Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat (Emmy, #1)” as Want to Read:
Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat (Emmy, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat

(Emmy #1)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  6,553 ratings  ·  579 reviews
Emmy was a good girl. At least she tried very hard to be good. She did her homework without being told. She ate all her vegetables, even the slimy ones. And she never talked back to her nanny, Miss Barmy, although it was almost impossible to keep quiet, some days.

She really was a little too good. Which is why she liked to sit by the Rat. The Rat was not good at all . . .

Hardcover, 346 pages
Published August 7th 2007 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Erin I don't understand your question. In fact , I belive it is an opinion statement with a question mark, not a question.…moreI don't understand your question. In fact , I belive it is an opinion statement with a question mark, not a question.(less)
Josie Sorry I meant what is ratson's characteristics/personality?
Sorry I meant what is ratson's characteristics/personality?

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,553 ratings  ·  579 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat (Emmy, #1)
Nov 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: juvenile
I first picked this book up when I was browsing at the library because I loved the cover design. I loved the simplicity of Jonathan Bean's illustration and the combination of sweet Emmy and the ill-humored rat in the tree above her. The thoughtfulness of design continues inside with illustrations that together make a flip book along the outer edges of the pages. This book had me hooked visually right from the start.

Story-wise? I really loved Emily and the Incredible Shrinking Rat. It was sweet a
Gwen the Librarian
Sep 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Shelves: fantasy, kidlit
Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat, by Lynne Jonell, is extremely well-written, with bathroom humor, pathos, and believable and sympathetic characters of both the human and rodent kind.

Emmy is a very rich, very lonely little girl. Her parents are constantly going off on long trips and leaving her with a horrible nanny, Miss Barmy. Worse, she recently changed schools and no one in her class acts like she exists. When Emmy starts hearing the class pet rat talking to her, a whole exciting and f
Belles Middle Grade Library
Mar 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This was so much fun! Definitely a creative, humorous, quirky adventure! I loved it so much. Emmy is always a good girl. She always does her homework, eats all her vegetables, & never talks back to Miss Barmy, her nanny, even though it’s almost impossible most days. Which is why she sits next to the Rat. He’s not very good at all. She thinks if she’s good, her parents will want to stay home w/her more. After a while though, it gets a bit much. No one ever seems to see her, or even remember her. ...more
Aug 11, 2007 rated it really liked it
It's easy to become jaded. Read enough children's fiction and it all begins to swim and swirl about in your head. Was that the middle grade novel about a girl who likes a boy with twinkling blue eyes or deep brown ones you just read? Did that historical fiction work involve a plucky boy working in a coalmine or a plucky girl in a mill? And fantasy? Don't get me started. If the villains don't burst onto the scene in the first chapter it's the exception rather than the rule. I gotta say though tha ...more
Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Library Lady
Jan 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Funny and creative. I've seen some people comment that they think has an old fashioned feel and should have had a Victorian setting, but I don't think that the time frame really makes a difference.There isn't tons about cell phones or the Internet here--this book could have been written as easily in 1958 as 2008, and as a result, this has a timeless feel to it and won't date quickly. Nor do I think that kids will be quick to find a message in this about overscheduled kids or narcissistic parents ...more
✨AYL 010⚡

The thing about recommendations is that a lot of times people don't know your tastes. This book didn't interest me enough - it was fairly well-written and the mystery would've appealed to me if I was not a rat-hating, impatient reader. It reveals right in the official summary which the publisher provided that Ms. Barmey was drugging the family - and it kinda squandered everything.

This is one of those times where I DNFed it not because I didn't like it or had to give it up. I just didn't finis
Feb 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
I listened to this on audiobook and I speeded it up from 1.0 to 1.75 . Despite the fact that it was I highly speeded up I understood it PERFECTLY FINE. (Yes this review was for you Mommy)

Edit: I just realized my review says nothing about the book itself so I thought I'd say that I really liked this book and it was quite funny.
Mar 10, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, humor
I thought this was quite original and an interesting read--and I love the "flipbook" effect in the margins (flip the pages and the pictures "move") :-) It moves along at a good pace and has plenty of humor. Well-written and enjoyable. ...more
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Crazy. Creative. Delightful.

