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Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
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Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (Rats of NIMH #1)

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4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  115,672 ratings  ·  2,098 reviews
Some extraordinary rats come to the aid of a mouse family in this Newbery Medal Award-winning classic by notable children's author Robert C. O'Brien.

Mrs. Frisby, a widowed mouse with four small children, is faced with a terrible problem. She must move her family to their summer quarters immediately, or face almost certain death. But her youngest son, Timothy, lies ill with
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Paperback, 233 pages
Published March 1st 1986 by Aladdin Paperbacks (first published 1971)
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Flush by Carl HiaasenWatership Down by Richard AdamsMrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'BrienJulie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead GeorgeHoot by Carl Hiaasen
YA Animal & Nature Books
3rd out of 111 books — 40 voters
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson RawlsMarley and Me by John GroganOld Yeller by Fred GipsonThe Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth SteinThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
The dog dies...a cautionary list.
32nd out of 143 books — 140 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Wendy Darling
I am very fond of extraordinarily handsome rats. <3 Even better than I remembered, and now I have to read the sequel to find out what happened to everybody.

Reread for our monthly classics readalong--discussion on the blog this Friday!
Kirsten
This was one of my all-time favorite books when I was a kid; I must've read it eight times. So I was pleased to find that it holds up well, and I still found it very entertaining (although it seemed a shorter). I did notice some things that I don't think really registered when I was younger. For one, I was thinking as I read that Mrs. Frisby is a pretty unusual character for a children's book. She's an adult, which is not common to children's novels; usually the protagonist is the same age or a ...more
Kate
WARNING!!! CONTAINS SPOILERS:

1. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH mostly takes its place in Mr.Fitzgibbon farm. Mrs. Frisby who is a widow has 4 children. One day, one of her brightest kid Timothy becomes sick. The plowing was soon starting, but Timothy couldn't move out of his bed. Even after eating the medicine Mr. Ages gave, Timothy had a big chance that pneumonia will recur. That is when Mrs. Frisby started to find ways they could move without getting Timothy sick again. She went to her neigh
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Jessica
This book captivated me from start to finish when I read it - for the first time - as an adult. It's such a beautiful story of courage and morality and heroism. It's hard to imagine anyone not being moved by "The Rats of Nimh" and its characters are well-developed and not easily forgotten. I thought about this book for days afterward, and I was sad when it ended.

There are really two stories going on at once; O'Brien cleverly brings the two together slowly by revealing their connection detail by
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Stefan Yates
This is a book that I had fond memories of from originally reading it in the 4th grade. I was considering buying it as a gift for my niece, who's that age, so I thought that I should read it again myself first. Naturally, I was a bit concerned that my memory of the book would be let down by the passage of time. Thankfully, I was wrong.

This is a great story full of memorable characters and plenty of adventure that keeps the pages turning. Children and adults alike will enjoy this award-winning no
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Michelle
I suggested this book to my stepdaughter. She read a few pages and declared it to be boring. Oof, shot right to the heart. I loved this book when I was kid. LOVED. I reread it to try to figure out if there was something wrong with me, with her, or with this book.

Decision--nothing wrong with any of us. I read the first few pages and realized why this doesn't appeal to her. It's a bit of a slow start and, my apologies to kids these days, I don't think most kids these days have the same level of p
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Ty Melgren
A lot like Watership Down but slightly less important and infinitely easier to finish. It's probably been ten years since the last time I read this which is weird to think about. If you live in Springfield, I'm starting a book club and this is the first book we're reading; come to the downtown library tomorrow evening if you wanna be in it. You don't have to have a copy or have started reading it yet.
Elika
I forgot how much I love this book. I was a little nervous re-reading it because I hadn't read it since I was a kid and I was worried that it wouldn't hold up well, but I needn't have worried. The book is just as wonderful now as it was then.

One of the things I find very interesting now is the way that humans are portrayed. Not bad or good, but just very human. Going about their lives not really appreciating how they affect everything around them. But also not entirely clueless.

