Janessa's Reviews > Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien
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Feb 24, 11

Read in February, 2011

I just finished reading this with my kids ages 10, 8, and 6, and it was a huge hit.

In the opening chapters my kids were immediately drawn to the characters. They worried about Timothy,a little mouse suffering from pneumonia. And when his mother, Mrs. Frisby, went looking for help from an owl they sensed the danger and admired Mrs. Frisby's bravery.

In later chapters they were fascinated by the story of Jonathan Frisby and the rats of NIMH, their intelligence, daring, and vision in the face of being imprisoned by scientists and forced to become experimental lab mice and rats. My kids seemed to understand the ethical dillema the rats found themselves in after they escaped - not wanting to base their existence on stealing from men, and needing a civilization of their own. The rats' remarkable inventions, like the elevator in their underground burrow, kept my kids' brains buzzing after we closed the pages of the book each night.

The concluding pages of the book do not leave all of the characters with a happy ending, and my children were saddened by the possible deaths of some of the rats who had become tiny heros at our house. But O'Brien balances the tragedy of some of the concluding events with Mrs. Frisby back in her nest, warm and safe with all of her children. Her older boy, Martin, vows to set out soon to find the rat colony, and we can savor that sense of hope and courage for the future.

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