This is an older book, but I found it an old used bookstore and decided to pick it up. The story is about Mrs. Frisby, a mouse, and mother of four little mice children. They are getting ready to move because it is spring. They are living in the farmer’s field in a little buried cinder block, and soon the farmer will come through with his plow and dig up their house and plant the fields. If they do not move then their home will be destroyed and so will her family. Mrs. Frisby’s littlest boy, Timothy, gets sick with pneumonia and must stay inside where it is warm. If they move to a new summer home and spend those early, cold, summer nights outside, then her Timothy may never get well again, and may in fact die. Uncertain of what to do Mrs. Frisby looks for ways to save her Timothy, and turns to the rats to save her son. She discovers that these aren’t ordinary rats and they have a revolutionary plan.
I enjoyed reading this book, and had fun remembering the movie version that I watched as a child as a read through. Interestingly, the movie was scary and kind of dark, but the book is totally opposite in tone and mood. I liked the character of Mrs. Frisby and found that the story line behind the rats fascinated me. I thought it odd that a lot of chapters in a book are basically a rat telling the story of what happened to them, and why they are executing their plan, but it is a fascinating and wonderful tale to read about. I immediately wanted to read more about this world and the characters. It really does spark the imagination, and curiosity. So, I researched and found that O’Brien did not write a sequel, but his daughter wrote two. The first called Rasco and the Rats of NIHM, and the second R-T, Margaret and the Rats of NIHM. I am now curious to see if she can write well in her father’s world, and may have to check them out.
I’d recommend this endearing middle grade classic to all fantasy and animal lovers.