“So Matilda’s strong young mind continued to grow, nurtured by the voices of all those authors who had sent their books out into the world like ships on the sea. These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: You are not alone.”
“The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She went on olden-day sailing ships with Joseph Conrad. She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling. She travelled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village.”
“Matilda said, "Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it's unbelievable...”
“I'm right and you're wrong, I'm big and you're small, and there's nothing you can do about it.”
“It's a funny thing about mothers and fathers. Even when their own child is the most disgusting little blister you could ever imagine, they still think that he or she is wonderful.”
“I'm wondering what to read next." Matilda said. "I've finished all the children's books.”
“You seemed so far away," Miss Honey whispered, awestruck.
"Oh, I was. I was flying past the stars on silver wings," Matilda said. "It was wonderful.”
“Here it is,' Nigel said.
Mrs D, Mrs I, Mrs FFI, Mrs C, Mrs U, Mrs LTY. That spells difficulty.'
How perfectly ridiculous!' snorted Miss Trunchbull. 'Why are all these women married?”
“If you are good life is good.”
“All the reading she had done had given her a view of life that they had never seen.”
“I cannot for the life of me understand why small children take so long to grow up. I think they do it deliberately, just to annoy me.”
“Fiona has the same glacial beauty of an iceburg, but unlike the iceburg she has absolutely nothing below the surface.”
“And don’t worry about the bits you can’t understand. Sit back and allow the words to wash around you, like music.”
“A BOOK?! WHAT D'YOU WANNA FLAMING BOOK FOR?...WE'VE GOT A LOVELY TELLY WITH A 12-INCH SCREEN AND NOW YA WANNA BOOK!”
“Sometimes Matilda longed for a friend, someone like the kind, courageous people in her books.”
“From then on, Matilda would visit the library only once a week in order to take out new books and return the old ones. Her own small bedroom now became her reading-room and there she would sit and read most afternoons, often with a mug of hot chocolate beside her. She was not quite tall enough to reach things around in the kitchen, but she kept a small box in the outhouse which she brought in and stood on in order to get whatever she wanted. Mostly it was hot chocolate she made, warming the milk in a saucepan on the stove before mixing it. Occasionally she made Bovril or Ovaltine. It was pleasant to take a hot drink up to her room and have it beside her as she sat in her silent room reading in the empty house in the afternoons. The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling. She traveled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village.”
“You ignorant little slug!" the Trunchbull bellowed. "You witless weed! You empty-headed hamster! You stupid glob of glue!”
“Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it’s unbelievable.”
“Did you know", Matilda said suddenly, "that the heart of a mouse beats at the rate of six hundred and fifty times a second?"
I did not," Miss Honey said smiling. "How absolutely fascinating. Where did you read that?"
In a book from the library," Matilda said. "And that means it goes so fast that you can't even hear the separate beats. It must sound like a buzz."
It must," Miss Honey said.”
“I have found it impossible to talk to anyone about my problems. I couldn't face the embarrassment, and anyway I lack the courage. Any courage I had was knocked out of me when I was young. But now, all of sudden I have a sort of desperate wish to tell everything to somebody.”
“All the reading she had done had given her a view of life that they had never seen. If only they would read a little Dickens or Kipling they would soon discover there was more to life than cheating people and watching television.”
“A girl should think about making herself look attractive so she can get a good husband later on. Looks is more important than books, Miss Hunky..."
"The name is Honey," Miss Honey said.
"Now look at me," Mrs Wormwood said. "Then look at you. You chose books. I chose looks.”
“There's nothin' you can get from a book that you can't get from a television fastah!"
“There aren’t many funny bits in Mr Tolkien either,’ Matilda said.
‘Do you think that all children’s books ought to have funny bits in them?’ Miss Honey asked.
‘I do,’ Matilda said. ‘Children are not so serious as grown-ups and love to laugh.”
“I'm afraid men are not always quite as clever as they think they are. You will learn that when you get a bit older, my girl.”
“Both Matilda and Lavender were enthralled. It was quite clear to them that they were at this moment standing in the presence of a master. Here was somebody who had brought the art of skulduggery to the highest point of perfection, somebody, moreover, who was willing to risk life and limb in pursuit of her calling. They gazed in wonder at this goddess, and suddenly even the boil on her nose was no longer a blemish but a badge of courage.”
“There is little point in teaching anything backwards. The whole object of life, Headmistress, is to go forwards.”
“In any event, parents never underestimated the abilities of their own children. Quite the reverse. Sometimes it was well nigh impossible for a teacher to convince the proud father or mother that their beloved offspring was a complete nitwit.”
“I've always said to myself that if a little pocket calculator can do it why shouldn't I?”
“What she needed was just one person, one wise and sympathetic grown-up who could help her.”
“I need to stop getting into situations where all my options are potentially bad.”
“I have chiseled features. Look. Look how chiseled they are. And my teeth are at least as white as his. You seriously think he's good-lookin'?"
"I do," said Tanith.
"Right," Sanguine said and nodded. "I'm gonna kill him."
She kept her laugh soft so it wouldn't travel. "I think he's good-looking, but I think you're better looking."
"Oh," Sanguine said. "I mean, yeah. I am. I'm glad you noticed.”
“This is what it felt like to have a broken heart. It felt less like a cracking down the middle and more like she had swallowed it whole and it sat bruised and bleeding in the pit of her stomach.”
“and a tendency to take offense at an inefficient, suboptimal way of doing things.”
“She knew it was the right decision, even though she was still scared. Doing nothing would achieve nothing.”
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