Ideas for Learners Promoting Literacy, Inquiry, and Meaningful Learning Experiences
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
by Robert C. O'Brien

Book Summary

Mrs. Frisby is an ordinary farm mouse with a serious problem. Her youngest son, Timothy, is sick and needs to stay in bed to rest until he is well enough to move. However, Mr. Fitzgibbon's plow is preparing to unearth their small home, and Mrs. Frisby must move her family. When she seeks help, she becomes immersed in adventure, and a secret kept from humans.  How intelligent are rats, anyway?
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH book cover
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

Book Review

This book begins as a family adventure and moves into a mystery with a science fiction twist. Although it was written decades ago, it remains interesting and unique for modern readers. One of the best aspects of the book is that Mrs. Frisby is an ordinary character who is called upon to do extraordinary things, and readers are invited to face each challenge as she masters it - without any magical powers, but with determination and courage.

left quotation mark

What's to be done? You must go yourself and ask him."  p. 42

Topics and Themes for this book:

  • Courage
  • Family Relationships
  • Mystery
  • Problem-Solving
  • Becoming More Than What Others Expect of You

Discussion Questions for this book:

The best discussion questions, of course, are generated by and contemplated by readers. These questions are designed to avoid major spoilers about the book, and to provide a starting point for teachers, parents, and student reading groups.

**Questions coming soon**

If you liked this book, you might also like . . .

James and the Giant Peach book cover
James and the Giant Peach
The One and Only Ivan book cover
The One and Only Ivan
Number the Stars book cover
Number the Stars