The World According to Humphrey

by Betty G. Birney

Hardcover, 2004



Local notes

Fic Bir



G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers (2004), 124 pages. $15.99.


Humphrey, pet hamster at Longfellow School, learns that he has an important role to play in helping his classmates and teacher.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

124 p.; 5.7 inches


0399241981 / 9780399241987



User reviews

LibraryThing member BakerBoy1
This is a book of adventures and if you read the book and a cute hamster
LibraryThing member Simred258
Miss Mac is a class teacher who has left to go to Brazil. Her hamster Humphery is then the class teacher to Mrs Brisly who is not as nice. She will not take him home on weekends so the children in the class look after him. They all benifit and Humphery has lots of adventures. When Mrs Brisly takes him on Thanksgiving her sour husband who was involved in a car accident makes obstacle course and he turns jolly and ends up building a play area for him. At the end Miss Mac comes back for bit and gives Humphery another note-book to write his adventures in.… (more)
LibraryThing member kimmclean
Welcome to the world as seen through the eyes of Humphrey, the classroom hamster. Humphrey is dismayed to start the school year with a new teacher in Room 26. Ms. Brisbane replaced his favorite teacher, Ms. Mack and Humphrey just doesn’t know how he will manage without her. Told from the point of view of the hamster, you can’t help but laugh out loud at his encounters with students each day in class as well as his weekend adventures home with different children. When Humphrey discovers the lock –that-doesn’t-lock, he eagerly explores his outside world. After school hours, he befriends the janitor, Aldo who shares his dinner and troubles with Humphrey. Although Humphrey “talks back”, all the students or Aldo can ever hear is squeak-squeak. The World According to Humphrey is an engaging and delightful story. Betty Birney provides a unique perspective that is a nice mix of fantasy and realism. Upper elementary school age children will find humor in the adorable stories and appreciate the twist of genres. This book will make a great read aloud at story time over the course of several class sessions.… (more)
LibraryThing member anniecase
Without being especially challenging or original, Birney's charming story will win over reluctant readers with its humor and compassion.
LibraryThing member jepeters333
Told by Humphrey the hamster. He lives in a classroom and manages to solve problems for several of the students and the custodian. Well-written, cute - not crazy about stories told by animals.
LibraryThing member dkauer
Great read aloud with life lessons. Reminded me a bit of Mrs. Piggle Wiggle
LibraryThing member PeterSinclair
An unlikely hero brought into Mrs. Brisbane's classroom by a fluke. She has to take an extended leave because her husband got hit by a car. Her long-term sub, Ms. Mac brings in Humphrey the hamster as a classroom pet. Everything is great until Mrs. Brisbane comes back and is disgusted by the little creature in a cage in her room. At first, she wants to get rid of him, but he is so loved by the class, and eventually the school, that she can't. Humphrey proves himself worthy again and again by mysteriously intervening in lives and helping students, and adults (even the principal) through their most difficult problems. It's a good book because that's just what pets do for us in real life! My dog has.This book is great for that real connection to the world and to what they are reading.… (more)
LibraryThing member FelineFriend4
If you have a pet, especially a hamster, you will absolutely love this book! Humphrey the hamster will capture your heart as "his" big heart touches the lives of students in the classroom! This is the first book in the series and you will be happy to know that five more follow. Don't miss out on this awesome read and read aloud!… (more)
LibraryThing member bibliophile26
Humphrey is the class hamster; this is the story of his adventures in the classroom and on weekends when he goes home with the students (a different one every week). It was cute.
LibraryThing member GaylDasherSmith
If this little hamster can change so many lives for the good...imagine what a fully functioning human could do with the same good intentions.
LibraryThing member PeggyDean
Great story for reading aloud.
LibraryThing member asomers
Very cute story about the class pet, Humphrey the hamster. Humphrey introduces the reader to all of the students in his classroom and solves some problems along the way. Discussion questions and activities are included in the back of the book. This would be a great literature circle book.
LibraryThing member porch_reader
My kids' elementary school is trying something new to promote reading at home. They call it "One School, One Book." At the beginning of February, every family with elementary-aged kids received a free copy of [The World According to Humphrey] and a reading schedule for February. Each day at school, the kids answered a question about the chapter that they read the night before and had the chance to win prizes. There were also weekly activities, and next week we get to go to Humphrey Family Night at the school. What a great program!

