I'd never read Matilda by Roald Dahl, nor seen the movie. The book came out in 1988, so I was 12 and a little older than the target audience. Still, I know I read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory around that time and loved it; i'm not sure why i didn't tear my way through all the Dahl that was out at that point.
Matilda is about a little girl, Matilda, who's a proper genius. She teaches herself to read then reads her way through the library. By the time she starts school, she's reading (and enjoying) Dickens and is superb at math. Unfortunately she's saddled with terrible parents (her father sells used cars at inflated prices by nefarious means) who pretty much hate her and think she's an idiot and hate books, “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!” says her dad.
Her teacher, Miss Honey, is as sweet as her name though and Matilda takes it upon herself to fight the Headmistress, the Trunchbull, on Miss Honey's behalf.
I actually listened to this on audiobook, read by Rob Inglis, and afterword realized it was a little strange to have a book about a little girl, with mainly female characters (Matilda's father and brother are basically the only males) read by a man. I wonder if the narrator was considered male because Dahl was male?
I did love this little book and it's on my list to send on to the nieces! a 6 from me.