Thursday, December 10, 2009

Matilda

I know I have a list of books which I proclaim "I loved this book as a kid! This was one of my favorites!" And it can seem awfully unbelievable. "Another book that was 'one of your favorites'? Really?"

Yes, really. I was as much of an avid reader as a kid as I am now. Maybe even more-so because as a kid I'd read three books at a time, finishing all three within two weeks time. I loved books and I loved to read. My mother still complains, "I must have been one of the only mothers out there who used to scold my child to stop reading and watch some tv. I just wanted her to give her eyes a rest! She'd go to school, come home and do her homework, then read until bed. All she did was read!"

And it's true. I have many memories of rushing through homework just so I could read afterwards. But some of the most prominent memories are not just of me reading the books- but of how I acquired them.

Matilda is one of these books. I didn't ever own a copy of Roald Dahl's Matilda until only a week ago. As a child, we had a library day and I would always take out Matilda... well, if it was available. I remember the exact location of the book in that pastel colored elementary library. I remember switching between Matilda and The Witches. But Matilda held a soft spot for me.

When given a chance to do a book review for a website I saw that Matilda was one of the books needing review. I jumped to the chance and bought the book but soon rediscovered a much loved childhood book.

Matilda is a polite little girl who has raised herself to be an exceedingly smart child. Learning to talk and read at an early age and then being incredibly advanced at school. Her parents ignore her though, she's only seen as a useless nuisance. But the polite little girl quickly finds her way into the heart of her teacher Miss Honey and her classmates.

But Miss Trunchbull, the child-hating headmistress, is there to ensure Matilda doesn't have that much of an enjoyable time in school. She terrorizes the children and abuses them horribly. She doesn't get caught because who would really believe a miserable child whose claiming the woman throws little girls hundreds of yards away by pig tails?

When Matilda discovers Trunchbull might have some relation to a possible murder and has been the long time leader in making Miss Honey's life miserable Matilda feels it's her job to teach Miss Trunchbull a lesson.

And a lesson she does teach, with extraordinary powers to boot.

When I was a child I adored Matilda. She loved books just like me! She was incredibly polite and the pretty Miss Honey just adored her. What was even cooler was that she could move stuff with her eyes. I found that amazing and would sit around my room trying to move stuff with my own- to great failure- but it's an amusing memory that I have now.

The book was made into a movie years ago which I watched and enjoyed, but I still liked the book better! Go check out the book and movie at your local bookstore. It's a great read even if you're an adult!
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