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Dinah moves in with the Hunter family and starts going to the same school as her foster-brothers Lloyd and Harvey. It's not easy, as they seem to hate her, and school is really strange. Pupils suddenly talk like robots and do weird things - even Dinah finds herself acting oddly. She's sure the headmaster has some kind of power over them, and is determined to find out more. Dinah moves in with the Hunter family and starts going to the same school as her foster-brothers Lloyd and Harvey. It's not easy, as they seem to hate her, and school is really strange. Pupils suddenly talk like robots and do weird things - even Dinah finds herself acting oddly. She's sure the headmaster has some kind of power over them, and is determined to find out more. But the Demon Headmaster is equally determined to stop her.


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Dinah moves in with the Hunter family and starts going to the same school as her foster-brothers Lloyd and Harvey. It's not easy, as they seem to hate her, and school is really strange. Pupils suddenly talk like robots and do weird things - even Dinah finds herself acting oddly. She's sure the headmaster has some kind of power over them, and is determined to find out more. Dinah moves in with the Hunter family and starts going to the same school as her foster-brothers Lloyd and Harvey. It's not easy, as they seem to hate her, and school is really strange. Pupils suddenly talk like robots and do weird things - even Dinah finds herself acting oddly. She's sure the headmaster has some kind of power over them, and is determined to find out more. But the Demon Headmaster is equally determined to stop her.

30 review for The Demon Headmaster

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mir

    ...and by Demon Cross really means Mean and Scary. There are no actual demonic entities, and no souls are eternally damned in the making of this book. In fact, it isn't even very scary -- rather unrealistically so, given the premise. I mean, imagine you are little kid at a new school. Your new foster brothers drop ominous hints and are clearly afraid of the headmaster and other students. On your first day, all the other kids are strangely regimented and won't speak to you. You get physically man ...and by Demon Cross really means Mean and Scary. There are no actual demonic entities, and no souls are eternally damned in the making of this book. In fact, it isn't even very scary -- rather unrealistically so, given the premise. I mean, imagine you are little kid at a new school. Your new foster brothers drop ominous hints and are clearly afraid of the headmaster and other students. On your first day, all the other kids are strangely regimented and won't speak to you. You get physically manhandled by the precepts, and then dragged to the head's office. Afterward you can't remember what happened. Likewise, think about life for the two boys: every day they go to a school where they are shut in a room while all the other zombie-like children conduct some secret activities. The slightest misbehavior leads to physical abuse, such as being forced out into the snow for an extended period with no coat or gloves. Their parents absolutely refuse to listen and insist the school is wonderful. The scenario is nightmarish. In execution, it comes across as merely stressful and slightly scary. In real life a child in these conditions would probably have a break-down or at least display some weird behavioral disorders. But I guess they are English or something so they are keeping their chins up or whatever. There isn't enough character development to be certain. Anyway, it is a very short and slight book, an entertaining quick read that doesn't contain anything graphic or too frightening for younger kids. If you found this title looking for something actually demonic or scary related to school, try The Dead Boy Detectives, The Dreaming, or Evil Librarian. (The last is the most infernal but the least scary.)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Csy

    I first picked up The Demon Headmaster when I was in Grade 2, and of course, my grade 2 self loved it. It contained everything... suspense, supernatural, action, and most importantly, an evil villian that was easy to relate to. I mean, it's not uncommon for a 7/8 year-old to have dreams of world domination. It’s been quite a few years, and this book has been imposed onto me as a compulsory reader. The following is written from my current perspective. Firstly, I have to say that I didn’t enjoy this I first picked up The Demon Headmaster when I was in Grade 2, and of course, my grade 2 self loved it. It contained everything... suspense, supernatural, action, and most importantly, an evil villian that was easy to relate to. I mean, it's not uncommon for a 7/8 year-old to have dreams of world domination. It’s been quite a few years, and this book has been imposed onto me as a compulsory reader. The following is written from my current perspective. Firstly, I have to say that I didn’t enjoy this book as much the second time round. The plot was rather well developed, and I credit Gillian Cross that, but various characters lacked dimension. I couldn’t really justify their actions, and to a certain extent, it contradicts with the initial image presented. The idea of supernatural abilities such as hypnosis in order to achieve the aspiration of world domination isn't that original and having been exposed to many more similar books, I would say that the motives of the villain (The headmaster) are rather bland and honestly, making a speech in a TV show probably wouldn’t be the best way of achieving it. If the SPLAT members couldn’t be hypnotized, wouldn’t there be much more people around the world who were immune? Not all citizens would be watching the show – would this method really be that effective? And if it’s not, then how smart is the Headmaster, exactly? I would rate this a 3, however it bears certain significance to me as a 2nd grader. I guess I was intrigued by the series and completed it, and would recommend this for younger readers. Taking the target audience and everything else into account, I guess a 4 would be a justified rating.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Merwa1

