Emmy used to be happy, back when people noticed her, before her parents got rich and forgot she existed, traveling sometimes for months at a time and leaving Emmy with her terrible new nanny, Miss Barmy. Now the students in her class seem to look right through her; her teacher can’t even remember her name. In fact, the only creature who notices Emmy is her class pet rat–and for some reason, Emmy can hear him speak. One day, in a fit of rebelliousness, Emmy sets her rat free and decides to skip her gymnastics class and explore her town instead. That is how she happens upon Professor Vole’s rodent shop and sees Miss Barmy place a mysterious, secret order for rodents. What’s more, she finds a caged rat in the shop that is identical to the rat she set free. And the twin rat, along with all of the other rodents, are labeled with strange special powers. Sure that something sinister is happening, Emmy is determined to find out the secret of the rats and to stop Miss Barmy and Professor Vole from whatever evil they might be plotting. Unfortunately, Miss Barmy is on to her and it will take all of Emmy’s cleverness–and a lot of help from her friends Joe and the Rat–to solve the mystery before it’s too late.
This book is a fun, silly, and suspenseful story. It has plenty of mystery and intrigue to keep you turning pages, as long as you have a taste for the absurd and unbelievable. Personally, I enjoyed it and would recommend it to middle grade readers who like fantasy set in the real world.