Updated: May 17, 2019
BooksforTopics Reading for Pleasure Recommendations
Book Title: Head Kid (available here)
Author: David Baddiel
Illustrator: Steven Lenton
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: September 2018
Most Suitable for: Years 4-6
Reviewed By: @relfcar
A Freaky Friday tale for a new generation, Head Kid is a body-switch story with a difference.
When Ryan Ward, child prankster extraordinaire and his new headteacher Mr Carter swap bodies, there are unexpected consequences. Each finds out what it is like to be the other and neither is prepared for what they discover. With the school due an inspection and the staff trying to avoid it being closed down, Ryan (Mr Carter) and Mr Carter (Ryan) must somehow learn to appreciate each other’s point of view and find a way to work together to secure the school’s future.
David Baddiel’s writing is fast-paced, touching and very funny. Fans of David Walliams’ books will enjoy the similarities between the two authors. Ryan is a character children can relate to and the problems encountered by him and other central characters will feel familiar to many readers: coping with bullying, having an absent parent, caring for an elderly relative. There is a good mix throughout the book of tender moments and laugh-out-loud scenes.
The book raises questions about leadership, responsibility and the consequences of your actions. It could form the basis of a discussion around different political systems (dictatorship or democracy?). What would you do if you were in charge of school? Why? What might happen if you made those changes? There is perhaps an obvious link to the role of school councils and pupils having a voice and influence in schools.
Appreciation is also a key theme in the book. Being able not only to accept and understand another’s point of view, but also why they might feel that way is an important skill for children to develop in these days of online comments and unsolicited opinions. This book definitely manages to illustrate the importance of understanding others. My first David Baddiel book, I would highly recommended Head Kid for readers in Year Four and above.
Thanks to Harper Collins, we have five copies of Head Kid to give away to our followers!
Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and to @relfcar for reviewing the book.