This is a book I would never have picked up on my own. I’ve been reading The Read-Aloud Family by Sarah MacKenzie and decided to try this from one of her reading lists. I realized that I’ve been reading too much to my daughter from the genre I’m most attracted to and needed to expand our reading horizons. We listened to this on audio through Hoopla on our trips in the car and my daughter absolutely loved it. The story seemed so kooky and nonsensical at first to me, bu
Janae Easton
Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
(This review was written by my 11 year old.)

Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat by Lynne Jonell had memorable characters, a good mystery and many hysterical moments.

Many of the characters had realistic personalities and quirks. For example, Joe had a love for soccer but felt that he played too much of it. I can relate with that from my love of gaming although I may overwhelm myself with too much of it. What makes this a good mystery is that has many twists and turns. When you feel like you go
May 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Really cute and enjoyable! This was a very fun book to read, despite all the aggravating moments of the 'villain' being the most HORRIBLE and HATEABLE character that I've read about in a long time! IT WAS AWESOME! Heartless bad gals with too much power always make stories 100x more interesting. This story is just so well told, and I'm really glad I had the chance to read it.~ ...more
Catherine Bromley
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely LOVE this book!!!!!!!! I couldn’t possibly have gotten bored or stopped reading this!!!!! This book was about a little girl named Emmy, her evil nanny, a rat, Emmy’s friend Joe, and a mysterious shop. Emmy and Joe go on an adventure to find out why people buy the goods at the shop. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone!!
Meira (readingbooksinisrael)
I read this in 4th grade? 5th grade? on the recommendation of my friend. I remember I enjoyed the rebellion stuff (because of course I did) but it creeped me out a bit too (as did almost every book this particular friend recommended-it's the talking animals probably). ...more
Trinity Castro
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book was like nothing I had read before. Whenever I thought I had guessed the storyline I had it there was always a plot twist. The characters were extremely well thought out. I love this book and I am so excited to read the next two books.
Kim Reynolds-Jolles
May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was looking for a mystery to read for the May challenge and while cleaning out my children's books I found this. I was attracted by the cover artwork and the extension of the art inside the book as a flip book. The story is about a girl who has been left with a terrible nanny, and her adventures after being bitten by the class pet, a rat. I liked the story, it was very imaginative. ...more
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such an adorable book! And, as a person with pet rats, I think this book did an amazing job with portraying them as the quirky, caring, loving selves they are.
Juan Landa
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was funny and amazing. The relationship between the rat and Emmy was bad at first but when Emmy got to know the rat, she fell in love with it. She loved that the rat wasn't an ordinary rat. My favorite part was when Emmy found out the Rat can shrink. Emmy was shocked with what the rat can do. Emmy and the rat late would work together to get through obstacles that get in their way. When the rat was fully shrunk they really couldn't fight through obstacles together. Emmy later kept the r ...more
Feb 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat is an engaging mix of Matilda (not as spunky), Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (not as scientific), and Coraline (not as dark). It held my attention, though I found parts of the storyline not well explained. I wasn't overly annoyed, for example, by the many inferences I had to make into Miss Barmy's (the evil nanny) character, but was hoping for more explanation into the origins of her evilness at the end. This is a work of children’s literature, however; a ...more
Roxanne Hsu Feldman
Aug 30, 2007 rated it really liked it
It's impressive how Jonell manages to inform the readers of all characters' personalities, feelings, and actions without ever straying away from Emmy's perspective: readers only know what she sees, hears, and thinks. The outlandish circumstances with all the super(magical?)-powers of the rodents are accompanied by a gentle tale of friendship, longing for parental love, and the essence of stable families. I mentally applauded the several jabs at the absurdity of the over-scheduling of our childre ...more
Jun 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
A girl named Emmy has parents who strike it rich and travel the world leaving Emmy behind with her cruel nanny. She never fit in. She also sat next to a class pet rat who had bit her once before. He seemed to talk but only she could hear him. Until her and a boy’s life got turned upside down!
I cannot text to world this….
Spoiler alert!: Though I can see why she would not stab the mouse for the blood to have her not neglected I would not have either.
I can’t think of anything else to relate to thi
Ruth Carter
Jul 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I finished this book yesterday. You will all love it. It has such a good story line. The characters keep you entertained and you keep guessing as to why they behave the way that they do. I love the ending. Everyone deserved what they got. I wish real life problems could be solved this easily...just get a rat to do it!
Kylie Sparks
May 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
I took this one home because I liked the cover art, and I was not disappointed. This is just a completely charming little adventure for middle school readers. There's no point in telling you much about the plot--except that it involves talking rats--and I had no trouble suspending my disbelief. I'm looking forward to book two in the series. ...more
Gigi Anderson
Feb 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Funny and cute I like that the two main characters were very different but both likable in their own way. Add in a like magic and romance and you have one of my favorite books!
Cami Stivee
Feb 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Reading this with friends looking really good so far , I'm sure it'll get EVEN better once I get farther into it! ...more
Valerie McEnroe
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
One of the ways I can figure out the correct rating for a book is how effectively it puts me to sleep. Books that completely fail to put me to sleep get 5 stars. So if you have trouble sleeping, look for my books with low ratings.

