• First, we’re having a GREAT time with the One School-One Book program…. Getting “thank you” notes from parents already about how it’s “forcing” some family reading time that they seemed to have lost over the years.
    — Paul Marinko - Principal at St. Paul's Lutheran School - Fort Wayne, IN
  • Since last spring, our entire school has excitedly embraced the One School, One Book Program. We will soon begin our spring selection: A Cricket in Times Square -- the third book we've adopted since the spring of 2010!

    We are so thrilled with the positive impact this program has had on our students, families, and staff
    — Laurie LaRue - First Grade Teacher at Edgewood School - Bristol, CT
  • I think the OSOB program is brilliant. My seven year-old attends Orleans Elementary in Massachusetts and they (we) are reading Masterpiece. Since the grades levels range from one to five at this school, finding a book to suit all is difficult. My daughter can follow the big picture somewhat but we have to reinforce what we’ve read because it’s a lot to take in for her.
    — Glenn Krzeminski - Parent of student at Orleans Elementary - Orleans, MA
  • The One District, One Book program promoted by Read To Them...is a powerful way to systemically address and promote a culture of literacy throughout the entire school system.

    My school actually adopted a hamster and even used it as “pet therapy” for many of the behaviorally challenged children in our school.
    — Kenny Moles of West Virginia

The World According to Humphrey

world_lgby Betty G. Birney (2005)

By popular demand! The simple, accessible, wonderful, endearing story of the humble hamster – Humphrey. With his common sense and aggressive nose for right and wrong, Humphrey turns the world of those he meets upside down – for the better! Fresh from the Pet-O-Rama, initially a reluctant member of Room 26 at the Longfellow School, already missing his first mistress (the notorious Ms. Mac), wary and mistrustful of the seemingly dour Mrs. Brisbane – Humphrey slowly endears himself to the students in Room 26 – and to the adults lucky enough to know him (including the principal and the vital school custodian).

What Humphrey really does is teach lessons. The non-didactic kind. Leading by example. It is Betty G. Birney’s genius to let Humphrey recognize and supply the life lessons that give both students and adults confidence – and enables them to confront their secrets and meet their respective challenges. And she does all this in a brisk, quick book enlivened by quick, brisk prose and easily accessible disguised homilies. (“You can learn a lot about yourself when you get to know another species.”)

Like Humphrey, when you meet students lile Raise-Your-Hand-Heidi, Repeat-That-Please-Richie, and Speak-Up-Sayeh, you will embrace their interests and needs and admire Humphrey’s alert and sensible solutions. Similarly, your students and families will find themselves racing into The World According to Humphrey without realizing how quickly they’ll be charmed and hooked. (And want more.)

Note: The World According to Humphrey is an ideal selection for schools wanting to ensure younger readers/listeners can follow along and benefit from your One School, One Book selection. And for hungry families who catch the habit of reading aloud together from your innocent selection, there are six sequels!

Partnership with Penguin!  In a special arrangement with Penguin Books – Penguin will send all schools that purchase The World According to Humphrey thru Read to Them free Humphrey bookmarks – one for each family – and Humphrey posters to hang in your school during your OSOB month. 


There are five supplementary resources for Betty G. Birney’s The World According to Humphrey:

  • a sample letter home to parents
  • a sample reading schedule
  • a Trivia Bank
  • a list of suggested activities
  • suggested assembly ideas

As a participating member of One School, One Book you may have access to all of these documents. Here are some samples:

Meet the Author Video!

Read to Them members can click the video thumbnail to access a special behind-the-scenes video from The World According to Humphrey author Betty G. Birney.

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