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Obi, Gerbil on the Loose Hardcover – June 12, 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3–5—Obi is content with her simple life in a cage—or apartment, as she likes to think of it—cared for by her human owner, Rachel. Then one day, Rachel's family leaves for vacation. Tad, a neighbor, comes to feed their many pets, but he seems to have forgotten that the gerbil exists. Obi doesn't know how long the Armstrongs will be gone, and she's starving. Thus begins her quest for freedom, food, and to find out if Rachel really cared enough to leave Tad a note to feed her. Along the way, Obi hilariously confronts three sadistic cats, a harebrained parrot, a menacing tarantula and snake, and a paranoid squirrel who thinks Obi is a jailed criminal. The house also holds a surprise—a wise old mouse who has been keeping an eye on Obi through all of her escapades. He offers to help her, but at the expense of her loyalty to Rachel. Throughout each new challenge, readers feel Obi's terror, joy, and surprise, which are all written with a sense of fun. The chapters are peppered with black-and-white illustrations and are very short, which adds appeal for younger and reluctant readers. This is a laugh-out-loud story.—Jane Cronkhite, San Jose Public Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Obi, a young gerbil named for the Jedi knight in Star Wars, lives a cushy existence with the Armstrongs until they go on vacation, leaving a neighbor boy to feed all the pets. Unfortunately, Tad doesn’t know about Obi (headphones prevent him from hearing her frantic yelps), so he doesn’t feed her. Hungry Obi finally breaks out of her cage, beginning an adventure that takes her to the attic (where she meets an elderly mouse who shows her secret passageways and escape routes); the kitchen (home to three particularly nasty cats); and a bedroom, where she finds a boa constrictor and a tarantula. Themes of self-reliance and loyalty are woven into the story as Obi learns to assert herself, take care of her needs, and reassure herself that her owner, Rachel, did not forget about her care. Small, black line drawings add drama and emotion to a book that will be popular with young pet lovers; the ending hints at more Obi stories to come. Grades 2-4. --Kay Weisman
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 740L (What's this?)
  • Series: Obi, Gerbil on the Loose
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers (June 12, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525478906
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525478904
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,239,648 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By S. Hanna on July 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
My daughter Caroline, age 11, offers this review:

I treasured every word of "Obi, Gerbil on the Loose!". I, too, have a gerbil by the name of Obi-Wan-Kenobi, and I was amazed at the characteristic resemblance between Delaney's Obi and my Obi. Book Obi had some humanlike traits, but did not go as far as being able to speak to humans. Also, from the second I started reading "Obi", I felt as if I was traveling with Obi through the Armstrong's house from a gerbil's point of view all through her remarkable adventure. The characters were amazingly 3-dimensional, being neither entirely good nor entirely bad. I certainly hope there will be another book written about Obi so I can embark upon another adventure with her. I simply could not put this book down! "Obi, Gerbil on the Loose!" is definitely a must-read for kids (and adults) of all ages!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This a wonderful gerbil story told from a gerbil's point of view. It is a good story for the young at heart to read also. Plus I love the cover showing the siamese gerbil. Get this book and read it. You will not be disappointed.

I love the name of the gerbil Obi named after the Star Wars favorite.
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Format: Hardcover
This delightful story begins with a gerbil named Obi finding out that her adopted mother Rachel is about to go on vacation with her family. After Rachel has already gone, Obi waits patiently for a boy name Tad to feed her. Then,after several futile attempts to get his attention, she realizes he doesn't even know about her. She'll have to find a way to feed herself during the two weeks that her family will be gone.

So Obi ventures out into a world unknown to her, because while she has been throughout the house before, she was in her Gerbil Mobile and thus was safe and secure, she now must go out without the protection of a thick plastic ball. She must face three crazy cats, a turantula, a cornsnake, an old mouse that tries to brainwash her, and a retarded parrot that doesn't shut up, all while she is just a vulnerable animal at the bottom of the food chain.

Throughout the book you grow to love Obi and all that she stands for- love, loyalty, and courage. I would recommend this book to any parent or young child. I picked this book up out of boredom but continued to pick it up out of curiosity. I was captivated throughout the entire story and am sure you will be too.

Enjoy your reading!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For the person who stated the book had 'bad language' , were you reading the same book i was? I sure don't recall any bad language whatsoever. I highly recommend this book, and also the other two in the series. My nine year old son has eagerly read them, also.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thought obi wad just like the star wars version because she was so brave and I liked Mr.Dinkins because he was funny with the fork and how tad turned out to be good and almost
save obi's life
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Format: Kindle Edition
Well I was in my room when I herd my sister talk about some obi the gerbil and I was sick and tired of it so I read the book I have to say I give it some credit for it.

I been dying to read the other series but I have to wait til my little brother finishes that book

Thanks Michael Delaney
And thanks to my sister
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I didn't like this at all. I own hamsters and gerbils and have for many, many years. This story bothered me. No gerbil could have survived as long as this in real life and the story gives a wrong idea to children who might get a gerbil.
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Format: Hardcover
Michael Delaney's OBI, GERBIL ON THE LOOSE tells of Rachel, who owns Obi and goes on vacation with the rest of the family, leaving her pets home alone. The neighbor hired to feed the pets overlooks Obi: it's imperative that Obi escape, for she won't survive long without food and water. Her breakout leads to new worlds and new dangers in this fun, simple tale for elementary to middle-school grades.
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