Matilda months ago but one day we were home and I decided to rent the movie. Since he knew how the story ended, he told me he no longer needed to finish reading the book but I decided I would finish it solo.
I never read this one growing up but from what I'd heard about the movie - which I also hadn't seen until we recently watched it - it was about a girl with magic powers. Unfortunately, what was a charmingly delightful children's movie was actually significantly darker in book form. Matilda is being raised by a neglectful mother obsessed with bingo and her looks and a crooked car dealer of a father. The book starts out with Matilda playing pranks on her dad to teach him a lesson about being an unsavory person. She's also a very gifted child and is taken under the wing of a sweet teacher named Miss Honey. Miss Honey's terrible aunt is The Trunchbull who also happens to be the horrendous head mistress of Matilda's school who torments children for a living. Matilda realizes she has mental telepathy and can move objects with her mind. She uses these powers to seek revenge on The Trunchbull and then everyone lives happily ever after.
I do not recommend this book for children. Casey recoiled when I read about The Trunchbull being a big old bully to the kids at the school, doing things like spinning them around by their pig tails and throwing them out of windows. There is a lot of time spent on describing how terrible Matilda's parents are and it borders on being tedious. This book is also very British and there are quite a few words that were big even for me. I'm interested in reading Witches next but I'm starting to wonder if Roald Dahl's works are just a bit too mature for the kiddo. It was pretty clear he was not into Matilda pretty much from the jump but I thought it would get better and it never did. Lesson learned.