Matilda at 30: Chief Executive of the British Library

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 Dec 2018

Member Reviews

Matilda is a classic of the children's canon, and the new covers for the 30th anniversary are everything a little girl could imagine for what grown-up Matilda might be doing.  The story is still wonderful - and the continuing presence of the musical in the West End ensures that this will remain a staple for another generation.
Was this review helpful?
An amazing book that reminded me just how magical Matilda is / was - sure to be a favourite for kids and adults alike!
Was this review helpful?
Matilda is a classic. Ronald Dahl is, in my opinion, one of the best children's authors ever, and Matilda is one of my favourites. 
It shows the importance of finding strength from within. The power of books and knowledge and the ever important need for love and acceptance.
Amazing. Simply amazing!
Was this review helpful?
Matilda is in school with a horrible principal who makes everyone's life hell. At home as well, she's faced with horrible parents. The only light in her life is in the form of a sweet teacher who looks after her. After Matilda discovers she has magic powers, she uses those powers to put everyone in their place and lives happily ever after. It's a great classic.
Was this review helpful?
As wonderful amd magical as I remember it to be. A precious tale of growing up, friendship and value. A story I will always love and share with my son when he is a bit older.
Was this review helpful?
Matilda is every bit as amazing as I remember. This edition is especially great. Be sure to check out today!
Was this review helpful?
Due to the loss of my kindle I, sadly, was not able to read this book.
I sincerely apologize for this inconvenience.
Was this review helpful?
Loved it then. Love it now. A wonderful story.
Thank you to NetGalley and to the publisher for the opportunity to revisit a favourite character in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Such a lovely retelling of the story. Takes you right back to childhood. Roald Dahl is and was such an inspiration and is continued to be loved by all.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to netgally & publishers for sending me an advanced copy. Unfortunately, I couldn't get this book to work on my kindle but managed to read it on my tablet.

My 10 year old daughter loves the movie Matilda so when the opportunity arose to read this Matilda at 30 I jumped at the chance to share it with my daughter. We both thoroughly enjoyed reading a few chapters each night, such a lovely fun story which I would recommend to adults & kids alike!
Was this review helpful?
What would Matilda grow up to become? I love the Matilda story and these stories make you consider what you think she might grow up to be. The character descriptions are brilliant and really draw children in. The Trunchbull is truly memorable to anyone who’s read the book. Fab read.
Was this review helpful?
Unfortunately I was unable to download this but as one of my all time favourite books I feel justified in being able to give it a 5 star rating based on previous reads.
Was this review helpful?
Still as amazing now as it was when I first read Matilda over 20 years ago,and still one of my all time favourite books.
Was this review helpful?
I was so sad that I couldn't view this because it wasn't compatible with kindle.
despite that I have obviously read the story dozens of times before so I will just say that Matilda at 30 is even more of an inspiration than when I first encountered her.
I fully believe she hold any of the jobs she was painted as doing on the anniversary covers and I still love her.
Was this review helpful?
A huge thank you to Penguin Random House for sending the ARC and therefore giving me the opportunity to finally read one of Roald Dahl's reknowned works. Such a heart-warming tale that stresses the importance of believing in oneself.
Was this review helpful?
Five and a half year old Matilda is already reading the likes of Hemingway and Dickens while computing complex sums in her head at the drop of a hat. But she has a horrible family who despise her and her precocious intellect - which is nothing compared to the flat-out hostility of her new school’s headmistress, the monstrous Miss Trunchbull! Luckily, Matilda finds a soulmate in her kind teacher Miss Honey and together they set out to teach the bullies a lesson, once and for all! 

Matilda was Roald Dahl’s last masterpiece. He wrote some other books afterwards but they don’t measure up to Matilda as among his greatest accomplishments. And it is a masterpiece. I love this book. This is my third, maybe fourth time re-reading it, and each time I’ve read it, from my first time at a single digit age to now in my thirties, Matilda never fails to blow me away or put a smile on my face. Dahl’s reputation as the consummate children’s author remains unassailable thanks to books like this. 

