Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brian

O'Brian, Robert C. 1971. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

Review by Becky Laney, frequent contributor

Mrs. Frisby, the head of a family of field mice, lived in an underground house in the vegetable garden of a farmer named Mr. Fitzgibbon.

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH won the Newbery in 1972. This was my first time to read it. My first impression? Slightly odd, but odd in a good way. A really good way. It took me a few chapters to suspend my disbelief. Talking animal books while aren't completely foreign to me, aren't my norm usually. But once I allowed myself the opportunity to really embrace the story for what it was--fantasy not realistic fiction--then I was more than hooked.

The story is about the Frisby family. Mrs. Frisby is the head of the family. It is winter, and one of her children, Timothy, is sick. She's told by the "doctor" mouse that to move her son would result in his death. Yet move they must if they're to survive. For spring has come. The thaw has begun. The frost is long over. And she overhears the farmer making plans to get out the tractor. Her home--their home--is in the field. Their home is a "slightly damaged cinder block" that is almost completely underground. The story is her search for help. It is this search for help which will lead her directly to the rats.

Mrs. Frisby is afraid of the rats. Almost everyone is afraid of the rats. But when her son's life hangs in the's a time for a mother to overcome her fears--all her fears--even if those fears are rats and owls and crows.

I definitely recommend this book. It was fun and enjoyable.

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