Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat

by Lynne Jonell

I read this book in 3rd grade (With Mrs. Eaves as a teacher!) and I remember how I could really feel the story, especially the evilness of Miss Barmy. I hope you can too… Enjoy!

It feels to Emmy like she has no parents at all. They are always off on trips, exploring faraway places and she is stuck at home with her nanny Miss Barmy. Emmy never talks back to her nanny, nor does she refuse vegetables, not do her homework and things of the sort.  Miss Barmy is very mean to her and she makes her eat and drink peculiar things. She writes letters to her parents, but she never gets a response. Life is not so great.

Emmy does not have many friends, but she likes to sit by the classroom pet, the Rat.  This was because she could hear him speak. A rat, speaking! Nonetheless, he was rude and and angry all the time. No one else could hear him until one day, when a boy in her class, Joe gets bitten by him. Joe is talking to Emmy and in response to him saying “I was just trying to feed him a carrot. You’d think he would have been grateful.” the Rat said “Ha!” Joe was stunned. He had to leave right after, but for most of the rest of the book, Joe becomes 4 inches tall.  Read this story and In guarantee that you will want to read the next book, Emmy and the Home for Troubled Girls, right away.

Click on the book cover to access Lynne Jonell’s website and her summary of the book. And click here to see the video book review on YouTube courtesy of 60secondrecap PickoftheWeek.


“Jonell takes readers on a merry, sometimes scary romp… It’s fun to watch remarkably good Emmy and especially bad Barmy spar.”

— Booklist, starred review

George and the Big Bang

George and the Big Bangan exciting exploration of space and emerging science

while you don’t have to have read the first two books in the series there are pieces for each of the first two books wrapped into the story of the third.  If you know about Dr. Reeper and Pookie, Cosmos and the real cosmic adventures you’ll enjoy this book even more.

In this third science adventure George finds himself surrounded by change.  Freddy really has gotten too big for the backyard.  His new baby sisters are loud and demanding – twins take both parents.  Annie has some new friends and George doesn’t know quite where he fits in anymore. On top of that Eric has the opportunity to begin working on one of the biggest science experiments of all time. He’s going to be working at the Large Hadron Collider to explore the earliest moments of the Universe – the big bang.

It would be a dream job, but TOERAG (‘Theory of Everything Resists Addition of Gravity’) an anti-science group of protesters, are claiming the Collider will create a black hole and destroy the world. Everything is not as it seems – is anything ever?  George and Annie discover a plot to try and destroy the experiment and the collider and cause a huge set back for all science. George and Annie have to find a way to outwit this group intent on stopping the experiment forever. Will they be in time to expose the plot and keep Eric safe?  Of course – but it is great fun discovering how they do it and learning some of the science that is currently being discovered and explored.  The mix of story and science (though some of that science is pretty dense!) make George and the Big Bang a great book to read and explore.  Read all three and find someone to discuss the science essays with even further.  It is especially fun to explore information about space at George’s website.  Enjoy!