Hot Rod Hamster and the Haunted Halloween Party! (Hot Rod Hamster)

by Cynthia Lord (Author) Derek Anderson (Illustrator)

Hot Rod Hamster and the Haunted Halloween Party! (Hot Rod Hamster)
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
Series: Hot Rod Hamster

The early reader series from the dynamic duo of Newbery Honor author Cynthia Lord and New York Times bestselling illustrator Derek Anderson now features Hot Rod Hamster in his spookiest adventure yet!

It's Halloween and Hot Rod Hamster is going to a party! But first, he must come up with a costume that's fun and spooky enough to win the contest. Can you help him?

With the same bouncing rhythms, fun choice rhymes, and daredevil antics that made the picture books so popular, this original Level 2 reader will be a sturdy stepping-stone for Hot Rod Hamster fans as well as series newcomers as they move on to independent reading. The years Ms. Lord spent as a first-grade teacher have given her the perfect sense for what language and storylines work best for emerging readers. This new adventure skillfully emphasizes word families and rhyming structures with pedal-to-the-metal flare! Little boys and girls will race to collect this latest story from their favorite furry friend.

Hop into the early-reading driver's seat and join Hot Rod Hamster and his buddies for loads of spooky fun!

More books in the series - See All

School Library Journal

K-Gr 2--Join Hot Rod Hamster as he exchanges his racing jacket for a blue Mohawk and guitar in this Halloween-themed special. When Hot Rod Hamster is invited to a Halloween party, he and his friends choose rock star-themed costumes and even create their own band complete with instruments and original songs. On their way to the party, however, they run into some trouble when their car breaks down. Luckily, a group of friendly ghosts come to their rescue, and the grateful musicians invite them to be their backup singers, resulting in great delight for all. The familiar "Which would you choose?" that we have come to expect from Hot Rod Hamster books will make a great question when read aloud to children. However, there is some confusion between narration and speech bubbles. Dialogue between characters often throws off background text, particularly when a rhyme spans more than one page. VERDICT Busy words and pictures may make this a challenging book for some readers, but children will greatly enjoy the vibrant colors and animated expressions of the friendly and familiar characters.--Maria Alegre, The Dalton School, New York City

Copyright 2015 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes


A Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Book of the Year

A Parents' Choice Award Recommended Title

A Wyoming Buckaroo Award Winner

A Children's Choice Book Award Finalist

A Buckeye Children's Book Award Nominee (Ohio)

A Colorado Children's Book Award Nominee

A Goldfinch Award Nominee (Iowa)

A Magnolia Award Nominee (Mississippi)

"Junior racing fans will get a vicarious thrill with this story of a tiny driver who dares to burn rubber with the big boys. . . . Anderson's acrylics are boisterously large, colorful, and off-kilter—just like his swaggering protagonist."—BOOKLIST

"Newbery Honor author Lord's picture-book debut is a rollicking, roaring read. . . . Anderson's fluffy, jaunty illustrations are as full of energy as the rhymes. Young car enthusiasts won't be the only ones enamored of this hot-rodding rodent and his big canine buddy."—KIRKUS REVIEWS


"Loud, exaggerated acrylics burst off the pages, and the plump, cuddly characters look like stuffed animals come to life. Children will enjoy the opportunity to participate and make choices throughout the book leading up to Hamster's surprise party."—SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL


"Lord and Anderson reteam for a third fun-filled, rhythmic jaunt with Hot Rod and his friends. Returning to what he loves best—things that GO—Anderson's bright-eyed, expressive acrylics extend Lord's enthusiastic rhyming tale to perfection. A treat for Hot Rod fans as well as lovers of trucks and carnival rides." — KIRKUS REVIEWS
Cynthia Lord
Cynthia Lord is the award-winning author of Rules, a Newbery Honor Book and a Schneider Family Book Award winner, as well as the critically acclaimed Half a Chance, A Handful of Stars, and Because of the Rabbit. She made her picture-book debut with Hot Rod Hamster, which won several awards, including the Parents' Choice Award, and is the author of the Shelter Pet Squad chapter book series. She lives in Maine with her family. Visit her at
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
July 20, 2015
Hot Rod Hamster

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