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Matilda by Roald Dahl

Five-and-a-half-year-old trickster, Matilda, resorts to pranks such as gluing her father’s hat to his head or bleaching his hair in revenge for their rude and neglectful manner toward her. (This dragon knows something about a well-executed prank.) Matilda’s only refuge is the library (I too have a library where I take refuge, it’s a wonderful dwelling), where she immerses herself into stories. Until she befriends her teacher, Jennifer Honey, who is astonished at Matilda’s intelligence.

As their friendship blossoms Matilda learns that Miss Honey is treated cruelly by Agatha Trunchbull, headmistress at her new school and also Miss Honey’s aunt. Matilda develops a strong disdain for the tyrannical Headmistress Trunchbull, who has taken to terrorizing students like a dragon flying over helpless towns and frightening villagers on a raid. (Delightful fun—although this dragon would never fling children as though it was a hammer-throwing champion.)

This delightful story is far from predictable. While the plot has fantastical elements, Matilda is a caring child who stands up for others against bullies. An engaging read for those who enjoy a battle between stupidity, selfishness, and malevolence versus intellect, valor, and kindness. This dragon gives the story two claws up.

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