Thursday, September 6, 2012

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (1972)

I really enjoyed this one.  Mrs. Frisby is the widowed mouse of Mr. Jonathon Frisby.  Timothy, her youngest son, has been very sick.  Mr. Ages, a mouse who is intelligent well beyond what a mouse should be, has given her medicine for Timothy, but said he should not be moved from their winter home in the farmer's garden to their summer home by the creek as his body is still too weak and it is still too cold at night.

Her new friend, Jeremy the crow, takes her to see the owl, whom all the crows go to for advice. Jeremy flies her to the owl's tree, and, though terrified to approach the owl, Mrs. Frisby does so for the sake of her family.  After telling the owl of her predicament, he tells her that he cannot help her.  But when he learns that she is the widow of Jonathon Frisby, he becomes very interested and tells her to visit the rats in the rosebush.  She is to ask to speak to Nicodemus.

So her adventure continues.  She learns of human experimentation on rats, and a few mice (including her husband) which gave them great longevity and human intelligence. The rats have a plan to move to a valley and develop a society independent of human technology.

I think children would really like this one.  A good storyline, characters and also some things to think about:  experimenting on animals, living on "borrowed" light, loyalty, courage, friendship.  No quotes jumped out at me as I read, but it was well-written.  Enjoy!

O'Brien, Robert C. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. Simon & Schuster, 1971.

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