This book will al
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Joey
Great book. I unfortunately watched the movie first which mostly ruined Robert C. O'Brien's story so don't waste your time with the movie. This is a wonderful book that I will one day move from my bookcase to my son's bookcase when he's old enough to read. Easy 5 star.
Erica
I think it was my second-grade teacher who read this to us in class, like a chapter a day, or something.
I was so into this book, I made my mom take me to the library where I checked it out so I could read ahead to find out what was coming. But I didn't want the entire thing spoiled, so I only read a chapter ahead.
In fifth grade, this was available through RIF and I remember seeing the copy on the folding table among all the many other free books. I snatched it up so fast, grabbing up from under
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Brenda
Feb 27, 2015 Brenda rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Brenda by: Read-along with The Midnight Garden
The story had a slow beginning for me, but then it really picked up. Although the central theme was on Mrs. Frisby's struggle to relocate her home, there was also this larger backstory on how the rats of NIMH became so intelligent and their connection to Mrs. Frisby's family that I really got caught up in. I was a little disappointed though whenever Mrs. Frisby's story took to the backburner. Mrs. Frisby is such an admirable, brave character. She puts herself in harms way to save her children, j ...more
Kristi Lamont
Not sure how I managed to get to almost 50 without reading this classic children's book. In a way, though, I'm glad I did; I was able to appreciate its marvelousness on all levels as a result!
Raina
This may be my favorite book of all time.
Davis Dunavin
(spoilers)

Will I ever find a talking animal book to equal "Watership Down"? Doubtful. And that's okay.

But in my latest jaunts through the great kid lit of the 20th century, "Mrs. Frisby" is a standout. O'Brien sets up a talking-animal world with what seem at first some loose conventions, and while his young audience may not notice, the genre-savvy reader immediately notices something is up. Mrs. Frisby and her family can read? They can use medicine? Heck, they know what a postcard is? Then O'Bri
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Emily Beeson
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh by Robert C. O'Brien

I picked this book up at a yard sale a while back, and it was promptly shelved. Hesitant to read it to my kids, there it sat. The hesitance stemmed from my memories of the rather creepy movie version I used to watch as a kid.

I was wrong to wait. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH is a delightful story, full of mystery, adventure, science, and compassion. In short, we loved this Newbery Award winning classic.

Mrs. Frisby may be just a little mouse
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Keegan
Just read this book with my four-year-old son. It's hard to know what percentage he understood, but as long as he is still interested and asks me to read another chapter then I keep going and don't worry too much about comprehension since I figure it develops by reading and discussing. He was even more motivated to read it when we picked up the movie (The Secret of NIMH) from the library and I told him we could watch it after we finished reading the book.

I know I've read the book before, but I d
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Papia aziz
I loved this book!!It's a fiction book and it's about rats! Mrs.Frisby a widow have four children and one day Timothy gets pneumonia. She goes to Mr.Ages which he gives frisby some medicine. But Mrs.Frisby heard that spring is coming and the humans will plow their house down. But timothy cant walk because he's sick. Mr.ages takes frisby to a owl and the owl tells mrs.Frisby to go to the rats. That's when she encounters with the intelligent rats. They live in a place that a human lives. The rats ...more
Conrad
I was taken aback at how involved I became in the story of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. From page two, I accepted the short brisk writing style of O’Brien and went with these mice on their long and taxing journey. I thought Mrs. Frisby was, at first, a bit too simple of a character but as the story progressed you certainly find more depth. I found the illustrations to be gorgeously drawn and the climax of the novel perfectly executed. With the many childrens books I’ve read, this is definit ...more
Wendy Bousfield
Feb 17, 2015 Wendy Bousfield rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Wendy by: Michele

This YA story of sentient animals is a gem! Mrs. Frisby, a field mouse, lives with her four children on the prosperous farm of Mr. Fitzgibbon. During the winter, the family lives in a cinderblock in a field. Just before the Fitzgibbons plow the field in preparation for spring planting, the mouse family moves to their summer home on a stream bank. A crisis arises the Frisbys’ cozy, predictable lives when Timothy, the youngest son, contracts pneumonia. Even though Mr. Ages, a white mouse doctor, p
...more
Tess
I adore this book.
Jesse
Imagine if your friend told you a story about how she had gone to the store to buy medicine for her sick kid. But on her way she got delayed when she helped out a nice lady who was having car trouble. Then at store she realized she had forgotten her purse at home! And out of nowhere it turns out that that nice lady with car trouble had been Beyonce and she shows up and pays for the medicine! This book is a lot like that, except that in this case your friend is a mouse and Beyonce is an escaped l ...more
Pili
I continue to take part of the Classic MG & YA challenge hosted by the ladies of The Midnight Garden and this month's book was for the first time since I joined, a re-read!

