The Demon Headmaster series

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Author: Gillian Cross

Published in: 1982

Age Range: Children

Period: Contemporary

Genres:  FantasyFriendship


There are five ? books in this series: The Demon Headmaster; The Prime Minister's Brain; The Revenge of the Demon Headmaster; The Demon Headmaster Strikes Again; and The Demon Headmaster Takes Over. The basic idea is that all the children at a school are behaving unnaturally well and it transpires that they are being hypnotised by the headmaster who detests disorder and who plans to use a televised school quiz to hypnotise the whole world into unthinking orderliness. The later books follow his various other schemes for achieving the same ends and his defeat by the same group of children, led by Dinah Glass and Lloyd and Harvey Hunter.


The first story's premise is a nice twist on the usual school story: the new girl at school finds everyone unusually well-behaved. All schoolchildren like to think that they have a Demon Headmaster, and this story gives you one. In later stories, he's no longer a headmaster but the title sticks. The stories are well-enough written but pretty average fare of the children-vs-baddies variety requiring a certain suspension of disbelief (is it possible that no adult has seen anything wrong with the school?). There is a nice combination of family and friendship. Dinah's arrival as the Hunter's foster-sister at the beginning of the first book is presumably a plot device simply to introduce a newcomer to the school. However the relationships between her and the boys and their friends who together fight against the Headmaster are nicely handled.

“I hope you are not going to be a person who won't co-operate with me.”

Tuesday 1st January 2002