I have to wonder about Roald Dahl's childhood. His evil adult characters had to have come from his own nightmares. The kids always win against the grownups, though. Maybe that's why Dahl's books are so popular. Isn't it every kid's dream to get back at the big people who get to control your life just because they're big and you're little? Some of Dahl's grownups are so absurdly cruel, it emphasizes the fact that there are a lot of adults who should not be allowed near children. (I'm thinking of Mrs. Nail, my first grade teacher. Yes, I am still bitter!) Matilda is an extremely precocious little girl with idiotic parents. She finds hilarious ways to get back at them for treating her badly, and they're too stupid to figure out she's the culprit. When she's old enough to go to school, she encounters the headmistress known as The Trunchbull. The Trunchbull is the meanest of the mean. She's even worse than the aunts in James and the Giant Peach. She picks kids up by their hair and swings and flings them. She's so bad that I'd classify this as a YA book rather than children's. When The Trunchbull unleashes her abuse on Matilda's class, Matilda discovers a special power that gets rid of the Trunchbull forever. Next time I see a kid staring intently at something, I'll think they're trying to move it with their eyes. I know I would have tried it constantly if I'd read this book as a child. Maybe I still will try it. One never knows...Matilda really hits the jackpot, because she also gets to ditch her lousy parents and brother, and live happily ever after with her beloved teacher, Miss Honey.I give this 4.5 stars, but I'm not feeling stingy enough to nitpick over half a star. Besides, it held me spellbound, so that's worth extra points.