Second Reflections – mrs. frisby and the rats of NIMH (Robert C. O’Brien)

Ahoy there me mateys!  While drawin’ up me lists of 2016 for me log, I realized a curious thing – out of 134 books read, not a single one was a re-read.  In me enthusiasm of discovery and taking suggestions from me crew, I did not revisit a single old port for plunder!  And part of what I love about readin’ is re-visitin’ old friends.  So I decided to remedy that and thus created me new category where I take a second look at a previously enjoyed novel and give me crew me second reflections, as it were, upon visitin’ it again . . .

mrs. frisby and the rats of NIMH – Robert C. O’Brien

In the last couple of days, I had to take a road journey and decided to listen to an audiobook on the way.  I wanted something I had previously read before and saw this one was available from the library.  The First Mate had never heard of it and I was appalled.  I adored the 1982 movie and the book when I was little but hadn’t read or watched it in over a decade or more.  I got excited to revisit it.

Absolutely no disappointment here!  For those who don’t know the story, Mrs. Frisby is a field mouse with four children.  Her son Timothy gets pneumonia and cannot be moved from their winter home.  The problem is that the farmer is about to plow the fields.  If Mrs. Frisby doesn’t find a solution about what to do for Timothy then he will die.

When I was little I was mostly fascinated by the rats of NIMH and how they came to be.  While I still enjoyed that section, this time I was much more focused in Mrs. Frisby’s journey and her kindness and determination.  She is just a regular mouse but her love is her strength and I was surprisingly very moved by her adventures.  It was also nice to revisit old friends like Justin and Jeremy.  I did think it was interesting that even in the world of rodents that the males held all the power and made all the decisions.  I didn’t notice that as a child.  So it be even more extraordinary that a older widowed mother mouse is the hero.  I was more inclined to think the rats saved the day when I was little.  Now I know where the true strength lies.

I very much enjoyed the audiobook and thought Barbara Caruso did an excellent job with this one.  After listening to this I very much want to rewatch the movie.  I will wait until the First Mate and I are back together and order him to watch it with me.  Arrrr!

Side note: Goodreads listed this as a series and I was confused.  Turns out the author’s daughter wrote two additional books in the series.  No offense but I like this book as a standalone!

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

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.

To visit the author’s wiki page go to:

Robert C. O’Brien – Author

To buy the novel visit:

mrs. frisby and the rats of NIHM – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

17 thoughts on “Second Reflections – mrs. frisby and the rats of NIMH (Robert C. O’Brien)

  1. It’s a lovely way of revisiting an old favourite – I am going to be rereading a couple of books this year, but listening to them instead:). Thank you for a lovely review, Cap.


  2. I was just thinking about how I never wrote a review for this book– and here you have your reflections! I second your perspective that Mrs. Frisby is a much more compelling character for me as an adult. I never realized that it’s abnormal for her to be the hero, though. That seemed so logical for me!

    I really appreciate O’Brien’s world-building. He does quite a wonderful job showing how the world of the farmland animals is different from the Rats. I am still intrigued by the rats and their way of life!

    What did your First Mate think of the book?


    1. How old is yer son? I think it be a great book to read together. But if ye go to watch the movie just note that it be scary for younger kids. I was both scared and fascinated when I watched it. If ye have seen the watership down cartoon, it has some of the same feel to it in terms of scary scenes.
      x The Captain

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aye, watership down. I think everyone who saw it young remembers the same scene. So I think skipping both of those is a good idea for now. Me nephew is 8 and he just watch a thing about leeches and another about rabies and he freaked himself out!
        x The Captain

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I LOVE Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH! I read it as a child, watched the movie many times, and I’ve reread the book as an adult a few times (most recently about 2 years ago). I even had a crush on Justin when I was a kid! 🙂 It is such a great story!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I also had a crush on Justin when I was a kid. How could ye not? I had forgotten how well the book was written and how atmospheric it was. So many poorly written children’s book seems to think kids can’t read complicated themes and ideas. This book doesn’t talk down to the children but still feels childlike with wonder and adventure. Thanks for the comment.
      x The Captain

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh YES Mrs Frisby ❤

    I adored this book as a child, but oh deary me the film (it made me SO ANGRY about MOVIES RUINING MY BOOKS but I was a very unforgiving child).

    But the book.

    Oh, the book.

    I reread it a few years back and was delighted to find it just as good as I remembered and not necessarily quite what I remembered. Like you, I was absorbed by the super rats as a kid; reading it now it's all about Mrs Frisby's grace and courage and common sense. I love that we get a widowed mouse mother as a protagonist (it's so unlike every other book I read as a kid) and that her adventures are so small scale and, well, mousey. It absolutely pushed me into a reread of Watership Down (also still amazing) although I've never quite got round to rereading The Animals of Farthing Wood…

    …and given what's going on in Australia right now, it'll be a while before I reread The Silver Brumby.

    Ah, there were some awesome animal books growing up 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was thinking that the movie changed the book a lot but can’t remember enough details. It will be fun to compare. And aye, the scale of the story about a mouse is wonderful. I loved when she was on the back of Jeremy and realized how big the world must be to the birds. I adore Watership Down! That was another favourite that I now want to listen to again. I adore all the animal books. I had a fondness for wolf and wolf-dog stories. Of course anything with ponies. The book Beauty will still make me cry. Another beloved one was Smokey the Cow Horse. I have not read the silver brumby books. I somehow missed them as a child. I think because they are Australian. So ye be telling me that those are sad?
      x The Captain

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The silver brumby books are the most beautifully illustrated stories – and the animals are pleasingly not anthropomorphised. Definitely a children’s book and showing its age in places now, but… irresistible for a horse lover. Sad in places (although no more so than Watership Down!), but right now I’d struggle to comfortably read a story set in the Australian bush, especially as at least two of the books feature the terror of a bushfire.


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