Press & Media Coverage
Born to parents who are not particularly interested in raising a child, 11-year-old Ferg Gottin is dumped in a residential school called Happy High. Only, it is really Horrid High, where orphans and abandoned children are sent to be forgotten, and where the teachers specialise in being, what else, but horrid. As Ferg flounders through Master Mynus’s Maths lessons and chokes over Chef Gretta’s obnoxious cooking (her larder is stocked with maggot-infested cheeses and rats’ tails and crow feathers, for starters), he also makes firm friends with four other gifted, but unloved, children. Together, they must figure out a way to stop Principal Perverse’s wicked plan of spreading horridness near and far and making more children miserable.
A humorous story of a perfectly ghastly school!
The writing is by turns direct and evocative. While the writing is visual and paints the decrepitude of the school building and the rottenness of its teachers, the illustrations by Roger Dahl (who also collaborated with Kapadia on Wisha Wozzariter) add to the dimness of the scene
We wouldn’t go so far as to call Kapadia our desi JK Rowling, but the influence of the child authors such as the Harry Potter creator, Dahl is unmistakable.
Flip a couple of pages of the book, dear reader and just like me, you will be transported back to the days when Big Friendly Giants and Giant Peaches were irresistible.
All in all, we would give Horrid High an eight out of 10.
Payal Kapadia studied English Literature at St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai. After studying Journalism at Northwestern University in Chicago, she worked with Outlook in Mumbai and The Japan Times in Tokyo. Her debut novella, “Wisha Wozzariter,” won the Crossword Award...
Earning a living as a cartoonist may be the stuff that childhood dreams are made of, but they seldom turn into reality. Roger Dahl is one of the fortunate few who have made the grade, and it all started in Tokyo. For over 20 years the versatile Dahl has been making Japan Times readers both think and smile, as the mind behind not only the Opinion Page political cartoons but also the “Zero Gravity” comic strip, which pokes gentle fun at the foreign experience in this country.