I read Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH when I was still in primary school and I think it was one of the first books I got from the public library as opposed to getting it from my school's library.

To be perfectly honest I didn't remember all that much about the book, to my shame, even if of course I knew I had read it and
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John
I read this once as a child, but my primary memories involved the movie, which I had seen numerous times, and with which I have a strong attachment. Suffice it to say that while I continue to enjoy the movie as a piece of nostalgia from days gone by, I was pleasantly surprised by the book, which doesn't include the worst and most non-sensical parts of the movie (i.e. anything to do with magic or medallions). Instead, the book offers what to me reads like something of a parable, as one group of c ...more
sondheim
I read this book when I was about six years old, having plucked it off the shelf at the school library because it had a mouse on the cover, and because I had wanted to challenge myself to read a really thick book (200-odd pages of course being like a fantasy epic to a six-year-old). I loved it even though it was a bit sad, and I was so proud of myself for having finished it that I boasted about it to everyone. I learned all sorts of new words, like "pneumonia", which I was only informed halfway ...more
Lauren
From my perspective, this book is a classic example of an animal book--- a sweet tale from the point of view of some animal. In the case of this book, it is widowed Mrs. Frisby, a mother field mouse. While at first glance the novel seems rather dull, it is far from it. The author begins with a simple problem for the main character (her son Timothy becomes sick), which snowballs into catastrophic problem, and then morphs into a larger cause.

However, this larger cause almost seems strangely out o

...more
Jennifer W
One of my all-time favorite children's movies is "The Secret of NIMH," which was based on this book. I watched it repeatedly as a child, and can still enjoy it as an adult. I know as a kid I owned this book, but I don't recall reading it entirely. I did read this book as a college student for a Children's Lit class and enjoyed it. However, I had the same reaction to it then as I did rereading it now: this is so different from the movie. The basic plot is the same, sick mouse, Moving Day, super s ...more
Kristen
It's so scary to re-read a book you loved as a kid. Sometimes you find it to be full of stereotypes that child you didn't notice but adult you finds problematic. Sometimes, it turns out what you thought was a masterpiece was actually not well written at all. Or it's a book that's derivative and cliched and doesn't hold up well upon re-reading with adult eyes.

That's why it's so refreshing that Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH is still so awesome. I honestly didn't remember much about this book--c
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Fariha
I first read this book in school with my class in year 6. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH is a wonderful story about a mother mouse who goes to great lengths to save her youngest son Timothy from dying from pneumonia. At the same time, they have to move to their summer home as soon as possible because the farmer is soon going to plough the garden they are living in. It's a risk to move Timothy because of the cold weather, so Mrs. Frisby sets off on a journey to find someone who can help her and ...more
Jason
Jul 23, 2012 Jason rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anybody
Recommended to Jason by: Me/Movie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Barbara Bryant
I won't go into the plot here, as there are many accounts of it on these pages.

I was going through a somewhat anxious time recently and turned to some favorite children's books to try and relax. I found a paperback edition of this on my bookshelf, but had never read it. I vaguely remembered the Don Bluth animated movie, which I understand is very different and inferior, so I was glad not to be affected by clear memories of that.

I now understand why this little book has long been a classic and an
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Parents Reading B...: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH 5 7 Apr 30, 2015 02:19AM  
2015 Reading Chal...: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien 6 23 Feb 06, 2015 07:37PM  
whos your favorite rat mine is justin 4 29 Aug 15, 2014 07:45AM  
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Robert Leslie Conly (better known by his pen name, Robert C. O'Brien) was an American author and journalist for National Geographic Magazine.

For more information, please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_C...
More about Robert C. O'Brien...

Other Books in the Series

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Z for Zachariah The Silver Crown A Report from Group 17 Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh with Related Readings (Glencoe Literature Library) Mrs. Frisby and the rats of NIMH: A study guide for grades 4-8

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