The books I read when I was a kid have had the most lasting impact on my life. I think this can be said for many people. I know that it can be said for Roald Dahl’s Matilda. After all, he wrote:
So Matilda’s strong young mind continued to grow, nurtured by voices of all those authors who had sent their books out into the world like ships on the sea. These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: You are not alone.
This is probably why Matilda was my favorite Dahl book growing up. Matilda and I shared similar views on reading. Well, that, plus she could move things with her mind. A power that I intensely wanted as a child (and, to be honest, continue to as an adult).
I enjoyed all of Dahl’s books. I never looked at peach pits the same way again, always interested to find out if there was a party going on inside. I often sent thoughts of thanks to the BFG after a particularly good dream. I checked all my chocolate bars for golden tickets, just in case there was a contest going on that hadn’t been publicized. And looking back on it, though I held no love for Veruca, her experience in the Nut Room may have been what first got me looking at squirrels a little bit more carefully.
Still, it was bookish Matilda who won my heart. I didn’t even mind that at the end she was no longer telekinetic, as she was using more of her brain for school related activities. Because I knew, deep in my heart, that if she ever really needed it again, her power would return. In the mean time, being smart and happy was more than enough.
I think it was in The Minpins that Dahl wrote:
And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.
Well thanks to Dahl and other authors of his ilk, I’ve always believed.
What about you?