trunchbull fainted, I think that the only purpose of her power was to get rid of Miss Trunchbull. Right now I wonder if Matilda is happy after the rest of her family left. She should be, since she lives with her favorite teacher and does not have to live with dumb parents.

  8. Matilda is awesome. I love how she is so independent. I just wish that I was like her. I can’t believe that Matilda’s family hates her. I am happy for her know, though. She is pretty lucky to live with Mrs. Honey.

  9. I love how Matilda goes to the library when her parents say not to. That proves she is truly passionate about reading. When her parents sign the contract that allows Mrs.Honey to adopt Matilda, it proves that they don’t care about her, as most parents would about their child.

  10. The both of you made it pretty far in the competition with Matilda. It was a really close vote between Matilda and The BFG. Congratulations for winning!

  11. I like how Matilda outsmarts her parents who think she’s not smart and causes much trouble. Her family hates her and so does she so I’m glad that she found a caring parent with Mrs. Honey. Their parents let her go which shows that they dont care about Matilda and Mrs. Honey brought her in cause she truly cares about Matilda.

  12. Despite how Matilda beat us, I can’t believe how wonderful their persuasive essay was. I could relate to it so much from being a little kid getting picked on from my brother. I understand how that would feel to Matilda, and why she chooses certain actions against her parents and principal.

  13. Even though I lost to this book, I think I can relate to it. Although I didn’t understand Great Expectations when I was in second grade, much less read it when I was four, Matilda and I both love to read. Sometimes I’ll keep reading when my parents tell me not to.

  14. Matilda is a book all ages can enjoy. It is funny at some parts and has very touching moments. Great speech, too! You guys almost made it to the finals!

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