BooksforTopics Reading for Pleasure Recommendations
Book Title: The Demon Headmaster - Mortal Danger (available here)
Author: Gillian Cross
Publication Date: February 2019
Most Suitable For: Years 3-5
Review By: Emma Rogers, Senior Lecturer Primary Education
Fans of The Demon Headmaster series will love this – a return to the adventures of Lizzie and Ethan and their friends. When a new headteacher arrives at the school things change very quickly and the children are thrilled with all the exciting improvements being made – exciting projects, fun days and the chance to win an adventure trip on a remote island. But, of course, all is not as it seems. And is that distant voice familiar? Surely it can’t be….?
This newest book in the series sets itself apart from the classic titles by the inclusion of digital technology – the children solve the mystery through genius use of audio files, video clips and text messages making it seem very up-to-date. However, if you haven’t read any of the previous books it would probably be better to start at the beginning of the series than with this book. That being said, it does explain what happened in previous books and helps the novice reader to understand the plot and begin to guess what might happen next.
The strength of the book is the way the author cleverly weaves together the clues so that the reader manages to stay one step ahead of the main characters. As a read-aloud book I think most Y3 and 4 classes would be on the edge of their seats. This would also work well as an independent read for confident 7-9yr olds. It may also support reluctant readers who enjoy being ‘collectors’ of a series of books linked to TV.
Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and to Emma for reviewing it.