    The demon headmaster is a very spooky book that will captivate children from the start. Dinah Glass starts at a new school and finds it to be very out of the ordinary. None of the children play typical games in the playground; they just stand around in circles, memorising multiplication tables and dates of kings and queens of England. Her two new foster brothers seem very nervous of the Headmaster and she soon finds out why when she meets him herself. Tall and thin in his black gown, with white The demon headmaster is a very spooky book that will captivate children from the start. Dinah Glass starts at a new school and finds it to be very out of the ordinary. None of the children play typical games in the playground; they just stand around in circles, memorising multiplication tables and dates of kings and queens of England. Her two new foster brothers seem very nervous of the Headmaster and she soon finds out why when she meets him herself. Tall and thin in his black gown, with white hair and black glasses, he isn't a very comfortable character to spend any time with. This unnatural and odd atmosphere is enough to allow children to explore a very strange setting where their imagination will truly unravel. Suitable for children aged 9-10, this magical and mystique adventure will allow them to explore the world of hypnotism and investigation-something that will really get them thinking. The descriptive language is effective for increasing vocabulary as well as creating a very intriguing scene where children can pick up on various emotions. This book would be great for learning about the tone and atmosphere a book can create. The sinister feel will surely open up a new world of writing for children.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Abigail

    Lloyd and Harry Harvey worry that their new foster-sister Dinah will become one of "them" - the oddly well-behaved children at their school. Children who act in a strangely robotic fashion, and who when asked, will invariably respond "He (the headmaster) is a marvellous man and this is the best school I've ever been to". Their concern seems warranted at first, as Dinah appears to fall into step with the majority. But no one, not Lloyd and Harvey, not their small group of misfit friends, and cert Lloyd and Harry Harvey worry that their new foster-sister Dinah will become one of "them" - the oddly well-behaved children at their school. Children who act in a strangely robotic fashion, and who when asked, will invariably respond "He (the headmaster) is a marvellous man and this is the best school I've ever been to". Their concern seems warranted at first, as Dinah appears to fall into step with the majority. But no one, not Lloyd and Harvey, not their small group of misfit friends, and certainly not the headmaster, counted on Dinah's stubborn streak, and it soon emerges that the headmaster is using hypnotism to control the students and teachers. But to what end? This is an interesting exploration, in school-story format, of the conflict between order and freedom. The headmaster's motto: "The man who can keep order can rule the world," is as succinct an expression of this polar antagonism as the novel achieves. Despite its philosophical underpinnings however, I found that I didn't really enjoy The Demon Headmaster as a story. The characters felt a little flat, and I couldn't work up any sense of excitement or suspense. This may be one of those titles that doesn't translate well for adults.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    Second Review: 4th July - 5th July 2016 So, this is a pretty famous series, but it's also very average. Not too say I didn't enjoy myself or Gillian Cross' crazy tale of hypnosis in an eighties' English comprehensive school, but the characterisation isn't brilliant and the writing middling. However, for its target audience I do recommend and if you wanna check it out too, it's all good! First Review: August 7th 2014 On the surface, The Demon Headmaster is a ever so slightly depressing, creepy book Second Review: 4th July - 5th July 2016 So, this is a pretty famous series, but it's also very average. Not too say I didn't enjoy myself or Gillian Cross' crazy tale of hypnosis in an eighties' English comprehensive school, but the characterisation isn't brilliant and the writing middling. However, for its target audience I do recommend and if you wanna check it out too, it's all good! First Review: August 7th 2014 On the surface, The Demon Headmaster is a ever so slightly depressing, creepy book about a hypnotising, evil headteacher with plans for world domination. However, delve deeper, and you may find Gillian Cross has raised some important issues (social control, about the fact that the music we listen to, the television programmes we worship and the books we read influence our daily lives in more than one way, and about discipline and creativity... Slightly unnerving for a simple, short children's book.) that indeed are influenced by Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, referenced several times within the pages. And as for its quality? It's okay. It's memorable, certainly with its secret messages, but its writing style feels too childish for the subject matter. Maybe another children's author could've have portrayed the ideas better.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Dinah Glass starts a new school where things are very strange. The children act in a robotic and unnerving way, seemingly lead by the strange, fierce and intimidating headmaster. Dinah begins to suspect that something is not quite right in the school, particularly surrounding the headmaster. When she voices her concern to her peers they all reply with exactly the same phrase, 'the headmaster is a wonderful man...'The story unfolds and Dinah finds that her suspicions were correct, this is no ordi Dinah Glass starts a new school where things are very strange. The children act in a robotic and unnerving way, seemingly lead by the strange, fierce and intimidating headmaster. Dinah begins to suspect that something is not quite right in the school, particularly surrounding the headmaster. When she voices her concern to her peers they all reply with exactly the same phrase, 'the headmaster is a wonderful man...'The story unfolds and Dinah finds that her suspicions were correct, this is no ordinary school. I read this story when I was in Year 6, and found the book equally compelling and unnerving. Now I can see how social injustices are brought up in a way that is accessible to children. For example, the 'perfect' prefects are bullies and kick over Dinah's sickly step brother in the snow; it arises deep hatred and knowing for right and wrong in a child. The underlying story was also quite original at the time, the idea of hypnotism to create a 'perfect' school is creative and interesting to an upper key stage 2 child.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Quinkling

