The World According To Humphrey by Betty G. Birney (Putnam, 2004). Humphrey is the class hamster in Room 26, and boy, does he learn a lot! Not only is Humphrey keeping up with the kids in their studies, he also visits the home of a different one each weekend. Everyone loves him...except the new teacher, Mrs. Brisbane. Humphrey is a VERY-VERY-VERY open, caring hamster--smart, resourceful, kindhearted, and always true to his own point of view. Ages 8-up.
Friendship According To Humphrey by Betty G. Birney (Putnam, 2005). Humphrey's still the class pet in room 26, but suddenly, he's not the only one! Enter Og the Frog. "Boing!" Can these different species become friends, and what about the other relationships in Mrs. Brisbane's classroom? It can be HARD-HARD-HARD to be a friend, but it's worth it. Ages 8-up. A companion book to The World According To Humphrey.
Cynsational Note: Betty G. Birney has another new novel out, The Seven Wonders Of Sassafras Springs (Atheneum, 2005). It's in my stack, but I haven't read it yet. However, you can get a sneak peek online at chapter one.
Cynsational News & Links
Congratulations to San Antonio's Lupe Ruiz-Flores, recipient of the second Martha Weston Grant. Lupe will receive $1,500 to defer her expenses to attend the SCBWI annual summer conference in Los Angeles August 5 to 8.
The Children's Writing Update for August 2 features: Market News from Magazine Maven Margaret; Ask the Children's Librarian; Julia Ward Howe Awards (for those who live or have lived within a 100 mile radius of Boston); Getting Published with Self-Help for Kids.
Smart Writers Journal for August 2005 features: articles about winners of the Smart Writers' contest; an author interview with Marlene Perez ("talks about writing edgy YAs and spirited fantasies"); and Writers Retreats and Conferences by Margot Finke. Read my thoughts on Unexpected Development by Marlene Perez (Roaring Brook, 2004).