Melanie Soble'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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's review
Sep 23, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: read-for-libs-642
Read in September, 2011

1. This book would fall under the category of a junior book, fantasy and science fiction.
2. What would you do to save a member of your family? This book tells the tale of Mrs. Frisby and her four mouse children. As a recent widow, Mrs. Frisby is faced with a problem when her youngest child falls ill. To save him she will have to ask for help from strangers. Will she have the courage to do her part?
3. critique
a. As a Newberry winner, this book has its strength in the character development throughout the story. The author cleverly kept you on the end of your seat while you rooted for the female heroine! How can a mouse possibly befriend a crow – and then trust him enough to fly? Will she actually go inside an owl’s house? She must realize what they eat for dinner. Who will the wise owl send her to for help? Read the story to find out!
b. In the beginning of the story, Mrs. Frisby is described as a typical mother who worries for her children but seems pretty average. You then start to realize that this is not an average when she finds a crow in distress. She risks her life for the crow who then promises to return the favor. She decides to ask him for help because she does not know what she is going to do to save her son’s life. She bravely climbs on his back to talk to the owl for help. At first, the owl says there is no hope, but changes his mind when she mentions her husband’s name. Mrs. Frisby is written as a highly developed character with a multitude of emotions. She’s scared, brave, thoughtful, observant, and hopeful throughout the tale.
c. Mrs. Frisby should be a frightened mouse. After all, don’t mice scurry away when you see them? Instead, this mouse is a female heroine who saves her whole family. She first helps Jeremy the crow when he is tied to the fence. She is scared of the cat but still comes to assist the crow. Later, knowing that her son’s life is in danger, she still climbs aboard the crow’s back for a terrifying flight to see the owl.
4. a curriculum connection
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH could be related to the curriculum in many ways. One would be the idea of the scientific method and how scientists test their hypotheses. Another connection would also be science related – the cycle of the seasons and the reasons why the mice move throughout the year. The food chain could be related so that Mrs. Frisby’s fear when she entered the owl’s house could be further examined.

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