I have always been an avid reader. As a child I devoured pretty much any book I could get my sticky little hands on, showing very little discretion regarding genre or subject. That lack of preference faded the day I encountered the work of Roald Dahl.
To say I was obsessed with Dahl would be an understatement. After reading as many of his novels, short stories, and poetry collections as possible, I turned to books about his life. When I discovered that he died the day after I was born, the fires of my obsession intensified with the understanding that his spirit had somehow made its way into my newborn form. I wrote out his advice to writers on big sheets of butcher’s paper, copied out phrases from my favourite texts, and memorized poetic passages from anthologies.
Roald Dahl’s inventive use of language and boundless imagination entrances young readers and inspires all of us to preserve a magical spark of curiosity into adulthood. He encourages avid readers to keep reading, and coaxes reluctant ones into an interest in literature.
Our twenty-seventh reader first picked up Matilda (1998) as a Grade Four student. She found herself drawn to the title character’s ritualistic consumption of books and insatiable desire to read. Our reader revisited Dahl’s work as a Ph.D. student, and developed her doctoral thesis around the representation of food within Dahl’s fiction.
Join us for a wonderful conversation about Roald Dahl’s Matilda, his many other works of poetry and prose, the magic inherent in each of Dahl’s stories, and the powerful connection he establishes with his young readers.
The Daughter of Time (1951) – Josephine Tey