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Ferg Gottin is born to parents who don’t have time for him and can’t wait to be rid of their eleven year old son. So when Mrs Gottin finds a school online that calls itself Happy High and answers their questionnaire with complete honesty, she is delighted to find that there is nothing happy about the school. The school is actually Horrid High where one can dump their kids and forget all about them! So off goes Ferg Gottin to Horrid High with clothes three sizes too small and discovers just how well it lives upto its name. He meets Phil who escapes his parents who teach him to pick locks so they can get rich, Fermina who learns magic tricks from her Uncle M, the only person who ever loved her and Mesmer whose hypnotic powers grew out of a deep longing for her father. Bullied by teachers who take sadistic pleasure in making their lives miserable, there seems to be no silver lining for these kids till Granny Grit comes to school promising to be the most horrid teacher ever!
Horrid High is delightful – full of strange characters and stranger events. Payal Kapadia also brilliantly weaves in the pressing concern about endangered animal species and their shrinking natural habitats. The book is not preachy, and yet is full of optimism children will save the planet that adults are so hell-bent on destroying!
I loved the book, and highly recommend it for children!