Friendship According to Humphrey
by Betty G. Birney (2005)
An Intro and Sweet Spot selection.
Available in Spanish.
Read to Them schools can’t get enough of Humphrey the hamster, everyone’s favorite classroom pet. The diminutive psychologist manages to charm families and befriend students and school staff alike. He seeks and learns life lessons and imparts his newfound wisdom to children and adults, students and families, at Longfellow School and at your school, too.
In Friendship According to Humphrey, Humphrey ponders just that – friendship. He questions what it is to be a friend. He observes students stumbling their way to friendship, offering his trademark inconspicuous advice and interventions. In Room 26, he helps Raise-Your-Hand-Heidi and Stop-Giggling-Gail find their way around a cheating accusation. In the home, he finds an ingenious way to get Miranda and her step-sister, Crabby Abby, find a way to connect and get along.
He also helps the students on the bus struggling with Mean Marty Bean to offer him a new opportunity and a path to treat others differently. For his own part, Humphrey perseveres to strike his own friendship with his newfound classroom companion, Og the Frog. Eventually, he compiles a taxonomy of friendship, a valuable list detailing different kinds of friendship that classrooms and families are sure to enjoy pondering.
Schools and Districts that opt for Friendship According to Humphrey will be able to forge a brand new Aldo the Custodian monologue (a dependable and engaging assembly idea) about, what else – friendship! And they will discover the engaging nature of “Who Said?” Trivia Questions that place students right in the heart of the book, and have them begging for one more chapter.
If you want to develop a culture of literacy in your school community, there’s no better way than to keep reading about Humphrey’s world. As Ms. Mac says, “You can learn a lot by taking care of another species.” And we say, you can learn even more from following the excellent moral example of Humphrey the hamster – everyone’s hamster friend.