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The Mouse of Amherst: A Tale of Young Readers
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The Mouse of Amherst: A Tale of Young Readers

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  213 ratings  ·  56 reviews
A mouse's-eye-view of Emily Dickinson

When a mouse named Emmaline takes up residence behind the wainscoting of Emily Dickinson's bedroom, she wonders what it is that keeps Emily scribbling at her writing table throughout the day and into the night. Emmaline sneaks a look, and finds that it's poetry! Inspired, Emmaline writes her own first poem and secretly depos
Paperback, 64 pages
Published April 9th 2001 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (first published 1999)
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Average rating 3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  213 ratings  ·  56 reviews

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Deborah Markus
Mar 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The only way this book could be more adorable is if it were also a stuffed animal.

The main character mouse in question is so flippin' cute, I found myself wishing this book were a stuffed animal, or at least came along with one so you could hug it while you were reading and maybe ask if it was ready for you to turn the page yet.

Wow. It's official. If a book is charming enough, it will turn me into a blithering idiot.

Anyway. Although the delicately expressive line
Nov 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
I love this little book.

It's a children's book, but it captures Emily's spirit better than any biography or essay I've seen. The illustrations are delightful.
Juli Anna
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kidlit, picture-books
Sweet, but insubstantial.
Lani Crawford
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Adorable - charming - uplifting !!
Dec 01, 2012 rated it it was ok
A cute little yarn that introduces Emily Dickinson's life and poetry to young readers through the POV of a mouse named Emmaline who lives in the wainscoting of the poet's Amherst home. Emmaline helps readers puzzle out over a dozen of Dickinson's poems and even writes a few of her own. This charming book with lovely illustrations is short in length, but it's for a little older readers--like Dickinson's poems.
Taryn Olivas
Jun 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book, though not very long, is so inspiring! It inspired me to write poetry from age six, and I can quote many of the poems inside it! A great read(even for inexperienced readers; I read it when I was six)!!!
Jan 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-lit, poetry
A modest little book that introduces children to the poetry of Emily Dickinson. I really enjoyed it.
Sandy Brehl
I can't think of a better way to introduce works by Emily Dickinson to young readers than this charming little book, narrated by a mouse, Emmaline. The young rodent is pursuing life away from home and finds a cozy spot in the bedroom woodwork in Emily's house. Although equipped with a notebook among her meager belongings, it is curiosity and the discovery of Emily's remarkably appealing poems that inspires Emmaline to reply in verse.
The framing narrative of this interaction allows readers to le
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a quick read. Perfect for a lunch time.

The main character is a lovely little mouse who moves in with Emily Dickinson and her family. Interesting adventures and poetry ensue.

Well written with prose and poetry. The simple illustrations add greater depth to this short story or novella.

I truly enjoyed it. Not sure people who do not like mice will, but I had pet mice and love the little beings.
Mariah Mead
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was so adorable. I read it when I was younger and I loved the way the author captured Emily Dickinson's way of writing and personality. It's good for younger children and older children alike, as it's short but teaches about Emily's life right at the end. This sweet book had delightful illustrations. I'd say it's fab for ages 6+.
T. Finley
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, poetry, mice
As someone who was drawn to Emily Dickinson's work when I had to read it for school years ago, I found this book quite charming.
Did I like it? Yes.
Would I reread it? I've already read it once before.
Would I recommend it? Yes.
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
A mouse moves into Emily Dickinson’s bedroom and discovers that she, too, is a poet. This chapter book was an awesome and accessible introduction to Dickinson as well as a cute story in its own right.
Alison Whiteman
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a darling book. The illustrations are so cute and at the end, one learns all about Emily Dickson's life. Excellent way to teach history and poetry.
Tara Milici
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book. Very imaginative. We read it three times.
Sep 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children, read-aloud
This is a lovely little book that interweaves some of Dickinson's most famous poems with a few new poems inspired by her. These new poems are "written" by a mouse who becomes a poem while living in the Dickinson home. It's a pretty simple tale, but there is a sophistication to the narrative, as if it was written in the 1800s.

The book kept my four-year old's attention, and it brought up discussions about the nature and origins of poems ("Where do poems come from?" Jude asks. "From the h
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Shannon by: I found it at the H. Elementary Library.
04/15: We all took turns reading this one and enjoyed it.

