Best Books for ages 10-14 #2: Matilda by Roald Dahl (1988)

Matilda tells the story of a brilliantly intelligent young girl growing up in a family that doesn’t appreciate her. Matilda struggles to make herself heard by her parents, and her teacher, Miss Honey, wants to get her access to the work she needs to fulfil her educational needs. Funny and dark, Dahl’s sense of humour is as strong here as ever. Matilda is a modern heroine who uses every method possible to achieve her ends and get revenge on the adults who treat her badly.

Whilst Matilda is definitely a book for children, the themes of discovering who you are and being repressed by those who do not understand you will resonate with teens everywhere. At times silly but never trite, Matilda is a favourite for people of all ages and stages.

The 1996 film by Danny DeVito was a big hit, but in 2010, ‘Matilda’ was adapted into a very successful musical with lyrics by talented comedian Tim Minchin. The musical, which achieved critical and popular acclaim on the West End, features songs such as ‘When I Grow Up’. It won seven Olivier awards and five Tony awards on its transfer to Broadway.

By the same author: ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, ‘The BFG’ and many more.



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