Our very favorite children’s books left an irreversible impression on our childhoods and on our lives. Some of our most cherished storybook characters are so real and palpable in our memory that it feels as if we were introduced to them yesterday. Beyond being gloriously entertaining though, the very best children’s books also helped us understand the world around us. Over the years, they shaped our imaginations, our aspirations and our sense of right and wrong.

“Knowledge is the most powerful weapon.” — Roald Dahl’s Matilda | Roald Dahl’s stories so often revolve around children who are smarter than the worlds they inhabit, and in Matilda, we meet the quintessential example of this theme. Despite Matilda’s superhuman wit, she is constantly bullied and belittled by her family. Her passion for reading sustains her and eventually becomes her best weapon. Indeed, as the narrator says, “All the reading she had done had given her a view of life that they had never seen.” Matilda learns to deftly manipulate the cruel, ignorant adults around her. We bet all bookworms finished “Matilda” wondering just how many books they’d have to read before they too could levitate their teacher’s chalk.

from The Huffington Post’s 9 Life Lessons Everyone Can Learn From These Beloved Classic Children’s Books