Amazon Book Description:
A mouse's-eye-view of Emily Dickinson

When a mouse named Emmaline takes up residence behind the wainscoting of Emily Dickinson's bedroom, she wonders what it is that keeps Emily scribbling at her writing table throughout the day and into the night. Emmaline sneaks a look, and finds that it's poetry! Inspired, Emmaline writes her own first poem and secretly deposits it on Emily's desk. Emily answers with
May 06, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-to-hannah
Update: We just finished this wasn't the greatest. I like some of Emily Dickinson, but her life was pretty sad--she never married, never had children, and lived as a recluse and died at 55. Yikes! The mouse part was cute sometimes, but mostly it was all a little weird. The mouse's heart would beat wildly and she would get dizzy when she started to write poetry and then she would wake up from her trancelike state and realize that she had just written a Are you on LSD? : ...more
Dec 31, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Deborah for Weber Reads prep
A sweet little story about a mouse called Emmaline who moves into Emily Dickinson's room and begins to discover her own potential as a poet, fueled and inspired by Emily herself. The two become friends, indirectly, and share their poetic efforts. Delicate drawings by Claire Nivola (who came out this year with a wonderful new picture book of her own) are perfectly suited to the clean, spare, peaceful atmosphere of the book. This is a gentle introduction to Dickinson, with historical detail and ex ...more
Sep 03, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: juvenile-fiction
Emmeline the mouse moves into Emily Dickinson's bedroom. Emily scribbles away on little slips of paper and Emmeline wonders what she is working so hard on. Then a piece of paper falls to the floor and Emmeline finds that she is writing poetry. Emmeline learns she has a knack for poetry herself. Emmeline and Emily correspond through poetry until Lavinia, Emily's sister, finds out that Emily is harboring a mouse in her bedroom. Emmeline is then forced to move out.

Jenny Brown
Aug 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Your child will undoubtedly delight in the discovery that the title of this book is a pun: a mouse named Emmaline dwells in the bedroom of a shy and retiring poet named Emily… Emily Dickinson, that is. Emmaline, who narrates, thinks of herself as “nothing more than a crumb gatherer, a cheese nibbler, a mouse-of-little-purpose.” But that was before she met “the great poet of Amherst.”

Full review:
Mar 26, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: poetry, ya-fiction
This was an irritating little book.
The tale of a mouse living in the Dickinson household suddenly finds she has an affinity for poetry and begins writing poems back and forth to Emily Dickinson.
Having not liked Ms. Dickinson's poetry for a long time in years past, thinking that it was too trite and simplistic, this takes me right back to those opinions based on it has been woven into this silly story.
I really don't like this little mouse.
Miss Amanda
slj gr 2-4 60 pgs

Fantasy, mice. Emmaline mouse moves into a mouse hole in Emily Dickinson's room. When she discovers some of Emily's poetry one day, Emmaline discovers that she too possesses a poetic talent!

Included in the story are some of Dickinson's poems and the reader also learns a little bit about Dickinson's life.
Meghann Cantey
Aug 14, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-aloud
We didn't enjoy this book as much as I'd hoped we would. I read it to my children (boy 8, girl 5), and I ended up editing as I read making the language more understandable to them. Otherwise they were losing interest. Twice they even fell asleep! Err... I guess that's not really a bad thing though, is it?!
Apr 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
A cute book that introduces Emily Dickinson, her poetry and home through the eyes and poetry of a mouse to children moving beyond picture books. Smoothly incorporates Dickinson's poetry and conveys something of her character. Nice line illustrations
Christian - Knightingale Reviews
""The Mouse of Amherst" was an adorable story depicting a piece of Emily Dickinson's life from the point of view of a mouse named Emmaline. It was a very quick read and I enjoyed the fact that the dialogue between Emily and Emmaline was poetry that they wrote to one another.
Johnny Bennett
Nov 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
This book was weird. The images and length imply that it is for younger kids. The sophistication of the language certain does not. I know junior high or high school kids that would struggle with the way this is written. Kind of an interesting idea, but really just an homage to Emily Dickinson.
Apr 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
A darling little biography of Emily Dickinson, as told from the point of view of the mouse who shares her bedroom. I enjoyed reading this to my young children at the time they were introduced to Dickinson's poetry. A little gem.
Jan 26, 2014 rated it it was ok
A cute, and somewhat odd, introduction for children to poetry and Emily Dickinson.
Oct 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful story of Emily Dickinson in a mouse's point of view.
Megan Davis
Apr 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
Pure delight for me since I love mice and Emily Dickinson. :)

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Elizabeth Spires is the author of five collections of poetry as well as several books for children. She has been the recipient a Whiting Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Amy Lowell Travelling Poetry Scholarship, and two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1998 she received the Witter Bynner Prize for Poetry from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Maryland Aut ...more