Available now • Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers • Ages 8 - 12
"A top pick for slow or reluctant readers" (Kirkus) and "the first in a series that will appeal to fans of Roald Dahl and Dick King-Smith." (Booklist)
Story: Anna and her brother, Tom, have always wanted a pet. And after their latest pestering campaign, their mother finally gives in and lets them choose a pair of hamsters from the local pet shop. 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. Can they solve the case of the Great Hamster Massacre?
Katie Davies' irresistibly funny mystery and Hanna Shaw's spot-on illustrations combine for a quirky, delightful read that is part detective tale, part diary, and altogether hilarious.
Story behind the story:
Author Katie Davies has experience with hamster disasters. When she was twelve years old, after a relentless begging campaign, she was given two Russian Dwarf hamsters for Christmas. She is yet to recover from what happened to those hamsters. The Great Hamster Massacre is her first novel. Katie lives in North London with her husband, comedian Alan Davies, and their baby daughter. They do not have any hamsters.
Illustrator Hannah Shaw was born into a large family of sprout-munching vegetarians. She spent her formative years trying to be good at everything, from roller-skating to gymnastics, but she soon realized there wasn't much chance of her becoming a gold-medal-winning gymnast, so she resigned herself to writing stories and drawing pictures instead! Hannah currently lives in a little cottage in the Cotswolds with her husband, Ben the blacksmith, and her rescue dog, Ren. She finds her overactive imagination fuels new ideas but unfortunately keeps her awake at night!
Read an excerpt or, better yet, read and see this designed excerpt. Here's just one sample spread below but there's much more to enjoy...
AND WHAT HAVE REVIEWERS BEEN SAYING ABOUT THE GREAT HAMSTER MASSACRE?
"Inspired use of simple words, straightforward syntax and effective repetition make this a top pick for slow or reluctant readers...Under the plot’s frothy surface lie serious depths...An auspicious debut." --Kirkus Reviews
"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.... Giggles are frequent among the kids in this book, and they will infect readers as well." --BookPage
"Whimsical, cartoonish pen-and-ink illustrations accompany the story and help lighten the seriousness....This is the first in a series that will appeal to fans of Roald Dahl and Dick King-Smith." --Booklist
"For young readers who can handle a bit of the macabre with their giggles, this strange little tale will be perfectly appealing." --Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"An interesting take on how children deal with grief and shock.... Anna’s voice is engaging, and portrayals of various pets and neighbors (with accompanying hand-drawn side notes and cartoons) will entertain...give this dark comedy to reluctant readers, mystery lovers, and fans of narrator-illustrated fare like Jeff Kinney’s “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” books or Tom Angleberger’s The Strange Case of Origami Yoda (2010, both Abrams)." --School Library Journal
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