    This was one of my favourite books (and television programmes!) when I was growing up. I found a copy in a charity shop and couldn't resist rereading it. It's just as good as I remember, if a little dated in places. The children are wonderfully idiosyncratic and real, and the Demon Headmaster fabulously scary.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Praiz Sophyronja

    I read this in 2005/06 over and over again! I just stumbled onto it on my TL. Damn, this is so nostalgic...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne Dia

    It IS for children, which is probably why I didn't like it much, the main idea -about an evil headmaster..etc- is nice, but in general, it wasn't to my liking. But I think kids would enjoy it, I like the questions in the school contest thingy, although I couldn't get any of them, lol. And Black banana how I like cursing using food instead of other bad words XD

  10. 4 out of 5

    Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance

    Dinah knows something is wrong as soon as she arrives in her new school. Everything is too orderly, and no one steps out of line. But what is going on? This novel for early science fiction readers takes on issues of conformity and power and control. A 1001 Children's Book You Must Read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tom Hubbard

    Good.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Livash Ramduth

    My second review is of Gillian Cross’s story, The Demon Headmaster. This story is largely set in a school environment which is ideal in allowing students to utilise their imaginations as it’s a setting they are familiar with. The story follows Dinah Glass, a new student at school, and she finds it a very strange place right from the start. The children seem different; the games they play aren’t those that Dinah expected. In fact, the children seem to spend play time just memorising facts and rec My second review is of Gillian Cross’s story, The Demon Headmaster. This story is largely set in a school environment which is ideal in allowing students to utilise their imaginations as it’s a setting they are familiar with. The story follows Dinah Glass, a new student at school, and she finds it a very strange place right from the start. The children seem different; the games they play aren’t those that Dinah expected. In fact, the children seem to spend play time just memorising facts and reciting time’s tables. Her suspicions are only further raised when she meets the headmaster. He is described in great detail as a character that isn’t too comfortable to be around. During her first meeting, Dinah is informed that she fell asleep however she knows and feels that something is not quite right. Dinah begins to get more and more suspicious and begins to ask questions, however her fellow students all answer in the same controlled fashion when prompted, as if under a spell or something. Dinah instincts tell her, undoubtedly, that something is wrong, so she sets out to find out what’s going on. In her attempts to discover the truth she tries to win the confidence of her two step brothers (Lloyd and Harvey) to help her investigate the strange occurrences at the school. Dinah discovers with the help of her friends that the headmaster has set out to hypnotise the school (students and teachers). Helping her were her friends who were the only students who immune to hypnosis like she was. However, she was the driving force they needed actually investigate the weird occurrences. Eventually, Dinah and co discover that the headmaster had bigger plans, plans to hypnotise the entire country via the means of a TV programme. I think this is a great book aimed at the older primary school students (year 5 or 6) and it is very powerful in getting children to use their imagination and develop a new image of a setting they are so familiar with. The great detail used in describing characters, events and settings is a great example to fall back on when teaching children about descriptive writing.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Carina

