Roald Dahl is my favorite author. Period. (Sorry Shakespeare.) I have a very clear memory of when I discovered him. When I was a whole lot shorter than I am now I lived in a cow town up in Washington state. My friends all lived at least an hour away, so I spent a lot of my time with my two imaginary friends (we were triplets) climbing trees, making Halloween decorations, drawing, and of course reading. Reading was my absolute favorite pastime. My dad went away for a business trip to England and brought me back two books. Matilda (which was recently released at the time), and The Witches. I totally devoured these books. They were dark, they had the best (and the scariest) villains, they were absolutely absurd, and they were totally empowering.
I was particularly fond of Matilda, which has been published for 25 years this year if you can believe it! As a young and nerdy reader I could identify with Matilda reading hours in the library. I thought she was lovely because despite all the horrible and truly sad things that happened to this poor girl, she used her cleverness to pull off some truly wicked tricks (like lining her dad's hat with superglue) to get even with those who bullied her.
I went on to read all of Roald Dahl's children's books and many of his short stories for adults. I cherish his middlegrade novels best of all. No one will top the level of absurdity, the truly dark and sinister characters he wrote about, and the phenomenal ways the child protagonist conquers all.
I'm grateful that Roald Dahl wrote such brilliant stories.
Anyhow, after getting all blubbery about the best book in the whole wide world (to me that is.) My question to you is, what was your favorite book when you were a kid? Is it still a favorite? Do you remember when you first read it?
And indulge me if you remember when you read Matilda for the first time. And then you will officially be one of my besties.