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Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat

(Emmy #1)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  6,423 ratings  ·  557 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)
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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.
Josie Sorry I meant what is ratson's characteristics/personality?
Sorry I meant what is ratson's characteristics/personality?

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,423 ratings  ·  557 reviews

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Rebecca McNutt
Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat is funny, inventive and vividly creative, with lovable characters (even the rat) and beautiful front cover artwork.
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: kidlit, fantasy
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
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
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.
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.~
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).
Trinity Castro
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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.
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.
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!
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
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
Abhi Mantha
Jan 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Emmy, completely unnoticed by her classmates, ignored by her parents, mistreated by the nanny left in her charge, wants only her old life back: before her parents came into money. Nothing seems to have gone right. Her parents are now obsessed with long vacations and long hours, her classmates have forgotten her, and the class pet rat keeps talking to her. Yes, the rat talks. But only Emmy can hear him. All of these things bother Emmy, and in part because she has no clue why any of them have happ ...more
Sterling Prisock
Jan 15, 2020 rated it liked it
I read this book when I was in 3rd grade I believe, I’m in 11th now. I don’t remember much of it, but I do remember how it made me feel. At this time I had also started to read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (just to put it into perspective of my reading level at that age). My school librarian had gotten this book and she wanted me to read it before she put it on the shelves for other students, just to see if we would actually like it. I remember not being that into it, but I also remembe ...more
Wow, I picked up this book on a "For Free" shelf. I ignored it for weeks because I thought it was one of those boring "kid-who-goes-on-adventures-with-a-rat" thing. But no, it wasn't! Or else I would've rated this two stars.

This book has a Roald Dahl kind of thing going on, with the kid-who-has-something-special-within-her and kid-who-gets-ignored-by-lots when she shouldn't be. And also all that magic. It's like Matilda, but I guess more modern.

Anyway, I doubt the other books to the Emmy serie
Madelaine Smith
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was instantly intrigued by the cover, the title, and the synopsis. The whole book has almost a "Secret Garden" feel...greedy housekeeper, rich but sweet girl, newfound friendships, and absent parents. The premise held held my interest and intrigued me. However, I did feel like there were some inconsistencies with transitions. At some points, I was never quite sure where the characters were--at the shop? At the house? En route? It was hard for me to visualize the rodent city. Was it upstairs? U ...more
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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

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