Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The World According to Humphrey” as Want to Read:
The World According to Humphrey
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The World According to Humphrey (According to Humphrey #1)

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  3,615 Ratings  ·  441 Reviews

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! There are always adventures in the classroom and each weekend he gets to sleep over with different students. Humphrey learns to read, write, shoot rubber bands (only in self-defense, of course), turn off TVs, teach English as

ebook, 0 pages
Published May 5th 2005 by Penguin Group (USA)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The World According to Humphrey, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Macy Smestad Ms.Mac left because she wanted to see the world of Brazil
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Michael Mccarthy
This is a great book. I really enjoyed reading it for a number of reasons. This book is written from the perspective of a hamster known as Humphrey who is a student in a class known as Room 26. Reading a book from a hamster’s perspective is unusual and I feel this would intrigue a pupil an interest and inspire the pupil to continue reading. At the same it is challenging for a reader to continually read from this perspective and would encourage a child to use their imagination in order to underst ...more
Mar 25, 2013 Shan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Every young child
Shelves: children
My 5 year old nephew, in kindergarten, received this book through his elementary school (grades K-2) that is launching a new school program called One School, One book, where every family receives a copy of the same book and are recommended to read a chapter a day for the entire month. This book is a chapter book with no pictures and it was the first time reading a book like this to my nephew. I LOVED this book! Though, I'm not so sure if my nephew shares the same enthusiasm for this book as I d ...more
Aug 26, 2014 Irene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Kids in Elementary School
Shelves: children
What a delightful read!

Humphrey is a kind, open-minded hamster who makes friends easily. He is fiercely loyal and quick to go out of his way to lend a helping hand - or paw, as Humphrey would say!

Through this first-person narrative from the perspective of a classroom pet, young readers will see that first impressions are not always accurate; that people are multifaceted, and you can't really understand a person until you see all aspects of his/her life; that sometimes, when people have problem
Michaela C.
This book I can tell was written for younger ages but I still enjoyed it. I thought it was cute and I liked it! Humphrey is a hamster who is smart and helps people who he cares about. His pet owner (teacher) moves to a different school and leaves him there with a new teacher which Humphrey does not like. He has experiences with the students and a janitor. It was a good book and I would recommend it to younger kids. If you have a younger sibling or a cousin this would be a great book to read to t ...more
Sep 20, 2010 Brenda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Children ages 7 to 11 who love animal stories
Shelves: fantasy
First in a series of six books by author Betty Birney, The World According to Humphrey is a very cute story told from the perspective of a hamster. I listened to the audiobook version of this with my son. Humphrey begins his story with Mrs. Mack and a classroom of children who love him. When Mrs. Mack picks him up at the pet store she tells him that he “can learn a lot about yourself by taking care of another species and you’ll teach those children a thing or two.” So when a substitute teacher M ...more
Oct 16, 2012 Cassidy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
144 pages
by Betty G. Birney

The World According to Humphrey is the first in the Humphrey series. Humphrey is the classroom hamster in Room 26, Mrs. Brisbane's room, at Longfellow School. He is a very smart hamster! He was brought to school by Mrs. Mac, a substitute for Mrs. Brisbane one day. ms. Mac gave him a tiny notebook and pencil before she left. Throughout the book, Humphrey helps different students in Mrs. Brisbane's class (like Speak-Up-Sayeh) when they take him home for the weekend.

I lov
Dec 28, 2014 Nate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: obob-2015, 2014
The World According to Humphrey is a heart-warming tale that I only recommend to those who are prepared to seriously consider hamster ownership. Humphrey is the class pet of Room 26, and he is the most intelligent and handsome hamster around. The story begins with Humphrey in crisis; the current teacher in Room 26, who bought Humphrey and took him home every night, was actually a long-term sub for Mrs. Brisbane. Mrs. Brisbane is returning after a prolonged absence, and Ms. Mac (the sub), is now ...more
Apr 21, 2015 Taylor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Have you ever wanted to know how a hamster see's the world that we live in today? Well in The World According to Humphrey that't just what you get to do! I really enjoyed reading this book because of its funny concept on learning how a hamster views our world and how he even learns how to be like us. In this book you read from the perspective of a hamster that was brought to a classroom by a boy, for the students to learn about the lives of other species. Each weekend Humphrey got to go to one o ...more
Sep 21, 2016 Dan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Checkout my Booklikes Blog, Dan Grover: Cover to Cover

TheValue of a Star: Ratings Explained

This was the one district, one book selection my kids brought home from school to read together this year. I love this program, but usually the books they choose are either totally lame, completely boring, or both. (I'm looking at you, The Sixty-Eight Rooms!)

The World According to Humphrey was neither lame, nor boring! It was a blast to read out loud. My second grader hung on every word and got excited in
Oct 03, 2010 Jasmine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The name of this book is "The World According to Humphrey." Humphrey is a hamster. There's no illustrator. The author is Betty G. Birney. The time is now. The place that they mostly talk about in the book is the classroom where Humphrey lives. Humphrey is the main character. He is like Ditto except that he has a different pattern on his fur. The teacher is Mrs. Brisbane, who wants to get rid of him. Humphrey is the main character.

