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Trouble According to Humphrey



Last updated Thursday, January 31, 2008

Author: Betty Birney
Date of Publication: 2007
ISBN: 0399245057
Grade Level: 5th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Feb. 2008

Synopsis: from barnesandnoble.com: Humphrey usually helps solve problems, but now he’s caused a big one: Golden-Miranda gets in trouble when Humphrey is caught outside of his cage on her watch. No one knows about his lock-that-doesn’t-lock and he can’t exactly squeak up on her behalf. While Humphrey manages to show Pay-Attention-Art that math is important outside of class, help Sit-Still-Seth actually sit still, and survive a trip to the vet, can he clear Miranda’s name without giving up his freedom forever?

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Have you read any other Humphrey Books? (Friendship According to Humphrey, The World According to Humphrey)
•  Does your classroom have a pet? Do you have a pet?
•  Have you ever held a hamster or a frog?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What are some other animals that are nocturnal?
•  What is a community? What are some communities that you are a part of?
•  Humphrey has some unusual talents for a hamster. What are they? (He takes notes, stays up all day, answers the teacher’s questions...)
•  Why is Aldo, the janitor, going to college? (He wants to be a teacher) Do you want to go to college?
•  What job do you want to have when you grow up?
•  Why does Miranda get in trouble? Is it actually her fault? What really happened?
•  How does Humphrey help rekindle Art and Paul’s friendship?
•  Why is Humphrey staying at Mr. and Mrs. Brisbane’s house?
•  Mrs. Brisbane wrongly accuses Miranda. Have you ever been falsely accused?
•  Humphrey hates it when there is trouble. What are some good ways to stay out of trouble?
•  What does your teacher constantly tell you to do? (Pay attention, speak up, walk don’t run, raise your hand...) Do you listen to your teacher?

Craft ideas:
•  Design your own town. Draw and color a map with street names, houses, stores, parks, pet shops, etc.
•  Make your own 3 dimensional house. Take a piece of paper and cut out the 4 corners to make a “plus” sign. Draw and color the inside and outside of your house. Don’t forget to add friends and pets. Fold the sides up and tape together. Take 2 of the cut out corners and tape together to form the roof. Attach the roof to the house.
•  Each chapter ends with a headline from Humphrey’s newspaper, The Humphreyville Herald. Write a headline about today’s Reading Club for your own personal newspaper. Include an article in the newspaper about your family, friends, and pets.
•  Make a Valentine’s Day card for your pet or someone who lives in your house.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!