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Matilda - Roald Dahl

Paperback

Published: 16th August 2007
For Ages: 8 - 9 years old
Ships: 7 to 10 business days
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RRP $15.99
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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.

Poor, misunderstood Matilda fights back against an unappreciative world through a hidden talent: Matilda is the world's greatest practical joker! Little effort is needed to put one over on her obnoxious parents, but can shy little Matilda handle the formidable headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, and win the respect of every kid in school? Yes!

About The Author

"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."

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Matilda
 
3.5

(based on 2 reviews)

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(0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
2.0

Matilda

By 

from Tas

About Me Everyday Reader

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Deserves Multiple Readings

Cons

  • Disappointing
  • Had A Different Cover
  • Not What I Expected

Best Uses

    Comments about Matilda:

    I wanted this product to use with a reading group. I was hoping that the books would all be the same but unfortunately the books I received, while containing the same content on the inside, were not what I expected when I ordered them.

    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Another classic children's book!

    By 

    from Port Hedland, WA

    About Me Bookworm

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Deserves Multiple Readings
    • Easy To Understand
    • Informative
    • Inspirational
    • Relevant
    • Well Written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Gift
      • Travel Reading
      • Younger Readers

      Comments about Matilda:

      The only thing wrong with Roald Dahl books is they are not long enough! My 8 yo knocked this one over in an afternoon. I enjoyed listening to her snickering while she read.

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      Roald Dahl

      When he was at school Roald Dahl received terrible reports for his writing - with one teacher actually writing in his report, 'I have never met a boy who so persistently writes the exact opposite of what he means. He seems incapable of marshalling his thoughts on paper!'

      After finishing school Roald Dahl, in search of adventure, travelled to East Africa to work for a company called Shell. In Africa he learnt to speak Swahili, drove from diamond mines to gold mines, and survived a bout of malaria where his temperature reached 105.5 degrees (that's very high!).

      With the outbreak of the Second World War Roald Dahl joined the RAF. But being nearly two metres tall he found himself squashed into his fighter plane, knees around his ears and head jutting forward. Tragically of the 20 men in his squadron, Roald Dahl was one of only three to survive. Roald wrote about these experiences in his books Boy and Going Solo.

      Later in the war Roald Dahl was sent to America. It was there that he met famous author C.S. Forester (author of the Captain Hornblower series) who asked the young pilot to write down his war experiences for a story he was writing. Forester was amazed by the result, telling Roald 'I'm bowled over. Your piece is marvellous. It is the work of a gifted writer. I didn't touch a word of it.' (an opinion which would have been news to Roald's early teachers!). Forester sent Roald Dahl's work straight to the Saturday Evening Post. Roald Dahl's growing success as an author led him to meet many famous people including Walt Disney, Franklin Roosevelt, and the movie star Patricia Neal. Patricia and Roald were married only one year after they met!

      The couple bought a house in Great Missenden called Gipsy House. It was here that Roald Dahl began to tell his five children made-up bedtime stories and from those that he began to consider writing stories for children.

      An old wooden shed in the back garden, with a wingbacked armchair, a sleeping bag to keep out the cold, an old suitcase to prop his feet on and always, always six yellow pencils at his hand, was where Roald created the worlds of The BFG, The Witches, James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and many, many more.

      Visit Roald Dahl's Booktopia Author Page


      ISBN: 9780142410370
      ISBN-10: 0142410373
      Audience: Children
      For Ages: 8 - 9 years old
      For Grades: 3 - 4
      Format: Paperback
      Language: English
      Number Of Pages: 240
      Published: 16th August 2007
      Publisher: Penguin Putnam Inc
      Country of Publication: US
      Dimensions (cm): 19.68 x 12.7  x 1.27
      Weight (kg): 0.19