    'The Demon Headmaster' by Gillian Cross is an exciting story that both boys and girls would enjoy. It is the first of a series of books based on Dinah's war with the headmaster of her school, who uses his powers of hypnotism to try to take over the whole country through television. Dinah and her gang named 'SPLAT', who are immune to the headmaster's powers of hypnotism, plot to stop him. This book is suitable for children of 9 years and above, because of the theme of hypnotism which may be sligh 'The Demon Headmaster' by Gillian Cross is an exciting story that both boys and girls would enjoy. It is the first of a series of books based on Dinah's war with the headmaster of her school, who uses his powers of hypnotism to try to take over the whole country through television. Dinah and her gang named 'SPLAT', who are immune to the headmaster's powers of hypnotism, plot to stop him. This book is suitable for children of 9 years and above, because of the theme of hypnotism which may be slightly frightening for younger children and because of its reading level. As a teacher, this is not the sort of book I would use as the basis of a topic because obviously it would be inappropriate to emphasise the idea of a demon headmaster. However it has a place in the reading area or library of a school, as children can all relate to the school theme and its a story that would excite their imaginations. The third person narrative is subjective, it allows the reader to hear Dinah's (the main protagonist)thoughts and feelings on events and allows them to get closer to the emotions of the main character, whilst still being distant enough to relate to the other characters. This could be why the book appeals to both boys and girls despite the main character being female. This and obviously the fact that the title character is male and quite scary. 'The Demon Headmaster' also includes themes such as fitting in, making friends, foster care and different families which relates to PSHE. This is a story that I read as a child and thoroughly enjoyed, the fact that it stuck in my mind is why I decided to review it. It bridges the gap between children's books and adult novels with its descriptive passages and characterisation, yet is fairly short so the reader will not be too daunted by it. I think this is a story that all children would enjoy and would support children to continue to read for pleasure at a stage where particularly boys sometimes begin to lose interest in reading, looking on it as perhaps a mainly female preoccupation.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Somerandom

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I think this book surmised my feelings of my own Headmaster lol! The series stars Dinah Glass, later Hunter, as she comes to discover her new school might not be that normal after all. She soon teams up with The Society for the Protection of our Lives Against Them, also known as "S.P.L.A.T." A group of children who, for some reason, are immune to the Headmaster's mysterious powers. These include the de facto leader and organizer Lloyd Hunter. Who can be a bit arrogant and sometimes jello of anyon I think this book surmised my feelings of my own Headmaster lol! The series stars Dinah Glass, later Hunter, as she comes to discover her new school might not be that normal after all. She soon teams up with The Society for the Protection of our Lives Against Them, also known as "S.P.L.A.T." A group of children who, for some reason, are immune to the Headmaster's mysterious powers. These include the de facto leader and organizer Lloyd Hunter. Who can be a bit arrogant and sometimes jello of anyone stealing his thunder. But is ultimately a capable leader and is not actually as stupid as he first seems. The laid back Harvey Hunter. Who, despite being the complete opposite of Lloyd, is very close to his brother and often keeps Lloyd off of the Headmaster's radar. He is also the first to accept Dinah and seems to understand her better than most. Ian, Lloyd's right hand man, although is very much the joker of the group and like Harvey is rather laid back. The level headed and somewhat Motherly Mandy, who is quick to soothe Lloyd's temper and is the most mature of the group. And the Youngster Ingrid, who is generally ignored because of her age and is prone to sulking. Anyway, Dinah happens to be highly intelligent, which catches the attention of her Headmaster, much to her dismay. This means he tends to use her as a pawn in his possibly nefarious schemes. Complicating matters, Dinah is the only one of the group who is not immune to the Headmaster's powers. Together with her new found friends, Dinah must uncover the secret of her school, defeat her Headmaster (without getting expelled! lol)and hopefully win over her new foster family. This is an engaging story, with likable characters and a pretty relatable perspective for kids. I'd recommend it to the kidlings.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Geena

