Friday 10 March 2017

ReadItDaddy's Chapter Book of the Week - Week Ending 10th March 2017 - "The Demon Headmaster (Book1)" by Gillian Cross

So this is where it all began! Our Chapter Book of the Week is the fantastic "The Demon Headmaster" by Gillian Cross...
The subject of many childhood nightmares, and (we suspect) one of the most nefarious 'baddies' in children's book history - he's back in an all new adventure very soon.

But we came about making this a book of the week in a slightly roundabout way. You see, we've read an early proof of the upcoming "The Demon Headmaster: Total Control" by Gillian Cross (which isn't even out yet!) and Charlotte was so addicted to the story that she absolutely had to buy the first book herself to see how it all began.

The first book starts out with Dinah, newly fostered by the Hunter family and about to start a new school. Dinah thinks her biggest problem will be fitting in with her foster-brothers, Lloyd and Harvey who are typical boys, usually up to no good.

However, her new school is a very odd place. It's clear that there's more to the place than meets the eye. All the children, apart from a handful including Lloyd and Harvey, are too well-behaved-robotic almost-and oddly keen to please the creepy headmaster. What on earth is going on?

Dinah, Lloyd and Harvey suspect that there's more to the charismatic head than just a winning way with the pupils and teachers. They're absolutely determined to find out just what is going on. 

Gripping, and setting up a book series that wowed me as a miscreant youth, and also entertained my brother and sister in equal measure. Now it's fantastic to see Charlotte taking to Gillian's brilliant writing style like a duck to water, absolutely eating up this book in just a couple of sittings (She's worse than me, she's like a reading MACHINE!)

Pretty sure we'll be grabbing the rest of the series now. Utterly mind-bendingly brilliant

Charlotte's best bit: A close encounter with the head early on for Dinah is a jaw-droppingly tense moment

Daddy's favourite bit: Books that have stood the test of time are rare, particularly in chapter book form but this is timelessly and breathlessly brilliant. Now all we need is a new movie or TV series, but something tells me it'd never quite be as good without Terrence Rattigan!

"The Demon Headmaster (Book 1)" is out now, published by OUP / Oxford Children's Books. 

(Self purchased)