We loved this book! I read it aloud to both boys each night, and we would try to guess what the next day's question would be. The story is told from the perspective of Humphrey, a hamster in a second grade classroom. Humphrey is a keen observer. As he goes home with a different student each weekend, he learns some secrets, provides some encouragement, and isn't afraid to "squeak up" when needed. At the end of the day, this was a fun, uplifting book. Choosing a book that works for K-5th graders is hard. Humphrey may be best for about 2nd-3rd graders, but I know pre-schoolers who listened with their older siblings, and my 5th grade son loved it too. There are several others in the series, and I have a feeling we'll be reading more Humphrey books.
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LibraryThing member prkcs
Humphrey, pet hamster at Longfellow School, learns that he has an important role to play in helping his classmates and teacher.
LibraryThing member Emmah24
Humphrey is a hampster who stays in a classroom. He likes to think he is part of the class. He listens to the teacher, takes tests and gives advice. He can listen and understand what people say but they only hear him squeak. The children and adults share their secrets with Humphrey. He thinks of ways to help them. Everyone is always thankful that Humphrey has helped them. The title of the book is good because it is all told from Humphrey's point of view and the world revovles around him. The teacher's name is Mrs. Brisbane. The custodian is Aldo. The kid's in
class are too many to name.
… (more)
LibraryThing member Salsabrarian
Humphrey the class pet hamster may be small but he makes a big impact on the lives of the students and faculty of Longfellow School. As Ms. Mac, the teacher who purchased Humphrey at the pet store would say: You can learn a lot about yourself by getting to know another species. A charming and humorous read-aloud with an upbeat, can-do protaganist.… (more)
LibraryThing member benuathanasia
A really cute book. It's good for discussing why you shouldn't judge people.
LibraryThing member JenJ.
A fun school story that is also an animal fantasy. Pretty surface level with almost no depth to the characters (Everyone changes positively thanks to Humphrey? Really? Everyone? All Mr. Brisbane needed to relieve deep-seated depression was to chase a hamster? OK.) But the kids in book club really liked it and we had plenty to talk about.

Cover to Cover Book Club choice for November 2012.
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LibraryThing member Atroesch
I loved this book for a student that is beginning to read chapter books! I thought that Humphrey was very lovable and enjoyable to read about. I think the humor and silliness of this book is entertaining for young readers and also helps to build confidence in reading longer text.
LibraryThing member Cheryl_in_CC_NV
This really is as delightful, especially for the target audience, as the hype implies. I love how Humphrey helps everyone out - he's a bit like Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle in that way. I like the big lesson that everyone needs someone to listen to them, because everyone has their own dreams and their own challenges.

I particularly like Mrs. Brisbane's Halloween party activity: each student must perform a trick in order to get a treat... tell a joke, sing, perform a magic trick, something like that. Even better than show & tell for public speaking skills, as it's less painless and more immediately rewarding.… (more)
LibraryThing member LaviniaRossetti
This book is about a hamster called Humphrey, who has a lot of adventures as a classroom pet. His first owner, Ms Mac, left him in a school with a lady called Mrs Brisbane. She wasn't very nice. Will he ever see Ms Mac again?

Humphrey, even though just a tiny little hamster, teaches a very shy girl called Sayeh and her family to talk more and raise her hand. He also now knows how to handle boisterous dogs after his journey in Golden-Miranda's house.… (more)
LibraryThing member JoanAxthelm
I have to admit that I started this book with some skepticism, but was completely won over. As the classroom pet, Humphrey takes us to student and staff homes and gives us glimpses of the troubles and joys experienced there. Through it all, Humphrey gives no judgement, simply love and understanding. A model for us all.

I was suggested this book for my elementary school's One School One Book project and it is now being passed around the committee. So far, it is high in the running!

Lexile: 670L
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LibraryThing member michellehewitt
Easy enough for young children to enjoy and understand. The plot or story line is strong enough to keep the older children engaged. Children who want or have a hamster love this book!
LibraryThing member JCLHeatherM
Humphrey is a narrator and hero that is sure to win the hearts of all readers - children, parents, teachers, librarians. With an honest point of view, Humphrey uncovers the joy in many small and common wonders, while teaching his adult masters the importance of family, friendship, and taking chances.
LibraryThing member jothebookgirl
The younger set will really like this book. I found Humphrey's "vocabulary" a little corny shall I say. It was a sweet story. What I liked best was the differences in the homes Humphrey found himself in each weekend. The author didn't spare the truth about family life as it really is. Jo

Ms. Mac, the temporary teacher for Room 26, bought a hamster named Humphrey as a
class pet. Humphrey is a very unusual hamster: He responds to humans with squeaks; he reads and writes along with the class; and he knows how to defend himself from larger animals. He is a very loving hamster and helps the children and their families with their problems. Humphrey tells about his experiences in the classroom and his weekend adventures when he visits the homes of his classmates. When Ms. Mac leaves for a teaching position in Brazil, Mrs. Brisbane the regular teacher returns to Room 26. Mrs. Brisbane does not like Humphrey at first, but Humphrey eventually wins her over.
… (more)




(138 ratings; 4.3)
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