    Gillian Cross' "The Demon Headmaster" is the first novel in the Demon Headmaster series. Dinah Glass is a young, orphaned girl who is taken in by the Hunters, a sweet family with two boys close to Dinah's age. Upon her arrival, Dinah soon learns that the two boys, Lloyd and Harvey Hunter, have strong feelings of discomfort regarding the school in which they attend. Through further conversation, Dinah gathers that the main target of the boy's animosity is directed towards the school's Headmaster. Gillian Cross' "The Demon Headmaster" is the first novel in the Demon Headmaster series. Dinah Glass is a young, orphaned girl who is taken in by the Hunters, a sweet family with two boys close to Dinah's age. Upon her arrival, Dinah soon learns that the two boys, Lloyd and Harvey Hunter, have strong feelings of discomfort regarding the school in which they attend. Through further conversation, Dinah gathers that the main target of the boy's animosity is directed towards the school's Headmaster. Dinah is enrolled at the same school and quickly comes to understand that something is not quite right; all of the children are prim, proper, and utterly perfect. They do not make mistakes, they do not play, scream, or fight, and they carry out their day-to-day activities as demanded by the omniscient Headmaster, in a very precise, robotic manner. Dinah realizes that there is an insidious underlying reason for the children's pathologically perfect behavior, and sets off determined to find out exactly what it is. Without getting into "spoiler territory", the story examines the cost of individual freedom at the hands of absolute perfectionism. Cross' narrative is insightful, intelligent, and deliciously creepy, perfectly highlighting the evil that lurks behind comfort and conformity. Though marketed as a children's novel, "The Demon Headmaster" can be enjoyed by readers of any age who like their fantastical horror stories sprinkled with bits of poignant existentialism.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I think this book is very good and i see where he gets the name demon headmaster from.I don't have much to say about this book compared to the rest of the books I have reviewed but I have to finish it by saying it is a great book and I hope to be reading the next ones soon.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Hilary

    I remember being enthralled by this book as a child (not literally, of course), and the unusual concept (view spoiler)[of world domination through hypnotism and child automatons (hide spoiler)] . It's held up surprisingly well. I had to reread after seeing a certain Doctor Who episode one too many times... I remember being enthralled by this book as a child (not literally, of course), and the unusual concept (view spoiler)[of world domination through hypnotism and child automatons (hide spoiler)] . It's held up surprisingly well. I had to reread after seeing a certain Doctor Who episode one too many times...

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kate B

    Oooh, that feeling you have when you know when something is seriously wrong but can't quite put your finger on it... I must look out for the others in the series (I hadn't known there were more when I read this in 1984).

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nang Michelle

    The headmaster is a neat man who hates mess. His students are all very obedient. Obedient as in speaking only when they are told to, doesnt play when it's break time. Dinah's about to find out.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jesse Owen

    OMG! This book - it brought back all the memories of watching that TV show and more, loved it so much I bought book 2 the next day, here's my full review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0s44X... OMG! This book - it brought back all the memories of watching that TV show and more, loved it so much I bought book 2 the next day, here's my full review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0s44X...

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rose

    Starting my pre-PGCE reading list off with a good one. Basically 1984 for children and a portrait of Michael Gove's ideal school.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Bettie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Bettie's Books Bettie's Books

