Transcontinental Summer Reading



Recalling a favorite book from childhood is easy; trickier is remembering your younger self’s exact reaction to it. We canvassed young readers from across the globe to find out what they thought of their latest summer read. Review the rest of the series here.

Name: Fiona
Age: Nine
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Reading selection: Matilda, by Roald Dahl

What was the book about?

A little girl who had very bad parents and had the power of controlling things with her mind. She was very intelligent and was adopted by her teacher in the end. At first her teacher was very poor, but Matilda helped her win her inheritance from the mean head teacher. Matilda played tricks on the head teacher that are funny and made the head teacher scream.

What was your favorite part?

When Matilda picked up some chalk with her special power and wrote a message on the blackboard to scare the head teacher into running away.

Why did you decide to read this book?

Because Roald Dahl is a very good writer and I have already seen the movie of the same story. I have read a lot of Roald Dahl's books and I like his stories.

What do you think happens after the end of the book?

I think Matilda will live quite happily with her teacher.

If you could meet the author, what would you want to ask him, and why?

What inspired you to write Matilda?

Did any bad things happen in the book? Why did they happen?

Matilda’s real Mum and Dad left her behind with her teacher when they moved to Spain. This happened because her Dad was a car dealer who played all sorts of tricks with old cars to make them look nice, then he sold them for high prices. Then he had to leave town in a hurry. 

Which character in this book was most like you?


Fill in the blank:

I like books better than chocolate, but I like trolls more than books.

If you were writing this book, how would you have ended it?

Just the way Roald Dahl ended it!

What do you think was the hardest part about writing this book for the author?

Thinking of the characters, because they’re so interesting.


TMN Editor Bridget Fitzgerald lives, works, and generally makes merry in San Francisco. More by Bridget Fitzgerald