School Library Journal
Once again, Horrid Henry lives up to his name. Each of these easy chapter books contains four episodes of the boy's escapades. Selfish and greedy, he battles with his teachers, cheats in a reading contest, and ruins a cousin's wedding. In one of the funniest segments, he is pitted against his family's houseguest, Mean Margaret, whose behavior is even more atrocious than his own. The irreverent humor is similar to that found in Roald Dahl's books or Jack Gantos's "Rotten Ralph" series. Ross's cartoon drawings are a perfect match for the protagonist's mischievous personality. There is not much character growth here; Henry remains unrepentantly horrid, and the other child characters (Perfect Peter, Clever Clare, Rude Ralph, etc.) are all one-sided. Though adults may wish for Henry to get reprimanded more sternly, kids will love reading the laugh-out-loud funny stories about someone whose behavior is even worse than their own.-Jackie Partch, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR
Read an Excerpt
Excerpted from Horrid Henry's Stinkbomb
Story 1: Horrid Henry Reads a Book
Blah blah blah blah blah.
Miss Battle-Axe droned on and on and on. Horrid Henry drew pictures of crocodiles munching on a juicy Battle-Axe snack in his math book.
Snap! Off went her head.
Yank! Bye-bye leg.
Crunch! Ta-ta teeth.
Yum yum. Henry's crocodile had a big fat smile on its face.
Blah blah blah books blah blah blah read blah blah blah prize blah blah
Horrid Henry stopped doodling.
"What prize?" he shrieked.
"Don't shout out, Henry," said Miss Battle-Axe.
Horrid Henry waved his hand and shouted: "What prize?"
"Well, Henry, if you'd been paying attention instead of scribbling, you'd know, wouldn't you?" said Miss Battle-Axe.
Horrid Henry scowled. Typical teacher. You're interested enough in what they're saying to ask a question, and suddenly they don't want to answer.
"So, class, as I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted," she glared at Horrid Henry. "You'll have two weeks to read as many books as you can for our school reading competition. Whoever reads the most books will win an exciting prize. A very exciting prize. But remember, a book report on every book on your list, please."
Oh. A reading competition. Horrid Henry slumped in his chair. Phooey.
Reading was hard, heavy work. Just turning the pages made Henry feel exhausted. Why couldn't they ever do fun competitions, like whose tummy could rumble the loudest, or who shouted out the most in class, or who knew the rudest words? Horrid Henry would win those competitions every time.
But no. Miss Battle-Axe would never have a fun competition. Well, no way was he taking part in a reading contest. Henry would just have to watch someone undeserving like Clever Clare or Brainy Brian swagger off with the prize while he sat prize-less at the back. It was so unfair!
"What's the prize?" shouted Moody Margaret.
Probably something awful like a pencil case, thought Horrid Henry. Or a bumper pack of school dish rags.
"Candy!" shouted Greedy Graham.
"A million bucks!" shouted Rude Ralph.
"Clothes!" shouted Gorgeous Gurinder.
"A skateboard!" shouted Aerobic Al.
"A hamster!" said Anxious Andrew.
"Silence!" bellowed Miss Battle-Axe.
"The prize is a family ticket to a brand new theme park."
Horrid Henry sat up. A theme park! Oh wow! He loved theme parks! Roller coasters! Water rides! Cotton candy!
His mean, horrible parents never took him to theme parks. They dragged him to museums. They hauled him on hikes. But if he won the competition, they'd have to take him. He had to win that prize. He had to. But how could he win a reading competition without reading any books?
"Do comics count?" shouted Rude Ralph.
Horrid Henry's heart leapt.
He was king of the comic book readers. He'd easily win a comic book competition.
Miss Battle-Axe glared at Ralph with her beady eyes.
"Of course not!" she said. "Clare! How many books do you think you can read?"
"Fifteen," said Clever Clare.
"Eighteen," said Brainy Brian.
"Nineteen," said Clare.
"Twenty," said Brian.
Horrid Henry smiled. Wouldn't they get a shock when he won the prize? He'd start reading the second he got home.