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Publisher's Summary

This delightfully imaginative tale is always a popular favorite among children. Mrs. Frisby, a field mouse who lives in a garden, must move her family before the farmer begins plowing. Will the rats of NIMH - a group of highly intelligent laboratory rats - help her find a solution to her dilemma?

©1971 Robert C. O’Brien (P)1993 Recorded Books, LLC

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
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RAT RACE

WE ALL HELP EACH OTHER AGAINST THE CAT
This is very entertaining and is so well written that I truly felt like I spent time with Mrs. Frisby in the field. It is descriptive enough that you can easily picture where everything is happening without being overly descriptive.

WE NEED A PLAN
The book is kind of two halves. The first half is more about Mrs. Frisby and what she goes through to save one of her sick children. Every parent can empathize with her as she faces several dangers. The second half is more about the rats. There is a fairly long tale (tail) about their time spend in a research lab. I thought that part could have been shortened up. Other than that, the rats are pretty cool. They also may encourage some children to do research and spend time reading and studying. They accomplish this without preaching.

IT IS EASY TO UNLOCK A DOOR WHEN YOU HAVE THE KEY
What kept this from getting the fifth star from me was the serendipity. Twice Mrs. Frisby just happens to hear the humans talking about drastic things they were going to do and when they were going to do them. These were life and death situations and she just happen to be there at the right time. In both cases she is also given a time table and plenty of warning, helping her and the rats to make plans.

The narrator was good, not great. She did not detract from the story, nor did she add to it.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

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A great classic brought to life on audio

I spend a lot of time with my daughter listening to audio books. This is one of our favorites. The narrator reads well with no strange pronunciations or annoying inflections. I love it when the narrator is so good that the listening experience flows without any glitches from something annoying that the listener has to consciously ignore.

The story is a classic from my childhood and it still grasps interest of young readers today.

If you're tempted at all you should get it. In my opinion you won't be sorry.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Good family book

We listened to this in the car on a family road trip. Good choice for all ages.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Narration felt a bit slow, but otherwise was good

I was about 9 when the movie version, The Secret of NIMH came out. I remember seeing it in the theater, and I think that was only time I saw it. So I was a bit vague on the details of the story when I picked up the audiobook.

Mrs Frisby is a field mouse widow. Her husband died the previous year, but as a family they are doing fairly well. They have a warm winter house in the garden field where food is abundant, even if it is monotonous. Spring is coming soon and the family will move to their summer house by the creek.

However, when one of Mrs Frisby’s children gets pneumonia, things suddenly become dangerous. The family cannot move because of a very sick child. But they have to move because the field will be plowed soon and if they stay they will all likely die.

After Mrs Frisby saves a young crow from being attacked by the farm cat, and he hears her problem, he suggests that she ask for wisdom from the wise Owl, who suggests she ask for help from the Rats.

The Rats are set apart from most other animals around the farm. They are secretive and while Mrs Frisby’s husband knew them, Mrs Frisby does not.

It takes a while, but eventually we learn that the Rats have escaped from a medical research lab (NIMH) where they were injected with an experimental drug that has not only made them very intelligent (they can all read and write and have learned much about the world since their escape), but also they seem to have stopped aging, or at least only age very slowly. The Rats agree to help Mrs Frisby.

The story was good, but slow. And the slowness of the story was accented by the slowness of the audiobook narrator and very long pauses. It is a good children’s story. There are a couple of plot holes that as an adult, I think should have been fixed, but that does not detract from the overall story.

Once I was done, I thought the movie and the books were not that close in storyline. So I went back and looked for comparisons. The movie was mystical. In the end it was magic that solved the problem (which was a different problem in the book). The book was mechanistic. The Rats were engineers and philosophers. The book was about what it means to be independent and create a new society.

Most reviews seemed to think the movie was better because it created mystery, danger and suspense. But I think the addition of magic, really changes this from an animals perspective of vast intelligence (similar to Flowers for Algernon) to one of magical understanding, which really doesn’t make sense in context of escaped lab rats.

The book came out in 1971, but feels like an older book. I think many kids will like it, especially if they like books about animals. But the slowness will put some off.

As an adult I appreciate the fact that the book is about a parent that is sacrificing to save her children instead of the standard children’s book that is about children needing to take care of themselves because the adults around them are unable to protect them.

originally posted on my blog Bookwi.se

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Great kid's book and narration!

I loved the book as a kid, and it was nice to listen to it again as an adult. For me, the narrator makes all of the difference for an audiobook, and Barbara did a great job with this book!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • M.W.
  • Milwaukee, WI
  • 08-16-15

Love…Love…Love!

This audible books bring me back to my childhood days. It's read with such passion and love. I could actually visualize the whole book as I listened. This being a change from the days when I read it aloud to my children. However now, I could listen over and over again! Highly recommend this book and narrator to anyone old or young!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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go to the rats

My sons bed time story. It stays with me. 20 years later, Mothers find ways.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Reconnect to a Classic

After watching some of the wildlife in my own backyard this Fall, and now Winter, I was inspired to revisit one of my fonder literary memories as a child. Thus, i sought out, and found, Mrs. FRISBY and the Rats of NIMH. The production quality is stunning, and Ms. Curuso animatedly narrates this iconic tale in a way that is is very appealing to all ages. It's an engaging performance without over-doing "the theatrics". A recording I am sure to revisit, and recommend to everyone.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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FANTASTIC STORY, FUN AND ENTERTAINING.

If you could sum up Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH in three words, what would they be?

I loved this book almost as much as Watership Down. Well written and excellent performance.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great book

This book is perfect for kids (and adults
Who love animals
This book is Awesome