Okay, first off I don't know why it's taken me so long to read MATILDA. My only excuse? There are a lot of great middle grade books out there. However, every time I watch the Danny DeVito film version I promise myself I will read the book. So now I have. Did I enjoy it? Absolutely. I love Roald Dahl's whimsically fun voice. Is MATILDA perfect? Absolutely not. I know I am treading on hallowed ground with some people, and to those people I extend my heartfelt apologies, but for me MATILDA does have a few issues. The dialog is often stilted and unrealistic. Yes, I know it's a fantasy, but the characters should still speak like real human beings. The writing style is overly simplistic for today's middle grade reader, although I am certain it was appropriate for its time. It seems to have multiple antagonists. You think it's her father at first, then later on its the Trunchbull. Matilda's goal early on is ill-defined, and there is no central goal throughout the book. And finally, the ending is too abrupt for my taste. I would have loved for there to be a "...and they lived happily ever after...", or some such thing. As for the Matilda herself, I loved her character, but do we really want to teach kids that it is all right to take revenge on their parents if their parents do something they don't like? Yes, she had terrible parents, but that's poor justification. For all of these reasons I gave it four stars and not five, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it. It is fun and funny, heartwarming and touching. Is it perfect? No. But I'll take a billion imperfectly perfect books just like it.