Matilda is an immediately empathetic character as she’s introduced as “The Reader of Books” who falls in love with reading and books and who reading this can’t relate? Characters are Dahl’s forte. One might criticise the one-dimensional goodies and baddies - the good guys like Matilda and Miss Honey are practically saints while the baddies like Miss Trunchbull and Mr Wormwood are as evil as can be - but those kinds of over-the-top, unrealistic characters with black and white morality are a fixture of the children’s books genre. And anyway Trunchbull and Wormwood are so much fun to read when they’re being so ridiculously nasty, not least as it makes it all the more satisfying when they get their comeuppances! 

And of course they do. Matilda is a fine book not least because it tells an always entertaining story with memorable characters in beautifully written and effortlessly easy-to-read prose; but also because of what it promotes: kindness, honesty and a sincere love for books and learning. The characters that extol these virtues are rewarded and those that don’t, and who usually try to stamp it out in those that do, are creatively dealt with! 

Quentin Blake’s iconic illustrations accompanying Dahl’s words perfectly complement the story and his depictions of the characters are spot on. This new edition, celebrating Matilda’s 30th publication anniversary, also includes new drawings imagining what jobs Matilda would have had as a grown-up. Alternately: Chief Executive of the British Library, an astrophysicist and a world traveller. 

I don’t have a single fault with the book. It’s not my favourite Dahl - that would be Fantastic Mr Fox, closely followed by The Witches - but it’s easily among his best and an undeniable masterwork. It’s a children’s book that I feel that any adult would also enjoy as much as a kid and I recommend it to any and all, anywhere, anytime - it is a tremendous pick-me-up! Happy 30th, Matilda - here’s to re-reading you many more times in the years ahead!
Was this review helpful?
A major classic that is always a pleasure to read again and again. Matilda is a fun, heartwarming, timeless tale, successfully turned into a very entertaining film years ago. With the latest anniversary edition of the book, I thought updating the cover with a Matilda all grown up was a great touch, albeit quite the marketing gimmick. I would’ve loved to see more than one new illustration of the adult Matilda.
Was this review helpful?
What a joy to relive the excitement of reading Matilda. I did expect a stand alone book but I didn’t expect to be so shocked at 30 years since the original came out. Gulp!  Of course Matilda would be a librarian she could be anything she wanted to be. Brilliant.
Was this review helpful?
I was surprised to read that the publishing date of the original "Matilda" book was only 30 years ago. The setting and some of the character's behaviour seems a lot older, Ms. Honey's little cottage even seems to be out of a fairytale - just like Matilda herself remarks.

But the topic is still up-to-date I think. Although it seems unimaginable how the Wordmwoods treat their little daughter, and how Mrs. Trunchbull runs her school, I fear that there are quite a few people that behave similarly.

Although technically a children's book, it is also perfectly suitable for grown-ups. I would even say that I wouldn't recommend it to my sons before they are about 10 years old, because of the at times very bleak atmosphere and how Matilda is treated. But all's well that ends well, and so I also had quite fun reading about Matilda and her adventures. I've actually read it for the second time now.

The illustrations throughout the book are a superb addition to the story, and the new covers with Matilda at the age of 30 are a great idea. I could picture her as a librarian the most. 
I know that Roald Dahl has long been dead, but it would nevertheless be wonderful to have an actual sequel to this story.
Was this review helpful?
Who hasn't heard of this bright little girl called Matilda? And what can anyone have for this book, but praise?

Matilda is an extraordinary creature. A child-prodigy, she was unlucky enough to have been born to parents that are far from smart, and far from caring. But when she finally goes to school, she meets the best teacher one could ever have hoped for. Miss Honey can understand how bright Matilda is, and she'll do everything in her powers to help her strive. But the school's Headmistress is an evil person. 

Through hilarious situations, Matilda shows us her world. It isn't always a happy one, but she's a strong girl - and she lets us know it!

One of Dahl's masterpieces, Matilda is a must-read; not only for children, but for adults, too. This bright little thing teaches us how to keep fighting in the face of adversities, how to love reading, and how to keep loving. Open yourself to the magical world of Dahl and Matilda - you won't regret it!
Was this review helpful?