Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

Mrs. Frisby is a widowed mouse with several children to take care of. Her youngest son Timothy falls ill and is unable to travel. Their home in the farmer's field will soon be dug up by the plow when the farmer does his spring planting. Not knowing what to do, she turns to the mysterious rats living under the rosebush. What strange secrets do they hold and how do they fit in with her late husband and his untimely death?

 Probably one of the most well written books I've ever read is "Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH" by Robert C. O'Brien.  The ability of the book to suck you in and keep you interested until the very end is rare and even more rare is the ability to keep you interested every time you read it, not just the first time. This book won the 1972 Newbery Medal. While a lot of books that receive awards really aren't that good, this is one of those rare exceptions. It really is an amazing book.

After his death, Robert C. Obrien's daughter  wrote two sequels: "Rasco and the Rats of NIMH" and "R-T, Margaret and the Rats of NIMH". These sequels are HORRIBLE. Do NOT read them. They are an insult. The only reason I mention them is to warn you away.

"Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH" was also made into an animated movie called "The Secret of NIMH". While parts of the film are quite good, it overall falls flat as they made several major changes to the plot. One major character gets killed, another is turned into a villain and they also threw a silly magic amulet into the mix. Overall it was very disappointing.   Just read the book and forget about the sequels and movie.

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