- Vivian Teo
READ & REVIEWED: Horrid High by Payal Kapadia
Updated: Dec 26, 2020
An entertaining and riotous middle-grade book about how four children survived, and eventually triumphed over, the most horrid school ever.
What if you attend a school run by horrid teachers and your parents - quite lyhorrid themselves - want to keep you there so that you are out of sight, out of mind? You're lucky that this has never happened to you or your kids? Good for you, but you can find out what that is like in Horrid High, an entertaining and riotous middle-grade book by Payal Kapadia.
Ferg Gottin has been sent by his unloving parents to Horrid High, a boarding school with appalling living conditions run by horrid teachers. There, he befriends four children with special skills and they begin making startling discoveries about their school, including an evil plan by their aptly-named Principal Perverse.
Horrid High is an exciting adventure which reminds me of Roald Dahl classics like Matilda and Witches, which has underdog characters you would root for and at the same time, deliver irreverent fun reading as good (the children) battles and eventually overcomes evil (horrid teachers and parents). I love adventure stories like these where behind the rambunctious fun lies the message of hope that is so crucial for children.
The book is recommended for 10 years and up. I read this with my almost eight- and ten-year-olds (I still read aloud with my kids at bedtime) and initially had thought the vocabulary was above the little one's standard. But the engaging plot kept us going and I'm happy to say both my kids found the book highly entertaining. I don't think my younger girl can handle this on her own but it's definitely within the grasp of the older one.
The book published by Penguin Books Southeast Asia has a sequel (Horrid High: Back to School) which is out already, so there is no need to wait long for the Horrid High children's next adventure 😉
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