Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

Common Sense Media says

A compelling mix of fantasy and science fiction.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 
Newbery Medal and Honors

What parents need to know

Violence

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.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

Parents say

Kids say

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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

Author:Robert C. O'Brien
Illustrator:Zena Berstein
Genre:Fantasy
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Simon & Schuster
Publication date:January 1, 1971
Number of pages:233
Publisher's recommended age(s):9 - 12
Award:Newbery Medal and Honors

This review of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent of a 10 year old Written byteemoo August 19, 2009
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

Read first, then see the movie!

"I really liked Mrs. Frisby. She teamed up with the Rats of Nimh to save her family. Her adventure was exciting, even when she met frightening characters like the Owl. If you like animals and adventure stories, you will like this book A LOT!"
Teen, 13 years old Written bydrummerboy94 April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

A good book

I think it is a good book and has a great moral storyline. If you like books about talking animals read this book. Their are a few hard words so i wouldn't recommend it to little kids.
Teen, 13 years old Written byMOVIE13 August 23, 2010
AGE
7
QUALITY
 
THIS BOOK IS BORING.....OOPS I JUST STARTED SNORING!!!!

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential Apps Guide