Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Sapphire the Great and the Meaning of Life” as Want to Read:
Sapphire the Great and the Meaning of Life
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Sapphire the Great and the Meaning of Life

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  12 ratings  ·  9 reviews
It's not every day you encounter a hamster experiencing an existential crisis, but Sapphire has spent her short pet-store life convinced that she's waiting for...something. At first she thinks it's to be FREE, but it may be possible that life has a greater purpose in store--a purpose Sapphire will discover thanks to a nine-year-old girl whose family is changing in ways she ...more
Published February 22nd 2019 by Pajama Press
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 Sapphire the Great and the Meaning of Life, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Sapphire the Great and the Meaning of Life

Community Reviews

Showing 1-42
3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  12 ratings  ·  9 reviews

Sort order
Don’t read what this book is about. It gives away half of the book. And if you are looking for all those things that are in the synopsis, you will miss out an a cute tale of a girl and her hamster.

Because, what this book is about is families, and love, and acceptance.

Jeannie really wants a hamster, more than anything, and Sapphire, who doesn’t get her name until half way through the book, thinks all she wants is freedom.

The story is told alternatively from Jeannie’s point of view and the hamste
Teresa Grabs
Nov 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh my gosh! Brenna hit a homerun with the book! It grabs you by the throat and pulls you in on the very first page and doesn't let go of your heartstrings until the last page. Better have some tissues handy (good tears...not bad).

The story is told through short alternating chapters between Jeannie and Sapphire the Great (her hamster). 

We join Jeannie, Alistair (her brother), and their mother three weeks after Christmas and two weeks after their father left, Harvey, left the house. Everyone is de
Stephanie Bange
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Reviewed from an advanced reader copy.

Nine-year-old Jeannie is at a personal crossroads. Her mother is on edge because her father has moved out of the house, talking divorce. Her brother is also agitated. She is past due her trip to the pet store to buy a pet hamster. No one seems to listen to her. She finally gets to the pet store and picks out a white hamster with sapphire blue eyes. That's when all the pieces of her life begin to fall into place.

Told in alternating chapters with two points of
I'd give this one a 3.5. I'm sure it will appeal to many young readers. Not only is it an adorable animal story, but it explores themes of loss, family, friendship and acceptance. Nine-year-old Jeannie is confused after her father moves out. She decides that a pet hamster would prompt him to spend more time with her. Sapphire is a hamster who is tired of living in the pet store, and she longs for freedom. It's a match made in Heaven even though Jeannie at first names her new pet Harvey Owens aft ...more
Feb 18, 2019 rated it liked it
A cute and sweet book, especially for younger audiences, with a diverse cast of characters and an interesting combination of perspectives from our 9 year old protagonist, Jeannie, and the hamster, Sapphire.

I think the book has a great message about acceptance and growth as well as the importance of younger kids having their voices heard, especially in the midst of hard times.

Enjoyable and will definitely look into getting this for our lgbt center library!
Lisa Day
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
There is a whole lot of stuff going on in this book. I liked the viewpoint of Sapphire the hamster, who is looking for the meaning of life - and lots of peanuts.
rated it liked it
Jan 02, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Nov 28, 2018
Vickie Weaver mcmillen
rated it really liked it
Feb 17, 2019
Dec 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Beverly Brenna's gift is to authentically let the reader see the world from a unique perspective. This novel does that in spades, revealing a world from two starkly different narratives: that of Jeannie, a girl with behavior challenges; and also from Sapphire, the hamster that Jeannie has just purchased.

Jeannie's parents are going through a divorce. When Jeannie is upset, she shouts. The upheaval in her family causes her to shout a lot, and of course this has a domino effect on every other aspec
Lara Lillibridge
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a fun but meaningful book for the 8-10-year-old range, told in alternating points of view between Jeannie, a loud kind-of-clumsy kid, and Sapphire, her hamster. The illustrations at the beginning of each chapter are simply adorable. I also enjoyed the formatting of the book, with various fonts in various sizes which I think young readers will find engaging. Jeannie is a likable yet imperfect character, which I think adds to her relatability.

Jeannie and Alistair’s dad has been gone for a
Sara Grochowski
marked it as to-read
Jun 09, 2018
marked it as to-read
Jun 14, 2018
marked it as to-read
Jun 19, 2018
marked it as to-read
Jun 29, 2018
Arianna Sterling
marked it as to-read
Jul 13, 2018
Noa Josef
marked it as to-read
Jul 26, 2018
David Paggi
marked it as to-read
Aug 29, 2018
marked it as to-read
Oct 01, 2018
marked it as to-read
Oct 02, 2018
added it
Oct 18, 2018
marked it as to-read
Oct 19, 2018
marked it as to-read
Oct 23, 2018
marked it as to-read
Oct 30, 2018
marked it as to-read
Nov 07, 2018
marked it as to-read
Nov 16, 2018
marked it as to-read
Nov 17, 2018
added it
Nov 18, 2018
marked it as to-read
Nov 21, 2018
Mark Jojie Emelo
marked it as to-read
Nov 24, 2018
marked it as to-read
Nov 29, 2018
MC Brickell
marked it as to-read
Dec 06, 2018
marked it as to-read
Dec 18, 2018
marked it as to-read
Dec 27, 2018
Jordan Mccusker
marked it as to-read
Dec 29, 2018
marked it as to-read
Jan 01, 2019
marked it as to-read
Jan 17, 2019
Shelby Turner
marked it as to-read
Jan 21, 2019
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Beverley Brenna calls Saskatoon, Saskatchewan home base, and loves to travel (both for real, and through reading)!

She published her first poem in The Western Producer at age seven. From this point, she was hooked on writing!

Much of what she writes contains autobiographical scenes, such as the "friendship soup" in The Keeper of the Trees, and the care and keeping of a pet tarantula in Spider Summe