A recent article in The Guardian about “school stories,” got me thinking.

Andy Milligan,w ho won The Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize listed his Top 10 “school stories,” which a former teacher of his said “were
collectively preposterous because school was predictable, safe and
filled to the brim with timetabled tedium. The teacher was cross that
writers were pulling off some kind of con-trick, and yearned for a book
that showed school as it really was.” http://bit.ly/Odiuu3

 How odd – surely the lure of stories is that they let children see how things might be, could be, and even will be!  John Shea, that wonderful storyteller, maintains that :

one tells a story not to educate or
indoctrinate, but to illuminate, to enchant the reader or listener into the
world of the story in the hope that when they emerge from the story, they do so
with an enhanced view of the possibilities of their lives.” 
In other words – great stories give children a big dollop of hope and cheer – a way of dealing with all of life’s tears and trials that come their way.
  My favorite school stories from childhood were probably the Enid Blyton Mallory Towers Series – a boarding school with twins and midnight feasts, completely unrelated to my little Scottish primary school – and that’s why I loved them!
 When my girls were little, their favorite “school story” (I’m using the term loosely here) was- of course, non other than – 

As Jane Yolen said, “Literature is prismatic. 
Light shines through the excellent books or dances off and the rainbow
it gives shine on and on in a child’s life in a thousand different ways.”
How can we ever stop loving a little book-loving girl like MATILDA!  Thank you Mr. Dahl!