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Literary passion of Dartford's real-life Matilda Sebastian Beckham speaks volumes

Just like Roald Dahl's Matilda, when it comes to books Sebastian Beckham can't get enough of them.

At just eight years old, the Dartford youngster has read more than 500 - from Captain Underpants to the Harry Potter novels.

The youngster has been reading independently since he was five and now gets through at least one book a day.

Mum Rosa and Sebastian Beckham

Barely lifting his eyes from the page, the scholarly schoolboy is currently reading The Demon Dentist by David Walliams.

Sebastian, of Roman Road, said: "My favourite genre is fiction; the books transport me into another world."

The JK Rowling fan does not watch much television and does not play any video games.

He said: "There's more detail in the books then in the films or on television, I get to know the story more."

"It's easy to give in to the video games and let him watch television all the time, but if you persevere you will succeed..." - Sebastian's mother Rosa Beckham

Most children of Sebastian's age read just one book a week, which is monitored by teachers, but his speed is proving a challenge for his teachers at St Joseph Catholic Primary.

His mother Rosa said: "I must give credit to the library. They have a variety of books to choose from and it's fun for the kids to use their own cards and feel grown up.

"It's a great incentive for them. It's also free – books can become very expensive.

"It's easy to give in to the video games and let him watch television all the time, but if you persevere you will succeed."

Rosa was going to buy Sebastian an e-reader, giving him access to thousands of e-books in seconds, but she said: "It is important a child of this age gets the real feel of a book."

Sebastian isn't just a book worm – he enjoys trampolining, swimming and cycling. He is also a Cub and a keen animal lover.

When he grows up, he would like to be a paleontologist – a word he can spell perfectly.

His next challenge is a spelling bee, which mum Rosa thinks he will excel in as he always gets top marks for his spelling at school.

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