Unfortunately, this book started at a 5 and ended at a 2. That's a major fail. So let's walk through what happened. I loved the beginning. The rat talks. He's an annoying, bossy, know-it-all rat. Great character. Emmy basically has no personality. Nothing memorable abou
Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, juvenile
Emmaline Augusta Addison is a good girl who tries to do everything right, but no one notices her. Her teacher doesn't seem to remember her name and her classmates ignore her. At home her parents are rarely home. Even when they do stop in, between trips to Paris, Salamanca, the Isle of Bugaloo or anywhere else in the world, they never seem to have the time or interest to spend time with her.

Her nanny, Miss Barmy, tells her that it may be that she doesn't try hard enough. Emmy has won tons of awar
I like quirky books and this one did not disappoint. Even though the central character is a girl, there is equal measure of guy stuff and bathroom humor, but nothing over the top. The other interesting thing is that there is nothing in this book that is going to date it. This will be something that will delight in years to come as it has since published in 2007.
I am not a large fan of rats, but when they start to talk and give advice based on what they have observed from TV shows and the class r
Amy Layton
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was immediately drawn to this book because of the cover illustration.  The mixture of blues and yellows truly makes it stand out from the other books, especially when they're all lined up at a bookstore or library.  That's not the only reason why this book stands out, though.  After all, with a title like Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat, who wouldn't be interested?

Even when I began to read it, my curiosity was piqued at multiple times throughout the narrative.  Just why is that nanny so
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The School Story
  • Paint the Wind
  • The Island of Dr. Libris
  • The Anybodies (Anybodies, #1)
  • Yukon Ho! (Calvin and Hobbes #3)
  • School of Fear (School of Fear, #1)
  • Masterpiece
  • Science Comics: Robots and Drones: Past, Present, and Future
  • Science Comics: Rockets: Defying Gravity
  • Cilla Lee-Jenkins: Future Author Extraordinaire
  • Pegasus and the Rise of the Titans (Pegasus, #5)
  • Book Scavenger (Book Scavenger, #1)
  • Ginger Pye (The Pyes, #1)
  • The Witch's Curse (The Kingdom of Wrenly, #4)
  • The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy (The Penderwicks #1)
  • Who Was Ruth Bader Ginsburg?
  • On the Far Side of the Mountain (Mountain, #2)
  • The Alcatraz Escape (Book Scavenger, #3)
See similar books…
Lynne Jonell is an author (and occasional illustrator) of sixteen books for children, from picture books to novels for ages 8-12, all with an element of fantasy: magical hamsters, talking cats, tiny planes with a secret fuel, rodents with special powers, and more. Her novel Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat won the Minnesota Book Award; her latest book, The Sign of the Cat, is a swashbuckling ...more

Other books in the series

Emmy (3 books)
  • Emmy and the Home for Troubled Girls
  • Emmy and the Rats in the Belfry

News & Interviews

What will you do when it's your turn to pick your book club's next read? Well, this is what you won't do: panic. Why not? Because we've dug...
15 likes · 4 comments
“If my love must be a rodent, then shall I be anything but a rat?” 6 likes
More quotes…