For Thanksgiving, he goes to Mrs. Brisbane's house for the weekend
Kelly Rae
Jul 16, 2015 Kelly Rae rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: juv-fiction
This a cute little story about Humphrey, a young hamster, who is bought by a teacher to help her children learn. Mrs. Mack always says the best way to learn about yourself is to learn about another species.

Humphrey loves Mrs. Mack and staying with her during evenings and weekends with her in her colorful home. He is full of dread when he learns that Mrs. Mack is leaving and is not taking him with him. Humphrey worries as he meets the real teacher who Mrs. Mack had been substituting for and worri
Oscar Despard
Mar 31, 2016 Oscar Despard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
The World According to Humphrey is a beautifully written book about a hamster in a school classroom. Humphrey, the hamster, is brought home by a different pupil every weekend, and gets to see into the students' family lives, where Humphrey (with the help of his cage, which doesn't lock properly), attempts to solve the problems in their lives. It is a story that is not only adorable to read, but also teaches the young children who read about why some students may act in certain ways in their own ...more
Sep 11, 2010 Caleb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In The World According to Humphrey a lot of exciting things happened. It all starts with woman named Miss Mack. She was a teacher, and she was walking towards a pet store. She decided to get a hamster, and he was named Humphrey. He had a great time with Miss Mack, and was the class room pet. One day Humphrey was told that Miss Mack had to leave. He was very disappointed with this news. The new teacher did not like Humphrey. He was taken home every weekend by one of the students. As the days wen ...more
Karen Arendt
A good story about a classroom from the perspective of the class pet, a hamster named Humphrey. Humphrey gets to see into the lives of several of his classmates, and even his teacher Mrs. Brisbane, through weekend visits. Humphrey is a special hamster, though, because he helps those he visits make positive changes in their lives. A fun read aloud.
Jill Manning
My 6 year old daughter and I just finished reading this book together and it was a perfect introduction to chapter books. She didn't mind that there were no pictures because the story was so fun for her. She wants to find the next book and keep going. It's been really fun to read together.
Jul 09, 2011 H rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-bluestem
I was dreading reading this Bluestem nominee, but I was pleasantly surprised at the charm of the book. Yes, this story told from the point of view of a classroom hamster is sometimes cloyingly sweet, but the voice of Humphrey reminded me of my favorite fictionsl third grade girl (Clementine) and the story moves fast. I think children in the target for the book (3rd-5th) will really like the little hamster, and the lack of a defined grade will spread the book's appeal (we never find out what grad ...more
Sep 26, 2016 Shannon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book came highly recommended by one of our librarians. She was totally spot on. My son instantly fell in love with Humphrey. The writing is imaginative and the story-lines help teach empathy. We can't wait to read the next in the series.
Jan 06, 2016 Molly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved it because it was on a hamsters side of view!
Katherine Matychak
Very sweet book.
Feb 24, 2015 Courtney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3-5-lit
During the last week of my student observing Junior year, fall semester, my teacher began to read this book. I only got to hear a chapter of it so I decided that I would read and review this book for FANTASY FICTION. This book is a great book for sharing many laughs as well as experiencing everyday problems that people face. The World According to Humphrey took me through the book through the eyes of Humphrey where he showed us problems that he encountered and problems that his classmates encoun ...more
Dec 16, 2014 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade, fantasy
Humphrey the hamster is sad - Ms. McNamara, who bought him for the kids of Room 26, is leaving, and Mrs. Brisbane is coming in. And she does not like hamsters. Poor Humphrey, who is used to going home every night to Ms. McNamara's cozy apartment, is now stuck at school in the evenings. Luckily for him, there are friends to be made no matter where he looks... and going home with a different student each weekend is just what the kids need!

