Matilda is an extraordinarily gifted four-year-old whose parents, a crass, dishonest used-car dealer and a self-centered, blowsy bingo addict, regard her as “nothing more than a scab.”
Life with her beastly parents is bearable only because Matilda teaches herself to read, finds the public library, and discovers literature.
Also, Matilda loves using her lively intelligence to perpetrate daring acts of revenge on her father.
This pastime she further develops when she enrolls in Crunchem Hall Primary School, whose headmistress, MissTrunchbull, is “a fierce tyrannical monster . . . .”