When I was in 3rd grade, one of my Mom's friends gave us a pair of Guinea Pigs. She raised them herself and handled him from birth so they were extremely tame. They are such cute cuddly pets. The only downside is when they pee on you. Otherwise, they're great pets.
My first pair was a set of brothers. We named them Scruffy and Chocolate. Scruffy was what we call and Abyssinian Guinea Pig. His fur looked like you'd hit it wrong with a blow dryer. I've owned two Abyssinians and they both had nice calm dispositions.
Chocolate died after only a year or so. Scruffy lived for 5 years (respectable for a Guinea Pig). When he got older, we got a female Guinea Pig named Spicy. She was a Teddy Bear Guinea Pig (they have short stiff fur that kind of feels like a brillo pad). I find that Teddy Bears are extremely spunky. After Spicy came Nutmeg who I didn't name but she was definitely the color of nutmeg and also a Teddy Bear and therefore, spunky. We didn't get a Guinea Pig right away after Nutmeg died but we did kind of miss having a little piggy.
We ended up getting our last Guinea Pig at a pet store. Normally I avoid getting them at pet stores because generally they aren't handled a lot and are extremely timid. We got Patches because she was a year old and free and I didn't want her to become snake food. Here's a picture of her
I don't have Guinea Pigs anymore but when the girls are older, I want to get one or two. I think they'll have fun with them.
My favorite Guinea Pig book is Sammy. The art is great and the story is cute.