Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.
- If you had powers like Matilda's, what would you do with them? Suppose you could move just one thing with your mind. What would it be?
- How would you react if the Trunchbull wandered into one of your classrooms?
- Who is the meanest character in the book? How are they mean? The nicest? What makes them nice?
- Look back at a few of the different pranks played in the book. Are they realistic? Could any of them really work? And which one's your favorite?
- Do you think there's too much violence in Matilda, compared to other kids' books? Is the amount of violence appropriate for most readers' age level?
- Are the books Mrs. Phelps gives to Matilda appropriate for a five-year-old to read? What would you add to this list? What would you remove?
- Do you think events like those in the book could ever happen? Why or why not?
- Could anyone besides Bruce Bogtrotter eat an entire chocolate cake?
- Would you call the end of the book a happy one? Why or why not?
- Do you think Miss Honey's explanation about why Matilda starts losing her special abilities at the end of the book makes sense?
- At what point in the book did you figure out the connection between Miss Honey and the Trunchbull?
- Do you agree with reviewers that the ending is "contrived" (see "What's Up With the Ending")? Why or why not?
- Do you think any of Matilda's pranks are mean spirited? Or are they totally deserved?