MY BOOKS: Friendship According To Humphrey
Friendship According to Humphrey

Hamster photo © Karin Skogstad
After the long winter vacation, Humphrey can't wait to see his friends in Room 26 again and find out what Mrs. Brisbane has planned for the class. But he's shocked by a big surprise on the first day back - a new classroom pet!

Humphrey offers his paw in friendship, but Og the frog doesn't seem interested. Plus, the students are so interested in Og, they almost stop paying attention to Humphrey altogether. Luckily he still gets to go home with different kids on the weekends. He helps A.J. and Garth deal with a bully, Golden-Miranda learn to get along with her new step-sister, a new student feel like she belongs, and more.

It keeps him BUSY-BUSY-BUSY because the Poetry Festival is coming up as well as Richie's big birthday party! And then there's that terrible snowstorm. Brrrrr!

Through it all, Humphrey has to share the spotlight - and the classroom at night - with the unsociable Og, who stirs up MAD-BAD-SAD feelings Humphrey's never had before. Through it all, he learns a lot about frogs ... jealousy ... and the true meaning of friendship.


Currently on the list for the Iowa Children's Choice Award!

WINNER of the 2006 Christopher Award saluting media that “affirm the highest values of the human spirit."

Winner of the 2007-2008 Children's Crown Award

A New York Library Association Book of the Season

A Bank St. Children's Book Committee Best Book of the Year

INTERVIEW: Children's book author, Cynthia Leitich Smith (Indian Shoes; Rain Is Not My Indian Name; Jingle Dancer) has an in-depth interview about FRIENDSHIP ACCORDING TO HUMPHREY on her blog at: http://cynthialeitichsmith.blogspot.com/2005/08/author-interview-betty-g-birney-on_06.html

Friendship paperback
Also in paperback!
UK Cover
(Faber & Faber)
Audio Cover
Brilliance Audio
Dutch Cover

Coming soon

Coming soon

"Ultimately, this thoughtful yet upbeat tale lends credence to the notion that actions and intentions can be misinterpreted while pointing out the benefits of looking at a situation from another's point of view. Readers will find that seeing the world from Humphrey's standpoint is mighty satisfying"
  Kirkus Reviews

"The adorable and intelligent hamster introduced in The World According to Humphrey is dismayed to find that he shares his status as classroom pet with a frog. Try as he might, Humphrey cannot seem to make friends with Og, who just splashes him or says "BOING!" The little rodent ... also uses his wits to effect positive outcomes of the various subplots, including a new girl who won't talk and has trouble making friends, two pals who get into a terrible fight, a bully who causes trouble on the bus, and the janitor who dreams of going back to college. The theme of friendship is as pervasive as the title implies, making this chapter book a charming read-aloud."
  School Library Journal

"...There is one hilarious moment when he confuses "poetry" with "poultry." ("I'm a little scared of things with feathers, ever since my early days at Pet-O-Rama.") Wise observations (a la Beverly Cleary) of friendship in the story of two newcomers, a frog and a shy little girl."
  Chicago Tribune

"PW called The World According to Humphrey a "breezy, well-crafted first novel, narrated by a hamster." The comical critter returns to room 26 in Friendship According to Humphrey by Betty G. Birney, only to discover a new class pet, Og the frog. Can a friendship be forged?"
  Publishers Weekly

"...Humphrey is a most extraordinary hamster. He can write and learn and get out of his cage whenever he wants. These skills help him with a bully, a new girl who won't talk, and the janitor, but will they help him make friends with Og? This early chapter book is perfect for grades two through four. "
  Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County

sunburstTo see pictures of Humphrey and Betty at the 2005 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, click here.

In this sequel, we meet a few more of Humphrey's friends in - and out - of Room 26.

Og is the new classroom pet in Room 26 but no matter how hard Humphrey tries to make friends with Og, the frog ignores him ... or worse! Humphrey fights his feelings of jealousy when the other students seem to pay more attention to Og than to him and eventually learns that first impressions are often wrong. To hear how Og sounds, click here!

Don't Complain-Mandy-Payne is friendly but impulsive and doesn't hold back her opinions - including complaints!

Sit-Still-Seth-Stevenson may wiggle and fidget in his chair, but he can be a true friend to someone who really needs one.

I-Heard-That-Kirk-Chen is the class clown, always ready with a wisecrack, but Mrs. Brisbane wisely helps him learn to curb his outbursts while keeping his sense of humor.

Put-That-Toy-Away-Tabitha-Clark is the new girl in Room 26. No one seems to be able to connect with her and she's ridiculed for carrying a shabby toy bear in her pocket. Luckily, when Humphrey learns about her background, he devises a clever and daring plan that helps her make a friend ... which leads to many others.

Mean Martin Bean is the bully on the bus who makes Humphrey REALLY-REALLY-REALLY mad. Humphrey finds a way to put him in his place ... but can a bully ever change?

Abby is Miranda Golden's new stepsister. She's a real nightmare to live with ... until Humphrey finds an ingenious - and slightly scary - way to bring the two girls together.

Magic Mitch is the entertainer at Richie's really cool birthday party. Despite Mitch's smooth moves, when Humphrey finds himself tricked, he turns the tables on the magician and manages to steal the show.

Natalie is the babysitter for Wait-For-The-Bell-Garth Tugwell and his brother. A college student, she teaches Humphrey a lesson that he is able to pass on to others.