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Anna and Tom's mother lets them choose a pair of hamsters as pets. But their happiness soon turns to horror when the hamsters are found mysteriously dead in their cage. Anna and Tom launch a full-scale investigation to determine who--or what--is behind the hamster homicides. Illustrations.
- ISBN-13: 9781442420625
- ISBN-10: 1442420626
- Publisher: Beach Lane Books
- Publish Date: May 2011
- Page Count: 208
- Reading Level: Ages 8-12
Series: Great Critter Capers
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-07-11
- Reviewer: Staff
In this flippantly twisted debut, first published in the U.K., nine-year-old Anna relays quite the tale of woe. Her easygoing cat was run over by a car, and the bad-natured New Cat literally scares a friend's pet rabbit to death. The cat is "Reason Number One" that Anna's mother (who previously owned two hamsters that met outlandish demises) refuses to let Anna and her younger brother, Tom, get a hamster, believing that it couldn't possibly survive. But after Anna's grandmother dies, her mother relents and buys a pair of hamsters. Not surprisingly, these animals soon suffer misfortune: Anna and Tom discover the hamster's eight newborn offspring dead in their bloodied cage; one of the hamster parents has disappeared, and the other is missing a leg (and eventually dies). Alas, the kids' bumbling investigation turns up no culprits. Despite its grisly subject matter, the novel is genuinely funny, largely due to Anna's refreshing spontaneity, wry observations, and matter-of-fact attitude. Shaw's droll pictures also buoy the saga, which continues with The Great Rabbit Rescue, out in December. Ages 8–12. (May)
A monstrous (hilarious) mystery
Ever wanted a pet so badly you’d promise to do anything to get one? Anna and her brother, Tom, have been pestering their mom seemingly forever, to no avail. They already have New Cat (Old Cat was run over), but they desperately want a hamster. They’ve tried everything—begging, praying in church and even asking their sick Nana to lobby for them. But it isn’t until Nana dies that Mom comes around.
Even though Mom has an unfortunate history with rascally rodents, she finally agrees to let the kids have Russian Dwarf hamsters. In an unexpected turn of events, she agrees to buy not one, but two(!)—insisting, of course, that both pets be the same gender.
Fate has a way of intervening, however, and when Number One and Number Two reproduce, Anna and Tom are elated . . . until they wake up to find the hideous and disturbing “great hamster massacre.” With Number One missing a leg and Number Two just missing, the siblings and their next-door neighbor Suzanne launch a full-scale investigation of the monstrosity. Who are the likely suspects? Will they ever be brought to justice? And what will become of the empty cage and silent hamster wheel?
This debut novel by British author Katie Davies is a flippy, fun and extremely fast-paced journey into the world of a very likable brother and sister—and their amusing family and friends. Intermittent silly pencil sketches fill the pages diary-style, creating a whimsical mood and adding comic relief.
Hilarious happenings, surreptitious outings, secret passwords and a lighthearted mystery liven up The Great Hamster Massacre. Giggles are frequent among the kids in this book, and they will infect readers as well.