Tuesday, November 6, 2012

School according to Humphrey by Betty G Birney

I am very lucky there is a small primary school across the road from my home and they have a terrific and very attractive library so I called in to see if they had any books from the series by Betty G Birney about my new friend Humphrey.

Even though School According to Humphrey is the eighth book the order really does not matter (although I would start this series with the first book which I blogged about last week).

A new school year is just beginning.  It is America so it is September and the Fall.  Humphrey and his new friend Og the frog are waiting in room 26 for the arrival of their old friends. What Humphrey does not realise is that a new school year means a new class!

Mrs Brisbane opened the classroom door and soon students started to come in.  I realised straight away that something was wrong. … ‘You’re in the wrong room!’ I squeaked. ‘This is not your room, go back!’ … Why didn’t’ she notice her class was full of the wrong students?”

Eventually things settle down and Humphrey realises these new kids will be the students in Room 26 but then he begins to worry about his old friends.  Aldo the night janitor tells Humphrey that his nephew Ritchie is missing Humphrey and that he wants a class pet in his new room.  The ever anxious Humphrey imagines the worst. Will he have to leave Room 26?  What will happen to Og? What if the new teacher does not like him?  At night Humphrey opens the lock that does not lock and he goes exploring the school.  He needs to find the classroom where his old friends have gone.

There are some wonderful laugh out loud moments in this installment.  One is when Humphrey discovers the work this year is really easy.  “While the strange students seemed quite bright, I was surprised to find out that I knew quite a lot more than they did about these subjects.  At first this was confusing to me, until I realised that I’d studied the exact same information last year.  I felt unsqueakably smart!

I am looking forward to reading more books in this series. We only have one title in our school library as I write this – Friendship according to Humphrey but early next year I will purchase the full series. In America School according to Humphrey has a different title - another publishing mystery?  Finally I should mention each chapter ends with a delicious little piece of advice. 

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