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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all it is still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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The World According to Humphrey Hardcover – February 2, 2004

4.8 out of 5 stars 212 customer reviews
Book 1 of 7 in the Humphreyville Series

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Realistic fiction for tweens
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-4-A likable hamster narrates this novel for newly independent readers. A warmhearted substitute teacher brings Humphrey to Room 26, explaining, "You can learn a lot about yourself by taking care of another species." Unfortunately, when Mrs. Brisbane returns to school, she is less than enthusiastic about taking on a class pet, and is unaware of the impact that the hamster has on the students, as well as on the families with whom he spends his weekends. Humphrey manages to bring out hidden courage and kindness in those he visits. He helps the members of one family turn off the TV and rediscover the pleasure of one another's company; he encourages a shy girl to speak up; and he even helps the principal gain control over his own less-than-obedient offspring. Humphrey's unique opportunity to observe the students, both at school and at home, develops into a compelling picture of Room 26. The hamster's experiences at Mrs. Brisbane's house round out that portrait. Birney succeeds in developing the animal's character without the narrative becoming too cute or contrived. Humphrey's views underscore the importance of knowing the full story before making judgments, and his presence makes a positive difference in the lives of the people he meets. All in all, a winning book that will appeal to children who like tales about animals, school life, and friendship.-Pat Leach, Lincoln City Libraries, NE
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 2-5. Humphrey the hamster enjoys being Room 26's classroom pet. He adores Ms. Mac, and every day brings new learning and experiences. Then Ms. Mac unexpectedly leaves; worse, returning teacher Mrs. Brisbane despises small furry creatures--leaving Humphrey both brokenhearted and worried about his future. Going home on weekends with school staff members and students helps, revealing diverse, often surprising stories and situations that allow both Humphrey and his human caretakers to learn from one another. Humphrey, a delightful, irresistible character, is big hearted, observant, and creative, and his experiences, whether escaping a nosy dog or helping an immigrant family speak English, range from comedic to touching. His lively, first-person narrative, filled with witty commentary on human and hamster behavior, makes for an engaging, entertaining read that illustrates "you can learn a lot about yourself by getting to know another species." A wonderful addition to the animal-fiction collection, this story should have wide appeal. Shelle Rosenfeld
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 0670 (What's this?)
  • Series: Humphrey (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers (February 2, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399241981
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399241987
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (212 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #755,549 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was hesitant to buy this for my 9 year-old 4th grader, because the bulk of the reviews talk about how great this series is for very young children. I'm a huge proponent of reading to kids, but anyone with an emerging-to-avid reader knows that if you don't keep their interest up with what's on the shelf, video games and tv will win the round. (At least they'll try!)

The lexile range for the Humphrey series is roughly 640-730... which translates to a 3rd-5th grade reading level, regardless of your child's chronological age. Can younger kids enjoy hearing the story? Of course. Can older kids get a kick out of it? For sure. I just want other people to know that this is a series geared toward the secondary set, 8-11 years old, despite a number of reviews that may have you saying "Wait a minute..."
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Format: Paperback
My Kindergarten boy LOVES this book! I read it to him every night, and he was very sad when we finished, because he wanted it to go on and on!!!! Humphrey is a delightful character. The teachers, school children and others in the book such as the pincipal, custodian and teacher's husband all are characters the young reader can appreciate and enjoy. Humphrey learns about each character's problem when he goes home with him or her over a weekeend or holiday, comes up with "a Plan" for each to help with the problem, and teaches each child valuable lessons. Nothing not to like here!!!! Great book to be read to Kindergarteners. Good read-it-yourself chapter book for good readers, 2nd grade probably. 15 chapters. Not an early chapter book.
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By BCI on September 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book quickly became one of my favorites. It is on the Florida Sunshine State Reader list and is excellent for silent reading or reading aloud. It teaches kids many lessons about people and the way they behave through the eyes of the class pet hamster, Humphrey. I appreciate that it offers an explanation for why otherwise friendly teachers can sometimes be crabby (stressed out from a situation at home), why regular kids can sometimes act out against their friends (upset about new rules at home following a parent's illness), or why children can be extremely shy (self-conscious about their ability to speak English well). It even offers a contrasting view of the life of a principal in school vs. at home. This book was a joy to read, and I'm glad it received well-deserved recognition by making the SSR list.
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By A Customer on May 19, 2004
Format: Hardcover
My daughter's first grade teacher read this book to her class at the same time that the class adopted a hamster to keep in the classroom. All the students loved the book and my daughter asked me to check on Amazon.com to see if the author had written any other Humphrey books. She said it was the best book she'd ever read or had read to her.
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Format: Paperback
This is an utterly charming book right up there with such classics as "Charlotte's Web" and the "Cricket of Times Square" where an animal gently befriends and teaches humans lessons one usually doesn't learn in school. All it takes is a "Plan" and sometimes "Great Effort" as Humphrey would say.
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By Vala on January 20, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I teach second grade and am reading this to my class. They are really enjoying the story which is told from the point of view of Humphrey the hamster. The writing is kid friendly and very engaging. If I miss a day the kids are asking me when I'll read about Humphrey again. I bought the other book, Friendship According to Humphrey, and plan on reading that to the kids, also.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this for my five year old son and he is in love! He is into chapter books but is still a bit young for many of the books out there. This is such a great blend of long form story telling and simple structure so he can follow along and still maintain focus and interest. I think the story may be a little simple for older kids but for his age, it's perfect! Although I do think he's about two chapters away from asking us for a pet hamster so...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Oh Humphrey, if only you had been my class pet! This book was chosen by my child's county as a one book program book, where each child, teacher, and staff members (even the lunch ladies and gentlemen) were given a free hard copy to read. The book was cute and just the beginning of what looks like a nice series. Humphrey is an ingenious little hamster who seems to win over those around him that need help. Almost like the guardian angel of the classroom where he resides.
I started reading (more on that) this book to my son, age 5 and in kindergarten and my 4 year old who never sits still for stories more than a few lines long.
When I lost my voice and could not actually "read" the book, I put it on my Kindle and used the Audible version to complete the book for me. I did sit and listen to the book with my kids as I wanted to hear about Humphrey's adventures. To my surprise and the delight of my children, the reader of the audible version used the same type of voice for each character that I had been using! It was a pleasure to listen to as well as read.
My children and I are looking forward to reading more of Humphrey's adventures!
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