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!
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!