Bound To Stay Bound

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 World according to Humphrey (Humphrey)
 Author: Birney, Betty G.

 Publisher:  Putnam (2004)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 124 p.,  22 cm.

 BTSB No: 120535 ISBN: 9780399241987
 Ages: 7-11 Grades: 2-6

 Hamsters -- Fiction
 School stories

Price: $20.68

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

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Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG
   Reading Level: 4.20
   Points: 4.0   Quiz: 77182
Reading Counts Information:
   Interest Level: 3-5
   Reading Level: 3.60
   Points: 8.0   Quiz: 36964

Common Core Standards 
   Grade 2 → Reading → RL Reading Literature → 2.RL Key Ideas & Details
   Grade 2 → Reading → RL Reading Literature → 2.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
   Grade 2 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
   Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → 3.RL Key Ideas & Details
   Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → 3.RL Craft & Structure
   Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → 3.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
   Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Key Ideas & Details
   Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
   Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Craft & Structure
   Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
   Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
   Grade 2 → Reading → RF Foundational Skills → 2.RF Fluency
   Grade 3 → Reading → RF Foundational Skills → 3.RF Fluency

   Kirkus Reviews (01/01/04)
   School Library Journal (04/04)
   Booklist (03/01/04)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (04/04)

Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 04/01/2004 Gr 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 2004 Reed Business Information. - Copyright 2004 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Bulletin for the Center... - 04/01/2004 Humphrey is the pet hamster in Mrs. Brisbane’s class at Longfellow School. Despite the fact that Mrs. Brisbane is not particularly fond of the "rodent," as she calls him, she manages to make sure the hamster is cared for by sending him home with a different student each weekend. In the various houses of his various classmates, Humphrey identifies a problem (the principal’s children don’t listen to him, Sayeh’s mother doesn’t speak English, A. J.’s family is constantly competing with the television, etc.) and addresses it as only a canny hamster can. The set-up and arc of this plot are programmatic, and there are few surprises. The action is sometimes cornily sentimental (Mrs. Brisbane’s depressed husband is bitter about the automobile accident that’s left him dependent on a wheelchair, but he’s reinvigorated after chasing an escaped Humphrey around the house), but moments of humor lighten the text. Humphrey’s narration is informal and accessible, and his knowledge of human behavior would do any counselor proud. The humanitarian hamster’s point of view is sure to cause young readers to look at their own furry friends with new eyes. - Copyright 2004 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.

Booklist - 03/01/2004 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. - Copyright 2004 Booklist.

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