‘Horrid High’ is the world’s most horrid school in new children’s book

New Delhi: Award-winning author of children’s books Payal Kapadia was at a writer’s workshop when the character of a school bully came to her mind and her search for the perfect school for the bully led to her new book ‘Horrid High’.

The book, published by Puffin India, is an adventure in the world’s most horrid school. It tells the story of 11-year-old Ferg Gottin, whose parents look for a school to dump him and forget about him. At Horrid High, everything is downright horrid, from Chef Gretta’s cooking to Master Mynus’s truly mental maths classes.
But Ferg finds four friends with extraordinary skills, and they make a series of startling discoveries about their horrid school.

‘Horrid High’ and its sequel, ‘Horrid High: Back to School’, are about “coming of age, freedom and rebellion, and about how you can survive the toughest odds by staying strong and sticking with your friends,” says Kapadia, adding both
books are “rowdy, rambunctious, rollicking adventures set in the world’s most horrid school”.

“I was in a writer’s workshop when the character of a school bully called Volumina Butt came to my mind, the sort of bully who demolishes her victims by sitting on them! Of course, before too long, my imagination had galloped off in
search of a school where Volumina Butt could feel at home,” the winner of the Crossword Book Award 2013 for Best Children’s Book for her debut novella “Wisha Wozzariter” told PTI.

“Voila, Horrid High! Admittedly, being a mother of two girls myself, I felt quite tickled by the idea of a school where you could dump your children and forget about them,” she adds. Her characters have very interesting names. Asked if there was any particular reason for this, she says, “I like to base my books in an entirely fictional world, and I wanted my characters’ names to reflect the essence of who they are, rather than where they are from.

“For instance, Dr Bloom, the science teacher in ‘Horrid High: Back to School’, is obsessed with flowers. Colonel Craven, the sports teacher, is a man who is easily spooked. I thoroughly enjoyed the alliteration and the word-play in conjuring up these names my absolute favourite is Fermina Filch, because not too many kids (or grown-ups) can figure out right off why I named her Filch. I like keeping them guessing.”

April 25, 2016