Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien

Untitled 10.jpg What if the dominant species on this planet had turned out to be rodents instead of man? Would they have developed the same technologies that we do? Would they need the same tools, the same kinds of materials and structures?

Would it be possible for sentient rats to live alongside man, perhaps without man even knowing?


Mrs. Frisby, while looking for a way to save her son finds out about a much larger world than she ever imagined. The Rats of NIMH are a colony of intelligent rats that escaped from a testing lab at the National Institute for Mental Health.


This book is filled with mystery and suspense that, even as an adult I find riveting. This is one of my favorite books and so different from the animated movie that it barely deserves the same name.


The conflict is real, the animals are believable and the story is so full of mystery and wonder that it’s hard to not finish in a single sitting. Perhaps most importantly Mr. O’Brien is not afraid to end the story with some kind of personal, meaningful sacrifice on the part of some of the characters. Too often in movies and books the hero accomplishes their goal with little to no sacrifice of any kind on their part, making their eventual triumph meaningless. (See the movie How to Train Your Dragon for a really good example of how this should work and WALL-E for how it shouldn’t.)


Written simply but well, this book holds up as an exciting and thought-provoking book. If you haven’t read it you should, if you have, maybe you should read it again – you won’t regret it.

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