Dear Matilda…

Dear Matilda,

When I was younger, I was awed by your maths skills. Here I was, barely managing long division on paper while you unravelled complicated calculations in your head. In some ways, I was like you — happiest with my nose buried within the pages of a book — but in a lot of other ways, I wanted to be like you.

I tripped over those very words written by Hemingway and Dickens that you enjoyed. Where a scary situation had me running away, there you were facing it head on. And while I questioned my every step, you were the first one to believe in your abilities.

You made me laugh, too. My favourite moment of yours was when you snuck into the living room, playing into your family’s fear that the house was haunted. And the superglue in the hat? Classic.

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A Quick Guide to Roald Dahl Reads

Happy Roald Dahl day! Mr Dahl was born on this day, 101 years ago. If you’ve been around here a while, you might know that I’ve found a friend or two in his writing, but if you’re still waiting to dive into his books, here is a list to help you choose the right book for the right occasion.

For an adventure, try…

James and the Giant Peach. If you’re in the mood to travel but feel too cosy at home, this is the book for you. Get ready for a wild journey with a tinge of magic, a series of mad schemes, and a very unusual cast of characters.

The BFG. The ingredients (magic… mad plans… unusual characters…) are the same, the story wildly different. But both books dare you to be brave, and to follow your dreams even if they take you in unexpected directions.

For an empowering read, try…

Matilda. It’s a story of mind over matter, sprinkled with moments of humour and hope. It encourages you to persevere, to believe in your abilities, and to stand up for what you believe in. It also makes a pretty good case for reading all the books you can get your hands on!

“Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog.” — Matilda to her friend Lavender

For something uplifting, try…

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