Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH” as Want to Read:
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

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

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  110,371 ratings  ·  2,006 reviews

Mrs. Frisby, a widowed mouse with four small children, must move her family to their summer quarters immediately, or face almost certain death. But her youngest son, Timothy, lies ill with pneumonia and must not be moved. Fortunately, she encounters the rats of NIMH, an extraordinary breed of highly intelligent creatures, who come up with a brilliant solution to her dilem
Mass Market Paperback, 268 pages
Published 1971 by Scholastic
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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

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
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
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
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
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.
This may be my favorite book of all time.
Davis Dunavin

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
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
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
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
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
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
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

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
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
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
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
Jul 23, 2012 Jason rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
The Secret of NIMH was one of my favorite movies growing up, and I somehow never knew it was based off a book. When I saw one of my Goodreads friends reading this, I knew I had to get it immediately.

It's been a few years since I've seen the movie, but it seems like it stayed pretty faithful to the book. (The climax scene at the end of the movie was missing, but I think the book was fine without having it) I do actually think the movie was better, but that doesn't mean the book wasn't fantastic
Lauren Smith
If I keep watching movies like Ratatouille and reading books like Mrs. Frisby then I’m going to end up buying a pet rat, naming him Rufus or Jucko, and giving him free reign of my house and kitchen. No lies, this is a great read. Quick and easy, but captivating and imaginative. Mrs. Frisby is no rat but is, in fact, a recently widowed mouse. When her youngest son Timothy becomes ill she seeks help from a super-rat-clan. Soon Mrs. Frisby will need to risk everything to save her son… and the rats. ...more
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH is a highly intease and exciting tale of a feild mouse Mrs. Frisby. The day the story begins, her smallest son Timothy is desparately sick. A wise owl advises her to 'go to the rats'; the rats under the rosebush, the rosebush every animal has stayed away from, for the rats living within and underneath it are very strange.
It is there she might find the answer to her problem: not the problem of Timothy, he is on the way to getting well again..but what to do WHEN he
Michelle Knudsen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I found this book a quick, but very delightful read. My formula for a great book. I remember watching the movie as a child but was pleasantly surprised to find the book plot quite different from the movie plot. I thoroughly enjoyed this storyline. It seemed much more logical and while there was quite a bit of drama, not sensationalized like the movie. I particularly liked the ending when Mrs. Frisby can see what is going on but not close enough for the details. Normally I want resolution to ever ...more
Lee Födi
Are you one of those people who believes that animals speak to each other the second you aren't looking? Or do you think if you rip up the floorboards in your house that you will find an elaborate society of mice at work, complete with all the amenities that us humans enjoy?

Well, when I was a kid, I know that I certainly wanted to believe in those things. And that's what's so great about Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIHM. It brings those fantasies of a secret animal world to life. O'Brien's char
As a child, I loved the movie adaptation of this book, The Rats of NIMH. I didn't even know there was a book until I recently started reading the battle of the books list. I picked this book up one Saturday morning and became completely engrossed in it, finishing the book that night. It was so fun to read and remember the story that I loved as a child! The book was a bit different from the movie. I remember a red amulet with magical powers in the movie that was not in the book. I love this story ...more
Chris Porter
One of my all time favorite children's book.
Jason Zeng
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, written by Robert C. O'Brien, is a fiction story that is very tension and apprehension provoking. Mrs. Frisby is a widowed mouse that has four children, and works hard to support their needs. She must move quickly to her summer quarters with her family in order to stay alive; however, Timothy, her weak son, has caught pneumonia, and he is to move, he will get much worse, and possibly die. Mrs. Frisby receives help from multiple animals, and especially the rats o ...more

We read this as a family over the past several months. All of us enjoyed it pretty well.

We found a lot to discuss in this book: stealing, learning, dangers, friendships, service to others. We had some long after-dinner discussions. It was exciting that after all these years of dinner time read alouds and modeling how to interact with books to see our eldest daughter (9yo) make allusions and draw ideas together from the reading. She asked some good questions. Not all the time, but from time
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
whos your favorite rat mine is justin 4 25 Aug 15, 2014 07:45AM  
  • Racso and the Rats of NIMH
  • Roller Skates
  • Dobry
  • The Cat Who Went to Heaven
  • A Visit to William Blake's Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers
  • Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze
  • Rabbit Hill (Puffin Modern Classics)
  • Daniel Boone
  • The Dark Frigate
  • ...And Now Miguel
  • Thimble Summer
  • The White Stag
  • Adam of the Road (Puffin Modern Classics)
  • Waterless Mountain
  • I, Juan de Pareja
  • Miss Hickory
  • Shen of The Sea: Chinese Stories for Children
  • It's Like This, Cat
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
More about Robert C. O'Brien...
Z for Zachariah The Silver Crown A Report from Group 17 Mrs. Frisby and the rats of NIMH: A study guide for grades 4-8 The Secret Of NIMH

Share This Book