1st UK edition
|Preceded by||The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me|
|Followed by||Esio Trot|
Matilda is a children's novel by British author Roald Dahl. It was published in 1988 by Jonathan Cape in London, with illustrations by Quentin Blake. The story is about Matilda Wormwood, an extraordinary child with ordinary and rather unpleasant parents, who are contemptuous of their daughter's prodigious talents, and her discovery of her telekinetic abilities. It was adapted into a film in 1996, a two-part adaptation for BBC Radio 4 (later re-broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra) starring Nicola McAuliffe as Matilda and narrated by Lenny Henry. In 2010 it was adapted into a musical.
Matilda is about a young girl named Matilda Wormwood, she has large brown eyes and is quite short. She is gifted with precocity but her wealthy, dimwitted parents are oblivious to their daughter's prodigious skills and view her as foolish and idiotic. Aggravated by the rude behavior of her mother and father, Matilda constantly pulls pranks on her family as discipline for their misdeeds, such as pouring Superglue into her father's hat or hiding a parrot in the chimney, tricking the family into thinking there is a ghost in the house..
Eventually, Matilda begins schooling and encounters a loving, sweet schoolteacher named Miss Jennifer "Jenny" Honey, who is astonished by her unbelievable intellectual abilities and wants to move her into a higher class, but the school's hostile headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, who disciplines the pupils with abusive physical punishment, refuses. Miss Honey also tries to talk to Mr. and Mrs. Wormwood about Matilda's supreme intelligence, but they don't believe her.
Matilda quickly develops a particularly strong bond with Miss Honey over time after a classmate's practical joke on the headmistress leads Matilda to discover her secret telekinetic powers by using her mind to tip over a glass of water containing a salamander on Miss Trunchbull. They gather frequently at the teacher's tiny cottage in the forest and converse, where Miss Honey recounts her traumatic childhood experiences that had been wrought by her maliciously abusive aunt, whose guardianship she was forced to live under after the mysterious death of her father Magnus. Stunned to learn that Miss Trunchbull actually was the aunt of Miss Honey, in question, Matilda devises a scheme in order to help Miss Honey earn her proper inheritance, which the aunt had seemingly stripped her of, and develops her telekinetic gift through practice at home.
During a lesson that Miss Trunchbull is teaching, Matilda telekinetically raises a stick of chalk against the black-board and scares Miss Trunchbull, and poses as Magnus's spirit, demanding that Miss Trunchbull provide his daughter with the wages that she needs by name. Petrified by this, Miss Trunchbull flees from her house, which is later discovered rightfully belongs to Miss Honey by her father's will, and her niece moves into it from her cottage.
Matilda is re-positioned by the new headmaster to the sixth grade level of schooling, where she discovers that she is no longer capable of accessing her powers of telekinesis, and Miss Honey theorises that it is probably because Matilda must mandatorily use more of her knowledge at school after skipping several grades.
Matilda continues to meet with Miss Honey at her home regularly, but one day arrives home to discover her parents hastily packing to go on the run from the police who have discovered her father's deceptive practices in the automotive industry. Matilda asks permission to live with Miss Honey, to which her parents agree, thus providing her with a more loving home.
Musical version 
A musical version of the novel, Matilda: A Musical, written by Dennis Kelly and Tim Minchin and commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company, premiered in November 2010. It opened at the Cambridge Theatre in the West End on 24 November 2011. The stage version has been hailed by one critic as "the best British musical since Billy Elliot".
Relations to other Roald Dahl books 
One of Miss Trunchbull's means of punishments is forcibly to make an overweight boy named Bruce Bogtrotter eat an enormous cake to try to make him sick after finding him guilty of stealing food from the kitchen (in many of Dahl's novels there is a rude character that is overweight, Augustus Gloop for example, though Bruce Bogtrotter is portrayed as more sympathetic and even becomes somewhat of a hero to the kids by actually managing to finish the cake). In Roald Dahl's Revolting Recipes one of the recipes is based on that cake.
See also 
- Serena Alllot (26 November 2010) Waltzing Matilda: Dahl's classic dances on to the stage The Daily Telegraph
- Once upon a time, there was a man who liked to make up stories ... The Independent (Sunday, 12 December 2010)
- "RSC Sets Dates for Dahl’s Matilda Musical, 9 Nov". What'sOnStage.com. 30 September 2009. Retrieved 2010-04-07.
- Long, Dorothy. Revolting recipes. ASHE Homefamily.net.