The World According to Humphrey by Betty G. Birney

Humphrey, a cute and loveable hamster, is the narrator of this story. He details his observations of the humans (and a couple other animals) he comes into contact with once he becomes the class pet for Room 26. At the end of the chapters, there are also hamster care and feeding tips.

Humphrey was initially brought to Room 26 by Ms. Mac — a smart and fun substitute teacher. When Mrs. Brisbane comes back (and Ms. Mac leaves), though, Humphrey gets really worried. He misses Ms. Mac, and Mrs. Brisbane does not seem to like hamsters very much. Ms. Mac used to take Humphrey home over the weekends, and now he is afraid that he will be left all alone in the classroom. Luckily, the class mothers come up with a plan for students to share the responsibility of taking Humphrey home, and students take turns bringing him to their houses.

While it was nice to see a school story told from the perspective of a class pet instead of a student, I think that this book could have been a lot less preachy. It just seems like the book was written more to teach certain lessons than for over-all entertainment value. One phrase that was repeated a lot, for example, is: You can learn a lot about yourself by getting to know another species. I agree with a lot of the lessons that the book is trying to get across, so I don’t think that it was a waste. I just think that kids might feel talked down to when they read a story like this.

If you like school stories, stories about hamsters, and/or stories about people who turn out very different from how you first thought, you will probably enjoy this book. And, if you enjoyed this book, you might also want to read Friendship According to Humphrey (also by Betty G. Birney).

Happy Reading!

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2 responses to “The World According to Humphrey by Betty G. Birney

  1. I could have saved myself the review, as you’ve said what I did, better!

  2. i like it like really really really really really really like it

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