ViewPoint on Matilda!

When I first uploaded "Matilda" in the first week of May 1999, a parent sent me an email stating that he was disappointed to find a lesson promoting witchcraft. I subsequently removed the lesson.

Since then I have given much thought about the contents of the book ... I reread the relevant portions pertaining to Matilda's supernatural powers. Finally, I uploaded "Matilda" in the last week of May and let you (surfers) be the judge. Feedback was accepted till the end of June. Then I would decide (based on your feedback) whether to remove or retain it.

Below are archives of the viewpoints received. The first entry at the bottom of this page contains my thoughts and questions.

VERDICT: Matilda stays!

Monique Evans - 12/14/99

Comments: [Received after June]
Please keep in mind that Matilda is a purely fictional story. Cinderella had a fairy grandmother, does that make it witchcraft? To some people it may, but come on. Maybe the adult world needs everything to be clear-cut, politically correct and in no way offensive, but let's not corrupt children's minds with closed minded crap. I may be missing something, or maybe I don't count because I'm only 16 years old, but if I can recognize how ridiculous this sounds now, how is the rest of the world gonna react to this bull. It's one of my favorite stories ever ... get over it, keep the book.

Kari - 06/15/99 02:13:56

I wasn't comfortable with it. I would not let my children read this.

K Stone - 05/28/99 20:03:42

My children love fantasy and magical stories that keep life interesting. I'm glad you put this one back!

Margaret - 05/28/99 16:32:58

A wonderful story by an excellent author!

EL Comer - 05/26/99 18:05:30

I did not care for the magic but I would love to see none magical books used. You do such a good job of keeping it all interesting. Keep up the good work.

Alan S.L. Wong - 05/24/99 03:22:53

Is the book a description of past events that actually took place or is it simply a fictional story? If it is an imaginary story, will the children see it as such and nothing more?

The book did not label Matilda's power as witchcraft (see Deut. 18:10-13). However, Miss Honey did issue this warning, "... we must tread very carefully from now on ... because we are playing with mysterious forces ... that we know nothing about. I don't think they are evil. They may be good. They may even be divine ..."

In the exercise of Matilda's power, are the details given as descriptive or prescriptive. In other words, are the details intended as steps that the reader should follow or practise or simply as things described? Can the children who read the book tell he difference? Will children attempt to follow the "steps"? Are the "steps" real or made up? Does it matter if the children imitate the fictitious steps in a playful manner?

Finally, my lesson is on reading comprehension and vocabulary ... nothing more is intended. As a writer, I know there will be people who do not agree with my views.

Minka - 10/22/06 06:04:02
Country or City: Slovenia

I can't agree with some opinions (but that's what opinions are all about). Remove Little Red Riding Hood from the libraries and Snow White and ... you know ... or let the magic stay and don't mess the books with the "wicked adult minds". Matilda is great as well as fairy tales and other stories with some magic in them. Children are far from stupid. And some people are just too grown up. Thanks for your work.

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