Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking RatTitle: Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat
Author: Lynne Jonell
ISBN: 9780805081503
Pages: 346 pages
Publisher/Date: Henry Holt and Company, 2007.

“Don’t pretend you didn’t hear the Rat talk, because I know you did.”
“I’m not pretending,” said Emmy hurriedly. “He does. He talks. I don’t know why, either, but nobody else ever seems to hear him–”
“I did,” said Joe.
“Yeah, well, you heard him today, but I’ve been hearing him all year.”…
“All year? You haven’t been in our class all year.”
Emmy stared at him. “I’ve been sitting across from you since September,” she said slowly. (51)

Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat by Lynne Jonell tells the story of Emmaline Addison, a good girl who does her homework without being told and excels at everything she does. No matter what she does, she seems to remain invisable to her teacher and classmates at her new school, Grayson Lake Elementary. It’s no different at home, where her newly wealthy parents are continuously leaving her in the hands of Miss Barmy, a mysterious nanny who forces her to take “vitamins”. However, when classmate Joe admits to Emmy that he is also hearing the class’s pet Rat talk, life for Emmy and Joe gets even stranger. First Joe and then Emmy end up shrinking to about four inches tall. Then, with the help of a nutty, narcaleptic professor and a family of chimpmunks, they must stop an evil plot to steal all of Emmy’s family’s money and lock up Emmy in a loony bin.

Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat has a good amount of fantastical elements, especially with the unique magical abilities of each rodent. The page margins reflect a flip sequence of Rat falling out of the tree and being caught by Emmy, which actually happens in the story. Emmy’s abandonment and overly structured lifestyle is relatable, realistic, and convincingly portrayed.
Unshelved did a comic strip for it as part of their Book Club!

This book was one of the selections for book parade 2009 at my library. Book Parade is a six week reading incentive program held in conjunction with the area schools. Kids in 4-5th grades read as many books from a pre-selected list as possible and answer questions on the book to judge their reading comprehension.