There's a Hamster in My Lunchbox

Written by Susan Clymer
Illustrated by Paul Casale

Reviewed by Elizabeth G. (age 9)

Elizabeth is a 12 year old girl who used to live in an orphanage before she got adopted. One day she goes to school and she and her class find a shocking surprise Ė a Halloween gift that someone left: a hamster! There is also a mysterious note with it that says: My naMe is Squeaks IíM a six- week- old Teddy Bear haMster IíM a girl. Elizabeth and her class keep losing the hamster and finding her in the strangest places. They want to know who left Squeaks there. Elizabeth wonít stop looking until she finds out who left Squeaks and why? She will be shocked to find out who the real owner is!

Elizabeth - one of the characters in the book reminded me of myself in two ways: we both have the same name - Elizabeth. Also, whenever the hamster gets lost sheís the person who usually finds the hamster just like me. When I lose something Iím the one who usually finds it. For example,when I lost my Nintendo DS I found it in my Momís car. I felt a little bit scared in the book because they had to put up all these posters and they had to make a seed path so that Squeaks could eat the seeds and find her way back. I felt scared also because when I lose something I worry about it. When my dog ran away once, (we found her) I was really scared and worried and I was thinking: ďAm I ever going to find her?Ē So I can relate to Elizabeth because she and her class must have been scared and worried too! In the book there are about 13 or 14 illustrations. I liked them because you could look at them and know what is going on. The pictures are also very detailed. The illustrator seems like he put a lot of time and work into the drawings. The illustrator did the pictures in pen and ink which made it look very clear to the reader. When I picked up the book and I read what Elizabeth looked like I thought she was going to have brown hair up to the bottom of her ears and she'd be wearing blue jeans and a t-shirt. But then I looked at the illustration and I saw she didnít look anything like I thought. The illustrations helped me to not be confused. In the book my favorite part was at the end when Elizabeth got Squeaks for one of her Christmas presents. I like that part because she really loved Squeaks as a friend and wanted Squeaks as her own pet. I could imagine the look on Elizabethís face when she got the surprise gift. I bet she looked surprised, happy and excited.

I recommend this book to children ages 8 to 12, especially if you like hamsters. This book is mysterious and funny. If you like a book that is full of surprises, this is the book for you!

Elizabeth G. is a student in Mrs. Weitzman's 4th Grade Class
2007-2008