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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
The Demon Headmaster and the Prime Minister's Brain
Format: Paperback|Change
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on 30 June 2017
The Prime Minister's Brain, first published in 1985 by Puffin Books is another of our Kid-Lit books with a bit of history behind it. It's the follow up to The Demon Headmaster which Chrissi and I reviewed in our Kid Lit challenge last year and was also one of our favourite childhood reads. Reading The Prime Minister's Brain as an adult was a real nostalgia trip for me and, as a sequel, although it doesn't quite reach the dizzying heights of brilliance as The Demon Headmaster did, was still a great reading experience and a nice journey down memory lane.

In The Prime Minister's Brain, Dinah has been officially adopted by the Hunter family and has two new brothers, Lloyd and Harvey and a host of new friends who all teamed up in The Demon Headmaster to form the unstoppable group SPLAT aka Society For The Protection Of Our Lives Against Them. In this story, there is a new craze going around the school, an addictive computer game with a puzzle to solve called Octopus Dare. Clever Dinah manages to solve the puzzle and is invited to London to compete in a challenge with dozens of other children (or Brains). Dinah is slightly worried and a little uneasy about the project so the children of SPLAT decide to make a holiday of it and accompany her. When they get there, they are right to be wary. The competition turns out to be a lot more sinister than they could have expected and Dinah begins to realise that the organiser of the challenge has much darker and frankly, insane reasons in wanting to solve a computer puzzle.

As I mentioned before it was lovely to re-visit the world of The Demon Headmaster again. I remember reading the sequel as a child and enjoying it but still favouring the original and first story. I felt the same this time round but still relished the experience for the memories it brought back. The characters are wonderful, particularly the children although I found myself slightly more irritated by grumpy little Ingrid as an adult! Of course, the Demon Headmaster himself is fantastic and your quintessential villain, perfectly drawn by Gillian Cross and ever so readable and easy to hate. I understand there might be about four books in the entire series and I don't think Chrissi and I have ever read more than the first two so there is potential to carry on and see what dastardly deeds that rogue headmaster gets up to next. However, part of me doesn't want to spoil the nostalgic feelings I do have towards the series so far so we'll have to wait and see!

3.5 stars
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on 31 March 2015
Loved this book as a young child in the 80s - but such a shame they appear to have dumbed down this edition. Page 1 featured a simple, easy to understand bit of BASIC programming code which Dinah was writing up in the tree - fascinating to me as an 8 year old and prompted me to learn programming and become a coder.

But unfortunately that whole section has been replaced with "thinking about a website she was designing" - a very pale, uninspiring substitute. Such a shame given the current push to encourage children to take up coding to develop problem solving skills etc - particularly given that Dinah was a perfect role model to inspire more girls to enter Computer Science.
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HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERon 6 February 2007
This is the sequel to the 'Demon Headmaster', and is the second book in a series of six. To make sense of the storyline, you should read book one, 'The Demon Headmaster', before this book. First published in 1985, 'The Prime Minister's Brain' also reads a bit like an Enid Blyton's secret seven novel, although the entrancing computer game storyline is far more modern - and it hasn't dated at all over the last twenty years, it still seems futuristic. Dinah Hunter has just been adopted by her foster home where the incumbent boys (particularly younger brother Harvey) have now grown used her. Their school is now perfectly normal since the old Headmaster has left, but during the holidays the school computer club members are becoming increasingly engrossed in a new computer game. Intrigued Dinah decides to have a go on the game herself............

My son (10) is really enjoying me reading this book to him at bedtime (at 191 pages it took a while). My son, a poor reader, happily reads a few pages as well. We were disappointed that, unlike the Puffin versions of Demon Headmaster, this book has no illustrations, despite being aimed at preteens. But the story reads well enough without line drawings, and we have now bought all the other five books in this series : The Demon Headmaster, The revenge of the Demon Headmaster, The Demon Headmaster takes over, The Demon Headmaster strikes again, and Facing the Demon Headmaster.

Some of the language seems dated, mainly Lloyd's food related exclamations, which make it read very much like a 1950s Enid Blyton book (no bad thing, and my son laughs at Lloyds expressions). But as with the original book, it's a well crafted story that kept my son's attention throughout, and, although tense in places, it's surprisingly non-scary considering the plot-line. The storyline is very different to the first book, and my son is insisted we read it straight after the first one. Unlike his favourite AstroSaurs and Captain Underpants books, this book is probably more girl friendly as well. Just a shame the excellent TV series isn't available on DVD at the moment to compliment this very good book (aimed at 7-12s I would say). We are now well into book three, the slightly more sinister 'Revenge of the Demon headmaster'.
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on 24 August 2008
This is a brilliant sequel to "The Demon Headmaster", the way the chapters alternate between what is happening to the main character (Dinah, the extremely intelligent herione) and to her friends (the rest of SPLAT) is very effective, adds to the tension and will keep the reader gripped. This also creates a varied tone and a contrast between the taught science fiction happenings and humour. It prevents it from ever becoming tedious or boring.

This will not frighten kids but they will have trouble tearing themselves away from it, it is a very well plotted storyline, just as with the first book. In addition to this, it has the same feeling of a group of brave and intelligent children making creative plans and having science fiction related adventures. The characters are very well defined and often amusing beyond their years, particularly Ingrid who will have kids howling.

Overall, this is definitely a brilliant read for a boy or girl aged up to twelve, however, it may be the guilty pleasure of some teenagers who have refused to fully grow up!
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on 11 April 2013
My nine year old son loves these books and has read everyone. They are very quick to read though so they don't last long!
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on 20 February 2014
I chose this rating because it doesn't quite live up to the expectations of No 1 and you knew it was the Demon Headmaster all along. But overall a pretty good book. I would definitely recommend it to people who like drama and excitement.
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on 4 August 2013
I loved this book because I love the demon headmaster book 1
and I can not wait to read the 3rd book!
My favourite part is when the members of SPLAT are climming up the rubbish white it was like they were secret agents.
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on 27 January 2013
This book was amazing and completely lived up to my expectations from the first book, I can't wait to read the next book in the series and discover what new trouble Dinah and Lloyd get themselves in to
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on 4 April 2014
Amazing book. I am hoping to get through all of the Demon Headmaster series. It was a gripping tale and I just couldn't put my Kindle down. Can't wait to start the next book...
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on 3 November 2012
I am happy with the item. It's in good condition. Thank-you very much. I love this book. I have watched the movie version on tv. I really loved it.
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