In Betty G. Birney’s According to Humphrey chapter books for grades 2-4, Humphrey the classroom pet hamster goes home with a different student each weekend. Each family provides an opportunity for Humphrey to help a child, or be helped himself. School Library Journal says:
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 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.
The first book in the series about everyone’s favorite classroom pet!
You can learn a lot about life by observing another species. That’s what Humphrey was told when he was first brought to Room 26. And boy, is it true! In addition to having FUN-FUN-FUN in class, each weekend this amazing hamster gets to sleep over with a different student, like Lower-Your-Voice-A.J. and Speak-Up-Sayeh. Soon Humphrey learns to read, write, and even shoot rubber bands (only in self-defense, of course). With lots of friends to help, adventures to enjoy, and a cage with a lock-that-doesn’t- lock, Humphrey’s life is almost perfect. If only the teacher, Mrs. Brisbane, wasn’t out to get him!
Boys and girls can’t help falling in love with Humphrey!
After the holidays, Humphrey is shocked by a big surprise in Room 26-a new class pet!
Humphrey tries to be welcoming, but Og the frog doesn’t respond to any of his friendly squeaks or visits (remember, he has a lock-that-doesn’t-lock).
Plus, the students are so interested in Og, they almost stop paying attention to Humphrey altogether. Humphrey doesn’t like the mad-bad-sad feelings he’s had since Og came, but luckily he still gets to have adventures with different kids on the weekends.
Friendship can be tricky, but Humphrey is an intrepid problem-solver. If any hamster can become buddies with a frog, he can.
Humphrey loves to solve problems for his classmates in Room 26, but he never meant to create one!
Golden-Miranda, one of his favorite students, gets blamed when Humphrey is caught outside of his cage while she’s in charge. Since no one knows about his lock-that-doesn’t-lock, he can’t exactly squeak up to defend her.
Humphrey really has his paws full when Don’t-Complain-Mandy-Payne and her family stir up more big trouble.
Humphrey manages to help Pay-Attention-Art and Sit-Still-Seth and even survives a trip to the vet, but can he clear Miranda’s name without giving up his freedom forever?