Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

Book review by
Wesley Sharpe, Common Sense Media
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH Book Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
A compelling mix of fantasy and science fiction.

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 26 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.


Includes an account of the capture of the rats for use as experimental subjects. Mrs. Frisby narrowly avoids capture by a cat and is caught by a boy. The rats find the body of an old man.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Robert O'Brien's superior writing makes this alternately humorous and rousing adventure entertaining and believable, and the black-and-white illustrations enhance the story.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bykabahuss April 9, 2008
Parent of a 8-year-old Written byMMMJVC October 19, 2019
Teen, 14 years old Written bycalvinjuno July 15, 2020

Witty, Engrossing, and Adventurous

Probably my favorite book of all time, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH is about a group of rats with abnormally high intelligence who live together underground... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old April 30, 2020

books are bad usually but this is good

usually books are really bad. But the one is a good book. This book has good role models and is inspiring. This book is entertaining and your kid will enjoy!

What's the story?

Rats who can read? In this lively tale, a widowed field mouse discovers that the reclusive colony of fellow rodents who live below the rosebush are no ordinary animals. When her family is imperiled by the farmer's tractor, she is advised to "go to the rats." A compelling mix of fantasy and science fiction keeps the pages turning.

Is it any good?

Robert O'Brien has a knack for captivating his audience by creating humanlike personalities. Adults who read MRS. FRISBY AND THE RATS OF NIMH aloud will marvel along with their children at the adventures of the book's characters, and the realistic sketches will help younger children follow the plot.

Underlying the book's humor and fantastic elements are a set of values that children won't soon forget. The new breed of rats decide it is wrong to steal food, so they grow their own grain, and they are mostly loyal, honest, and willing to make sacrifices to reach their goals -- values that make this an outstanding book for children. And when they discover that Mrs. Frisby is the widow of Jonathan, a fellow laboratory animal who was pivotal in effecting their escape, they demonstrate an admirable willingness to help her rescue her family.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about animal research. Do you think this book supports or condemns experimentation on animals? If you could receive shots to increase your intelligence, would you want them?

Book details

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