  23. 4 out of 5

    LJ

    I am the wrong audience for this book. It isn't one of those kids' books that you can appreciate at any age; it's far too annoying. In fact, at times it's so clumsy that it comes across as something that a child might write. So I may have enjoyed it if I had read it at the correct age (Junior School) - like most British children of my generation, I certainly watched the adaptation on TV - but alas, I waited until my thirties to read the novel and so I really can't recommend it. The first book - T I am the wrong audience for this book. It isn't one of those kids' books that you can appreciate at any age; it's far too annoying. In fact, at times it's so clumsy that it comes across as something that a child might write. So I may have enjoyed it if I had read it at the correct age (Junior School) - like most British children of my generation, I certainly watched the adaptation on TV - but alas, I waited until my thirties to read the novel and so I really can't recommend it. The first book - The Demon Headmaster - is intensely creepy and disturbing, at least in ideas. In tone it's a silly patronising dumb kids' book. And these two juxtaposed styles clash horribly. What we have here is brutal cruelty happening to children (in one scene, the main characters are forced to labour in the snow without any protective clothing - this is Nazi-level abuse) and terrifying mind control and manipulation where children have no memory or control of what is happening to them - a strange man is able to stick pins into Dinah without her able to stop him, it doesn't take much imagination to think of worse that could happen. And yet the children are over the top and silly as if they have wandered out of an Enid Blyton book, Lloyd having a particularly annoying and unrealistic trait of starting exclamations with a random colour and food as if he has a catchphrase. When they try to tell their parents of the abuse they have suffered, their parents do that children's book trope that I really hate - they don't believe them, they laugh, they tut, they get angry and tell them to stop fibbing, instead of doing what parents are supposed to do and protect their children from threat. (view spoiler)[And then the story careens into the finale, where the silly children come up with a childish plot to thwart the evil headteacher during a TV show, and then the Headmaster just gives up and leaves for no reason, with no comeuppance. Meanwhile Dinah's foster parents take in a foster child and never spend any time with her and then decide to return her to the children's home without first discussing this with any of their children. (hide spoiler)] These people are just not believable characters at all. This whole quaint little universe bumbles along pleasantly, somehow unaware of what a truly scary plot lurks in its midst. The second book - The Prime Minister's Brain - is perhaps better. It's much, much less creepy and disturbing, but that works a lot better with the tone of the author, and the characters react more realistically to threat. They are all a little more rounded too. However the children are unbelievably thick - considering what they went through in the first book, I don't understand how none of them either recognise their foe when they see a picture of him, or suspect hypnotism when people keep getting hypnotised - and they are so petulant and quarrelsome that I pretty much wanted them to burn to death at times. Both books very abruptly END as well, which is a bit disappointing. Oh well, it's probably still worth a bit of fun for the child audience it is aimed at, although it does feel rather twee for books published in the 80s; you'd think they were much older.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Katy Noyes

    A reread that stands up to my memories of it - classic horror story for children. I remembered the TV series so well (still looking for a DVD copy!), and the book was on my childhood shelf. Now I'm parent to a school-aged child, I got the book down and thought we'd try it, dubious as to whether a book of that era would appeal. He would barely let me leave each evening! More than once, I had to read a second chapter to appease my 7-year-old, and he was desperate to know how Dinah, Lloyd and Harvey A reread that stands up to my memories of it - classic horror story for children. I remembered the TV series so well (still looking for a DVD copy!), and the book was on my childhood shelf. Now I'm parent to a school-aged child, I got the book down and thought we'd try it, dubious as to whether a book of that era would appeal. He would barely let me leave each evening! More than once, I had to read a second chapter to appease my 7-year-old, and he was desperate to know how Dinah, Lloyd and Harvey coped against the terrifying Head of the story. Foster child Dinah is hiding a useful secret when she is housed with the brothers, and finds herself puzzled by her new school, by the immaculately turned out and behaved pupils, by the frankly hypnotic Headmaster, and by her new foster brother's treatment of her... just what is going on? I loved reading this again, I always identified with Dinah Glass, and still feel she's a well-written understated heroine, though Lloyd and his ridiculous sayings made me laugh. My son had eyes as big as saucers at any scene the Head appeared in, and seemed genuinely worried they were all in danger. As a parent, there's a scene involving snow that had me rather tense too! And another that publishers might not print these days that became a little like Lord of the Flies. Interestingly, my son read a library copy while I read our older one, and we discovered several words throughout had been changed, some exclamations softened for a new and obviously more tender generation. Not sure why any such minor changes were made at all really. This is a perfect end-of-the-day class read for teachers to scare their students with. And at home, if you don't have a particularly sensitive child, or one prone to nightmares, those aged 7-11 will relish the evil, the friendships, the danger in this.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Litten

