Matilda by Roald Dahl is the story of a neglected genius with hidden powers.
Matilda's parents don't realize that she is an exceptional child -- they're only interested in watching television and making money. Matilda's extraordinary intelligence is noticed only by the local librarian -- and, when Matilda starts school, her teacher Miss Honey. But the headmistress of the school, Miss Trunchbull, unfairly pegs Matilda as a troublemaker. While being bored out of her wits in the kindergarten class (Miss Trunchbull won't let Matilda move up to a more suitable grade), Matilda learns that she can do amazing things with the power of her brain. Can Matilda solve her own problems, and Miss Honey's as well?
Confession time: I've never been a Roald Dahl fan. Some kids read everything by him that they can get their hands on. I remember one of my cousins talking about his books with a sort of evangelical fervor, but I just never cared much for him while I was growing up. (This may have been because I was a stubborn and contrary child, and if a book was recommended to me too often, I resisted reading it.) Now, as an adult and a children's librarian, I am quickly catching up on some of his books because I have to do a classroom visit featuring Roald Dahl. I'm enjoying his books now, and I probably would have enjoyed them as a child, if I had given them half a chance. Don't be stubborn like me, kids!
(Reviewed from a copy borrowed through my library system.)