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Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert…

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (original 1971; edition 1971)

by Robert C. O'Brien, Edward S. Gazi (Illustrator), Zena Bernstein (Illustrator)

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5,58899770 (4.21)1 / 152
Title:Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
Authors:Robert C. O'Brien
Other authors:Edward S. Gazi (Illustrator), Zena Bernstein (Illustrator)
Info:Atheneum Books for Young Readers (1971), Hardcover, 240 pages
Collections:Your library

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Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien (1971)


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Summary- A field mouse discovers she must move her home from a rosebush but one of her children is sick and moving him is dangerous. She consults with rats who live in a rosebush and discovers that they are special rats with exceptional skills. She also learns information about her deceased husband.

Personal Reaction- One of the my favorite books from my childhood. As a child I was fascinated by the rats superior intelligence. Today, as an adult I am more impressed with the mother mouse's bravery.

Extensions-Discuss ethics and science. Discuss Bravery. Discuss how we make decisions.
  SuzieB1972 | Jul 22, 2015 |
Excellent, small book, by a talented author. Dramatic in an understated way. There is no simple dichotomy of good vs. evil. Justin is so adorably debonair. ( )
  themulhern | May 13, 2015 |
I remember reading this book at school and so when I needed a book to fulfil the challenge of "a book from my childhood" I thought this seemed a perfect choice. I didn't remember anything about the story so approached it anew and I loved it. Mrs Frisby is a widowed mouse who has four children to care for. When the weather is about to change and she needs to move house with a sick child who shouldn't be moved, she turns for help to the rats that she sees going into the rosebush near where she lives. The rats have a very interesting tale to tell her about their life and also about her late husband, Jonathan.

This is a superb book that is timeless and I really loved it. There aren't many children's' books that I enjoy as an adult but this is definitely one of them. I raced through it and would recommend it to kids and adults alike. ( )
  nicx27 | May 3, 2015 |
(see copy 2) ( )
  librisissimo | Apr 7, 2015 |
As a fan of this book as a child, who now has growing readers, I have to say that Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH stood the test of time for me. While there are definitely shortfalls, the pace and unique perspective of science and research this leads to make up for them. Having a main character who is not directly tied to the experience of being a laboratory specimen, but who is on the same playing field, so to speak, allows for sympathy that can be developed and appreciated by young readers.

My seven year old loved the book, and he is looking forward to other books in the NIMH universe. ( )
  HippieLunatic | Apr 6, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 99 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert C. O'Brienprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bernstein, ZenaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gazi, Edward S.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Catherine Fitzpatrick
First words
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.
It was this, of course, that made our life so easy that it seemed pointless. We did not have enough work to do because a thief's life is always based on somebody else's work.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
The Secret of Nimh (Original title: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH)
First Edition, 1971.
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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AR 5.1, Pts 8.0
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0689710682, Paperback)

There's something very strange about the rats living under the rosebush at the Fitzgibbon farm. But Mrs. Frisby, a widowed mouse with a sick child, is in dire straits and must turn to these exceptional creatures for assistance. Soon she finds herself flying on the back of a crow, slipping sleeping powder into a ferocious cat's dinner dish, and helping 108 brilliant, laboratory-enhanced rats escape to a utopian civilization of their own design, no longer to live "on the edge of somebody else's, like fleas on a dog's back."

This unusual novel, winner of the Newbery Medal (among a host of other accolades) snags the reader on page one and reels in steadily all the way through to the exhilarating conclusion. Robert O'Brien has created a small but complete world in which a mother's concern for her son overpowers her fear of all her natural enemies and allows her to make some extraordinary discoveries along the way. O'Brien's incredible tale, along with Zena Bernstein's appealing ink drawings, ensures that readers will never again look at alley rats and field mice in the same way. (Ages 9 to 12) --Emilie Coulter

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:14 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Having no one to help her with her problems, a widowed mouse visits the rats whose former imprisonment in a laboratory made them wise and long lived.

(summary from another edition)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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