My expectations were low for this book (a story about a cla
Miłośniczka Książek
Oct 28, 2014 Miłośniczka Książek rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dzieci
Świat Pupilków to miejsce, w którym wiele zwierząt, ptaków i rybek z wytęsknieniem wygląda dnia, w którym ktoś je zauważy i przygarnie dając tym samym nowy dom. Wśród nich znajduje się uroczy chomiczek o bystrych oczkach, ruchliwych wąsikach i złocistym futerku. Pewnego dnia do sklepu zagląda panna Milska, która spośród wszystkich jego mieszkańców wybiera owego słodkiego chomika. Bo wiedzieć musicie, że panna Milska miała względem niego poważne plany. Pomyślała sobie, że dzięki niemu jej uc ...more
Caitlin Harmon
In the first book of the series, The World According the Humphrey, Humphrey a hamster who lives in Room 26 learns how to read, write, shoot rubber bands (only in self-defense, of course), turn of TVs, teach English as a second language, and more. He lives in a cage with a lock that doesn't lock and has an adventurous spirit, which leads him to become an unforgettable classroom pet. The topics related to this book include responsibility, understanding differences, language, international studies, ...more
Feb 15, 2009 Robert rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction
Humphrey the hamster lives in a primary school during the week and with the class teacher at weekends, until the teacher leaves and is replaced by a woman with no time for rodents....Many adventures ensue and the lives of many frequenters of Room 26 are changed for ever!
Funny, fast and fun! Learn what the most intelligent and best educated hamster in America can do when he is kept in a cage with a lock that doesn't lock.
Destani Vanardalen
This book was about a hamster named Humphrey. Humphrey wanted someone to buy him while he lived in a pet shop. Then there was a teacher who bought Humphrey and kept him in her classroom (substite teacher). When the real teacher came back (Mrs. Brisbane) she didn't like Humphrey. So she thought of an idea which was every weekend one kid got to take him home. Mrs. Brisbane started liking Humphrey after a while.
Jamie Humphreys
May 20, 2016 Jamie Humphreys rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this series! Cute stories and my students love them!
Haruna Saka
Feb 26, 2014 Haruna Saka rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book: )
"The World according to Humphrey"
Puffin Books.

Time: )
2/15=20min, 2/21=70min, 2/22=15min,2/26=28min, 2/27=30min

7 summary: )
Ms. Mac, left, Room26, honored, classmates, Aldo(the person who comes to Room26 everyday to keep classrooms clean, dark, etc.), surprises

My thought: )
How funny this story is! It was more interesting than I expected. And, Humphrey is so cute and clever!:)
I remember that there were some rabbits in my elementary school. (But not in a classroom. )And then, one of the rab
Ashley Fuhr
Apr 06, 2016 Ashley Fuhr rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perfect read for elementary students. I read this to a group of 3rd graders who fell in love with Humphrey's wit and will continue to read his other stories. I loved the interaction with many different characters in the class. This really helped my kiddos to relate the issues going on to themselves and those they know.
Mar 18, 2016 Shannon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chapter-books
03/16: This is one of our all-time favorite series. The boys and I read and LOVED every one of these. Now, even though they've grown out of them, we check out new ones as they are released to revisit an old friend. Though it pains me because this is a big favorite of ours, I'm deleting every other book in the series to save time on manually importing (cut & paste, cut & paste) all of my reviews from Shelfari to Goodreads.

08/11: David: Humphrey has come into Mrs. Brisbane's school. He's f
Feb 22, 2015 Travis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My daughter's school assigned this book to be read together as a family. The entire elementary and intermediate school is doing this which I think is pretty awesome! We were supposed to read chapters 1 thru 3 this past week together and we did. But I must confess, I really liked the book and couldn't wait to read the next four chapters which are assigned to be read this coming week. Besides, the book has 15 chapters and I am not certain how long the school will stretch those out. I had to read i ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • All Stations! Distress!: April 15, 1912: The Day the Titanic Sank
  • Harriet the Invincible (Hamster Princess, #1)
  • Into the Firestorm: A Novel of San Francisco, 1906
  • Tales of Bunjitsu Bunny (Bunjitsu Bunny #1)
  • The Flight of the Phoenix (Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist, #1)
  • Violet Mackerel's Brilliant Plot (Violet Mackerel, #1)
  • Wild Girl
  • Niagara Falls, Or Does It? (Hank Zipzer, #1)
  • The Fenway Foul-Up (Ballpark Mysteries, #1)
  • 14 Cows for America
  • Kenny and the Dragon
  • Please Write in This Book
  • Extra Credit
  • Be Careful What You Sniff For (Magic Bone, #1)
  • Kizzy Ann Stamps
  • Stick Dog (Stick Dog, #1)
  • Brendan Buckley's Universe and Everything in It
  • Malcolm at Midnight

From kindergarten through graduation, I attended school in Affton, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. Then I graduated from Webster College (now Webster University) in Webster Groves, Missouri. Of course, I majored in English and kept on writing.

After working in advertising in St. Louis, Missouri and in Chicago, Illinois, I eventually moved to Southern California. First, I worked for Disneyland (fun
More about Betty G. Birney...

Other Books in the Series

According to Humphrey (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Friendship According to Humphrey (According to Humphrey, #2)
  • Trouble According to Humphrey (According to Humphrey, #3)
  • Surprises According to Humphrey (According to Humphrey, #4)
  • Adventure According to Humphrey (According to Humphrey, #5)
  • Summer According to Humphrey (According to Humphrey, #6)
  • School Days According to Humphrey (According to Humphrey, #7)
  • Mysteries According to Humphrey (According to Humphrey, #8)
  • Winter According to Humphrey (According to Humphrey, #9)
  • Secrets According to Humphrey (According to Humphrey, #10)
  • Imagination According to Humphrey (According to Humphrey #11)

Share This Book

“You can learn a lot about yourself by getting to know another species. Even humans.” 1 likes
“JERK.” Mom” 0 likes
More quotes…