Review and Summary of Matilda by Roald Dahl


“Matilda” is a classic children’s book written by Roald Dahl, one of the most celebrated and beloved children’s authors of all time. This review aims to provide an in-depth analysis of the book, its themes, and its literary devices, while also exploring its broader impact on readers. The suggested reading age for “Matilda” is 8 years and older.

Book Summary:

“Matilda” tells the story of a young girl named Matilda Wormwood, who is exceptionally intelligent and has a love for reading. Despite her extraordinary abilities, Matilda faces a challenging life, as her parents and the cruel headmistress of her school, Miss Trunchbull, fail to recognize her potential. The book follows Matilda’s journey as she uses her wit and newfound telekinetic powers to overcome adversity and protect her kind-hearted teacher, Miss Honey. Important themes in the book include the power of knowledge, courage, and justice.


The strengths of “Matilda” lie in its memorable characters, engaging plot, and the use of wit and humor throughout the story. Roald Dahl’s unique writing style keeps readers engaged, while his use of literary devices such as irony, imagery, and foreshadowing adds depth to the narrative. The book is also notable for its exploration of social issues such as child abuse and the importance of education.

One of the weaknesses of the book is its somewhat unrealistic portrayal of Matilda’s telekinetic powers, which may make it harder for some readers to fully relate to the protagonist. However, this element adds a magical touch to the story that can inspire imagination and creativity in young readers.

In relation to the author’s life, “Matilda” was published in 1988, towards the end of Dahl’s career. It is often considered one of his greatest works, as it showcases his ability to create compelling characters and narratives that resonate with readers of all ages.


“Matilda” is a must-read for children and adults alike, as it offers valuable lessons on courage, resilience, and the importance of standing up for what is right. Fans of other Roald Dahl books, such as “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “James and the Giant Peach,” will undoubtedly enjoy this heartwarming tale. In comparison to other works in the same genre, “Matilda” stands out due to its unique blend of humor, magic, and real-world issues.

Comprehension and Analysis Questions:

        1. How does Matilda first discover her telekinetic powers?
          1. While practicing her reading
          2. During a confrontation with Miss Trunchbull
          3. When she becomes angry at her father
          4. In a dream
        2. What is the name of Matilda’s kind-hearted teacher?
          1. Miss Honey
          2. Miss Trunchbull
          3. Mrs. Phelps
          4. Mrs. Wormwood
        3. What theme does the book primarily explore?
          1. The power of knowledge
          2. The importance of friendship
          3. The consequences of greed
          4. The value of family


1. c, 2. a, 3. a


Awards and accolades:

“Matilda” has won numerous awards, including the Children’s Book Award in 1988. It has also become a best-selling book and has been adapted into a successful movie in 1996 and a popular Broadway musical in 2010.

Matilda the Movie poster

Functional details about the book:

    • ISBN: 978-0142410370
    • Number of pages: 240
    • Publisher: Puffin Books
    • First publish date: October 1, 1988
    • Adaptations: Movie (1996), Broadway musical (2010)
    • Genre: Children’s fiction, fantasy
    • BISAC Categories: Juvenile Fiction / Humorous Stories, Juvenile Fiction / Fantasy & Magic
    • Suggested Reading Age: 8 years and older

Other Reviews:

Where to buy the book:

Purchase “Matilda” on

Is this book part of a series?

No, “Matilda” is a standalone book.

About the author:

Roald Dahl was a British novelist, short-story writer, poet, and screenwriter, who is best known for his captivating children’s stories. Born in Wales in 1916, Dahl’s writing career began in the 1940s with works for adults. He gained widespread fame with his children’s books, which often feature dark humor, fantastical elements, and memorable characters. Some of his other best-selling books include “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “James and the Giant Peach,” and “The BFG.” Dahl has won numerous awards throughout his career and is often regarded as one of the greatest children’s authors of all time. He passed away in 1990.

Final Thoughts and Recommendation:

“Matilda” is a timeless story that will appeal to both children and adults due to its engaging characters, magical elements, and important messages about courage, resilience, and the power of knowledge. It is a must-read for fans of Roald Dahl and those who enjoy imaginative and heartwarming tales.