    The Demon Headmaster – Gillian Cross I vividly remember my teacher in year 3 reading this book to our class when I was younger. I recently spotted it in a class bookshelf and after flicking through a few pages, memories of my old teacher using voices to enthral us in the book. If I had to pick one book that hooked me into reading at a young age it was probably this very book. This book can be used in any key stage 2 class as some of the themes within the text may be overwhelming for younger reade The Demon Headmaster – Gillian Cross I vividly remember my teacher in year 3 reading this book to our class when I was younger. I recently spotted it in a class bookshelf and after flicking through a few pages, memories of my old teacher using voices to enthral us in the book. If I had to pick one book that hooked me into reading at a young age it was probably this very book. This book can be used in any key stage 2 class as some of the themes within the text may be overwhelming for younger readers. However, many children can relate to the over the top nature of the book. Each child in the school is like a zombie, not talking out of line etc. (exactly what most misbehaving children believe a well-behaved child does). In addition, the slightest misbehaviour is severely punished in the book just as most children perceive school to be like. The book provides many opportunities for class discussion such as how the author conveys emotion between characters and in the setting of the book through descriptive language. The dialogue between characters is colloquial and relatable to children whereas the adults appear very formal and distant just as many children perceive them to be. The idea of a headmaster utilising hypnotism to create an orderly school is absurd to most adults is completely enthralling to students who read the book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Bev

    I remember watching the TV show of this in the 90s but I hadn't read the book. It's well-written enough and the premise is extremely creepy, but I'm not sure what children today would think of it. Somehow it seemed kind of dated although I can't point to anything specific that seemed to place in the 80s (when it was written). Also, something that never struck me when I was watching it on TV is that the boys seem surprisingly normal despite everything. They keep saying they're scared, but nobody s I remember watching the TV show of this in the 90s but I hadn't read the book. It's well-written enough and the premise is extremely creepy, but I'm not sure what children today would think of it. Somehow it seemed kind of dated although I can't point to anything specific that seemed to place in the 80s (when it was written). Also, something that never struck me when I was watching it on TV is that the boys seem surprisingly normal despite everything. They keep saying they're scared, but nobody seems as terrified as they SHOULD have been in that situation. I obviously didn't notice as a child though (or the TV series was different) so I'm sure it's fine for the target audience. Anyway, it was an enjoyable enough little book and nice for some nostalgia.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ria

    Dinah has just moved in with a new foster family and is trying to get along with her two new foster brothers Lloyd and Harvey but apart from that another problem is school, something sinister is going on with the creepy headmaster, all the children are so good and perfect, all but Dinah, Harvey, Lloyd and a few others in the SPLAT club but Dinah is slowly being influenced and what is the headmasters goal? All this control has to lead somewhere. It's upto the kids to save the day as the grown ups Dinah has just moved in with a new foster family and is trying to get along with her two new foster brothers Lloyd and Harvey but apart from that another problem is school, something sinister is going on with the creepy headmaster, all the children are so good and perfect, all but Dinah, Harvey, Lloyd and a few others in the SPLAT club but Dinah is slowly being influenced and what is the headmasters goal? All this control has to lead somewhere. It's upto the kids to save the day as the grown ups won't listen but will they be in time to stop the headmaster and save the nation? Brilliantly inventive with a clever storyline to grab the reader's attention. A great novel for children and adults.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Leo Margetts

    This jawdropping book is all about this girl called Dina who is new to her school. As soon as she gets inside she is full of questions e.g why are the children so well behaved and why do they do their work in playtimes. Th answer is that their head master is a demon- he can hypnotize so that they can do his bidding without being asked twice. The Demon head master, whose eyes are sea green, plans to make the world a more sensible place without people who mess about by hypnotizing the world in a s This jawdropping book is all about this girl called Dina who is new to her school. As soon as she gets inside she is full of questions e.g why are the children so well behaved and why do they do their work in playtimes. Th answer is that their head master is a demon- he can hypnotize so that they can do his bidding without being asked twice. The Demon head master, whose eyes are sea green, plans to make the world a more sensible place without people who mess about by hypnotizing the world in a speech that Dinah just stops from happening.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Timothy Burbage

    Dinah, Lloyd and Harvey are three kids who think their headmaster is evil, and they're right! This is a fun and engaging story for younger readers, bringing all fears of school to life. Children will find it relatable, dramatic and humorous in places. The story has a good pace to it and doesn't outstay its welcome, whilst leaving the reader wanting more. A fun read and I can see why children adore it.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    I remember watching the TV adaptation as a kid and this book brought a lot of nostalga with it. I read it in about 2 and a half hours and found that I could enjoy the story even as an adult. I was going to donate this book after reading it. And although I probably won't feel the need to reread I am going to keep it on my bookshelves.

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