The World According to Humphrey
by Betty Birney
The Humphrey series is one that is loved by many of my students yet, until now, I hadn’t read any of them yet! This weekend I finally had the opportunity to read the first book in this fantastic series and wish I had done so sooner.
The students of room 26 are so excited when Ms. Mac, their teacher, gets them a class pet: Humphrey the hamster. Humphrey, our narrator, is quite content in the classroom. Then Ms. Mac leaves (it turns out she was a long term sub) and their teacher, Mrs. Brisbane, returns after caring for her injured husband. Unfortunately, Mrs. Brisbane does not like Humphrey but, after persuasion from the room mothers, reluctantly allows the hamster to stay. Weekends are when Humphrey and the readers really get to know the different students (and some of the adults), allowing a glimpse into their lives outside of school.
As mentioned earlier, I wish I had taken the time to pick up this book when I first got it! I can see why so many of my students like this series. Humphrey is a sweet, likable character who has a unique viewpoint of the world that many humans don’t have. I loved how just about every human character in this book opened up to Humphrey. I look forward to reading more of this series!