Walter, the Story of a Rat

Barbara Wersba | Illustrated by Donna Diamond

A rat corresponds with a children’s book writer.

This is the story of a writer and a reader. The writer is a person. The reader is a rat. They share an old house on Long Island, but have nver met. Walter, the rat, would love to know Miss Pomeroy, the writer. Miss Pomeroy is an irritable recluse and has no desire to know anyone. How these two lonely creatures discover one another is the essence of this story.

  • Ages: 11 and up
  • Grades: 5 and up
  • Pages: 238
  • E-book: $8.95

Loading Updating cart...

Recent Reviews

7 A small but very nearly perfect gem. ...

—Kirkus Reviews

Diamond's black wash and line illustrations depict the elderly woman and the wide-eyed and well-mannered rat with charm … those with a love of words will enjoy the way Wersba shows Walter sneaking up on a friendship with the elusive but observant author. Like Richard Kennedy's Come Again in the Spring or Randall Jarrell’s The Bat-Poet>/i>, this book gives readers some writing to remember and a chance to view the world from a different perspective.

—School Library Journal

A sophisticated, quiet contemplation of the relationship between readers and writers that may appeal to thoughtful readers.

—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Beautiful … moving and unpretentious … lovely … quiet and unsentimental.


The real charm here comes through Walter's close observations of his writer landlady, and through Wersba's gradual build to a friendship that seems inevitable. Diamond's half-tone illustrations strike a pleasing balance between realistic portraits of the hero while also allowing his personality to come through.

—Publishers Weekly

This soothing, old-fashioned tale, accompanied by precisely rendered pen-and-ink illustrations, is a tribute to books and bibliophiles.

—Horn Book Guide

Honors for Walter, the Story of a Rat

  • IRA/CBC Children's Choice

RGIN: 0px;