Official Books

It's official: Obi, Gerbil on a School Trip! has just been published!


In this third volume to feature Obi, an endearingly flawed little gerbil who is always getting herself into trouble, the pampered pet accidentally hitches a ride to school.

Obi shares her owner Rachel's love with two other pets, a golden retriever named Kenobi and another gerbil named Wan, but she is secure in the knowledge that she's Rachel's favorite. Or is she? When Rachel writes an essay about her favorite pet, the troublemaking mouse Mr. Durkins plants a seed of doubt in Obi's mind, and she becomes obsessed with discovering the subject of Rachel's essay. The determined gerbil winds up stranded in Rachel's backpack, eventually ending up at school, where she is left overnight. After all the kids have gone, Obi engages in silly hijinks with an assortment of school pets who make her pass the I'm-Really-Not-the-Principal's-Spy Test, but ultimately, she gets what she's after—a good look at Rachel's homework assignment—and learns her true place in the little girl's heart. Short chapters, interspersed illustrations and the funny narrative voice make this series a good choice for readers just wandering into chapter-book territory.

Obi the gerbil's latest adventure is an uncomplicated, entertaining romp with a lesson about the trouble that follows when we allow others to stir up doubt about our most cherished relationships.

To read the first two chapters, click here.

Other Official Books

Obi, Gerbil on the Loose!

Winner of the 2011 Florida Sunshine State Children's Choice Award

School Library Journal:

Obi is content with her simple life in a cage--or apartment, as she likes to think of it--cared for by her human owner, Rachel. Then one day, Rachel's family leaves for vacation. Tad, a neighbor, comes to feed their many pets, but he seems to have forgotten that the gerbil exists. Obi doesn't know how long the Armstrongs will be gone, and she's starving. Thus begins her quest for freedom, food, and to find out if Rachel really cared enough to leave Tad a note to feed her. Along the way, Obi hilariously confronts three sadistic cats, a harebrained parrot, a menacing tarantula and snake, and a paranoid squirrel who thinks Obi is a jailed criminal. The house holds a surprise--a wise old mouse who has been keeping an eye on Obi through all of her escapades. He offers to help her, but at the expense of her loyalty to Rachel. Throughout each new challenge, readers feel Obi's terror, joy, and surprise, which are all written with a sense of fun. The chapters are peppered with black-and-white illustrations and are very short, which adds to the appeal for younger and reluctant readers. This is a laugh-out-loud story.


Obi, a young gerbil named for the Jedi knight in Star Wars, lives a cushy existence with the Armstrongs until they go on vacation, leaving a neighbor boy to feed all the pets. Unfortunately, Tad doesn't know about Obi (headphones prevent him from hearing her frantic yelps), so he doesn't feed her. Hungry Obi finally breaks out of her cage, beginning an adventure that takes her to the attic (where she meets an elderly mouse who shows her secret passageways and escape routes); the kitchen (home to three particularly nasty cats); and a bedroom, where she finds a boa constrictor and a tarantula. Themes of self-reliance and loyalty are woven into the story as Obi learns to assert herself, take care of her needs, and reassure herself that her owner, Rachel, did not forget about her care. Small, black line drawings add drama and emotion to a book that will be popular with young pet lovers; the ending hints at more Obi stories to come.


A fun frolic that will draw in those devoted fans of all things furry.

Obi, Gerbil on a Mission!

School Library Journal:

In this fast-paced sequel to Obi, Gerbil on the Loose! (Dutton, 2008), fourth-grader Rachel gets a puppy for her birthday, and the gerbil burns with jealous amazement when her human gives the newcomer her name. Wanting to get rid of Kenobi once and for all, Obi shows the pup how to get outside ("she did not have a good feeling about what she had just done"). She realizes she's made a huge mistake when Kenobi doesn't return that night or the following day. Summoning all of her Jedi gerbil courage, she sets out into the great wide world to reunite the pup with her beloved Rachel. Quirky black-and-white illustrations support the text. Kids will love visiting the old household pets while being introduced to funny, fresh characters along the way. A sweet, comical story highlighting the consequences of rash action and not listening to your conscience.


Fast-paced and funny.

Birdbrain Amos

A New York Public Library Top 100 Title for Reading and Sharing

Booklist, Starred Review:

Droll cartoon drawings embellish this very funny story ... The story also begs to be read to a group; children as young as kindergarten will find themselves laughing out loud.

Publishers Weekly:

The plots clips right along, and what makes this story so laugh-out-loud funny is Delaney's fully developed, quirky cast.

School Library Journal:

Deserves a place in libraries looking for humorous fiction.

The Horn Book:

Delaney gets the humor just right. Some moments will remind readers of other unusual literary animal friendships -- between a spider and a pig, say, or a mouse and a whale.

M.C. Delaney, Author on a School Trip!


Obi isn't the only one who goes on school trips.

I do, too.

I also go on library trips and bookstore trips. I even go on Skype school trips. More often not, I tend to talk about how the Obi books came to be written, then I read a chapter or two from one of the books, and then answer questions. My talk often includes a slide show of images from the book and as well as things that helped to inspire the story. To learn more, please email me at

Oh, and don't worry: I won't really take the school bus to get to your school.

To get in touch, email