Classroom pets have a wild night in the halls of Daisy P. Flugelhorn Elementary.
George “GW” Washington the hamster has languished in the prison that is second grade for over three months, and he finally has everything he needs to break out. After the students are gone, he escapes and frees his old buddy Barry the bunny, held in first grade…but then they must brave the worst cellblock, kindergarten, to free their old pal Biter the guinea pig. However, Biter has gone through a slight transformation thanks to exposure to daily happy singing and a shared learning community; she does yoga and calls herself Sunflower now. Just as they are strategizing their escape from the building, Harriet, one of the fourth-grade white mice, informs them that upper-grade pets rule the school. With the muscle (and questionable appetites) of Lucinda the fifth-grade snake, Harriet captures the trio and relocks them up. Can they escape and save the children from Harriet’s evil scheme? Graphic novelist Jamieson aims for a younger crowd than Roller Girl’s (2015) with this slightly sarcastic and totally loony tale of friendship and the quest for freedom…which turns out to not be what GW thought it would be. Refreshingly, she doesn’t rely on such tired graphic tropes as extra-long eyelashes to set her female characters apart.
Guaranteed fun for young readers, who will eye their classroom pets with some suspicion in the future. (Graphic fantasy. 6-10)