“The Reader of Books” & “Mr. Wormwood, the Great Car Dealer”

Alright, let’s do this! I have read the first two chapters of “Matilda,” and, hopefully, you did too.

In “The Reader of Books” and “Mr. Wormwood, the Great Car Dealer,” we are introduced to Matilda at the young age of one and a half years old, and we quickly follow her story up until she is about five years old. We discover that Matilda is an incredibly bright, sensitive, and brilliant girl who has taught herself to read using magazines and newspapers lying around her parents’ house. When she has committed the only book in her house, a cookbook no less, to memory, she decides to go off in search of more books. Matilda walked herself to the library every day – while her mother was off playing bingo in another town – just so she could read (keeping in mind that she’s barely five years old at this point – this girl is independent and strong). With horrid parents and an older brother to keep her company, it’s no surprise that Matilda got tired of her family treating her like she’s ignorant and worth nothing. The end of chapter two leaves us with Matilda’s anger boiling under the surface – and she decides to do something productive *chaotic* with that anger.

What we know about Matilda so far:

  • She was talking at an academic level from an early age, approximately one and a half.
  • She taught herself to read by the time she was three, and she became a voracious reader at the age of four.
  • She’s independent, brilliant, and incredibly strong.
  • She enjoys taunting her father with her words – and maybe more.

Characters we have met so far (other than Matilda):

  • Mr. Wormwood: Matilda’s father, a bully, used car salesman, doesn’t understand why his daughter likes reading so much, doesn’t really like his daughter, a liar and a cheat, angry a lot of the time
  • Mrs. Wormwood: Matilda’s mother, likes bingo… a lot, always sides with her husband
  • Michael: Matilda’s older brother (by about five years), naive, likes the crookery his father participates in
  • Mrs. Phelps: the librarian, kind, the first supportive figure in Matilda’s life
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