Book Review: The World According to Humphrey by Betty G. Birney

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Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Children (middle grade), Animals

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‘The time had arrived to put my Plan into action. I was in grave danger and I had no choice. I only had one weapon: a rubber band. It had taken me a long time to get it hooked around the edge of my food dish. Now I carefully pulled it back as far as I could, aiming directly at those big doggy nostrils.’

You can learn a lot about life by observing another species. That’s what Humphrey was told when he was bought as a classroom pet for Room 26. And it’s definitely true! In addition to his classroom escapades, each weekend he gets to sleep over with a different student like Stop-Giggling-Gail and Repeat-That-Please-Richie. Humphrey learns to read, write, shoot rubber bands and much more. With adventures galore, Humphrey’s life would be absolutely perfect if only the teacher, Mrs Brisbane, wasn’t out to get him . .

This book is about the life of a classroom hamster – from the point of view of the hamster. A hilariously funny book that documents the different escapades of Humphrey. Every weekend he gets to go home with a student and then has a different adventure every time.

I loved this book as a child. I had many hamsters growing up and this was such a hilarious book but it was also unusual, there were no other books from the point of view of a classroom hamster! During the same time we had a classroom pet of a hamster who like Humphrey also got to come home with different students every weekend (although I’m not sure if he had as many adventures).

This book is perfect for young teens/children, if you love hamsters then you are sure to love this book! Humphrey is so cute that you instantly fall in love with him and he has such a unique insight into the world.

Betty G. Birney has such an amazing talent to be able to write such a vivid description, you actually forget that you’re reading about a hamster, you just see the world from that point of view. My favourite part about this book (other than the fact it was written from the point of view of a hamster) was the message that I got from it – no matter how small you are you can still make a big difference to the world.

The book was aimed towards children however as a nice added part there was also a tip about hamsters at the end of every chapter. This is a rare thing however it really added to the book.

Rating: 4.9/5

Summing up: Brilliant

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