Why is Matilda referred to as a "gifted" girl?

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Matilda can be called a gifted girl because she is a very precocious, advanced child. She speaks perfectly by the time she's reached eighteen months, can read by the age of three, and is able to do complicated sums in her head when she's only five years old.

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By anyone's standards, Matilda is a very special child. By the age of eighteen months, she is able to speak perfectly and has a much wider vocabulary than most adults. Not that this impresses her nasty parents, of course. They just think she's an almighty chatterbox and tell her in no uncertain terms that little girls should be seen and not heard.

Another of Matilda's gifts is her remarkable reading ability. By the time she's reached the tender age of three, she's already taught herself to read by studying newspapers and magazines lying around the house. A year later, she develops a passion for reading. The problem, however, is that there's only one book in her house, Easy Cooking, which belongs to her mother.

After reading the book from cover to cover and learning all the recipes by heart, Matilda wants something else to read. So she asks her father if he'll buy her a book. It's fair to say that he's not exactly enthusiastic about it. As far as he's concerned, Matilda should be happy with the twelve-inch TV that they have.

As well as being literate and well-spoken, Matilda's also something of a math whizz. By the age of five, she's able to do complicated sums in her head, such as working out exactly how much money her father has made on selling used cars.

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