Nominated at the Book Awards 2019 for Children's Book of the Year, 'Head Kid' promised a lot. It's one of those blockbuster titles that ordinarily I might be wary of, but this is simply hilarious and such rollicking good fun that any doubts blew away (like Aunt Annie's farts but without any bad smells - just a lot of laughter!)

If Ofsted - sorry Offhead - had a category for 'rubbish' then Bracket Wood school would surely be in line to receive such a rating. The naughtiest boy in the school, Ryan, has already pushed one head teacher out and the next, Mr Carter, is in for a shock. But the shock is something neither of them expect. The naughtiest boy and the strictest head teacher are about to swap bodies...

Having been a primary school teacher, I enjoyed this so much. It is outrageous and just so laugh-out-loud funny. How the first head teacher leaves his job made me crumble with laughter. But the dynamic between Ryan and Mr Carter is gold. Any teacher reading this to their class will have an absolute whale of a time. Classes will have a hard time listening to this without disruptions: from pupils laughing too much to teachers unable to compose themselves while reading it aloud. There is so much to learn here for misbehaving pupils and uptight teachers! Such a good message and such great entertainment, which so many schools desperately need at the moment!

Baddiel may be a household name already for singing on the football stands (and many other funny things), but for me his ability as an author to create such joy, fun and heart in a book is his true achievement. (Plus, I think I like him more than that other famous David, but shhhhh...)

(One interesting revelation. There is a cat in 'Head Kid' called Chairman Meow and also a cat called Chairman Meow in Sam Copeland's recently published 'Charlie Changes into a Chicken'. Is it the same cat? Is it an in-joke? Will there be a cross-over Baddiel- Copeland cat book? Just wondering.)


'Head Kid' is one to be enjoyed by Key Stage 2 classes as light relief with a great message about teacher-pupil relationships. If only every school could turn itself around quite so dramatically as Bracket Wood!

© 2021 by Chris Soul