Monday, 12 May 2014

Book Review - Mrs Frisby and the Rats of Nimh

Title: Mrs Frisby & the Rats of Nimh
Author: Robert C O'Brien
Publisher: Puffin Classics
Release Date: 6 Oct 1994 (first published 1st January 1971)
ISBN-13: 978-0140366143

Mrs. Frisby, a widowed mouse with four small children, must move her family to their summer quarters immediately, or face almost certain death. But her youngest son, Timothy, lies ill with pneumonia and must not be moved. Fortunately, she encounters the rats of NIMH, an extraordinary breed of highly intelligent creatures, who come up with a brilliant solution to her dilemma.

My Review
I read this book as a child and I always remembered loving it. For years if you asked me what my all time favourite book was I probably would have said this one, something about this book just captured my imagination and stuck a chord with me. So when I was looking for a book to give my children's book group at work I thought of this one. I wanted something different and a bit older no vampires, aliens, hero dogs or diaries and this book came to mind.
In order to run the discussion properly I decided to re-read the books, after all it must be at least 10 years if not more since I last read it. I was a bit worried that I wouldn't enjoy the book as much and it would ruin my happy memories of it but I sat down and got stuck in.
The first few pages I was a bit hesitant, it didn't grab me straight away and it seemed my fear was coming to light, but thankfully after a few more pages I felt that familiar pull and warmth that comes from reading a great book and I was once more lost in Mrs Frisby's world.
Mrs Frisby is a field mouse, she has 4 children and is currently living in an old cement brick partially buried in Mr Fitzgibbon's farm. It has served them well as a winter home but she knows that as soon as spring comes the Farmer will need to plough the field to sow his seeds and her little home will be dug up. Preparing for moving day is hard but then her youngest son Timothy falls ill, there is no way he can travel in his condition so Mrs Frisby has to find an alternative. This is when she is introduced to the Rats and learns about their fascinating past and the amazing things they can do. They aren't ordinary rats, but super intelligent rats who come up with a fabulous solution to Mrs Frisby's problem. But where did these rats come from and why do they seem to know Mrs Frisby and her late husband.
I love the set up of this book and the range of magnificent characters, right from Jeremy the daft crow, to Nicodemus the head Rat and Dr Ages a mouse with skills and knowledge in medicine.They each play there part and help to shape the story.
This is a book filled with wonder and a certain sort of magic - I don't mean the kind with wands and spells, but the kind that allows you to believe that anything is possible.
I would recommend this to adults and children alike - in fact I think this would be a great book to share. I'm so glad I still loved it after all this time and have just found out that the author's daughter wrote a sequel so I will definitely be looking that up.

My Rating

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