Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

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Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH is a novel by American writer Robert C. O’Brien (pseudonym of Robert Conly), and the first book of the Rats of NIMH series, published by Atheneum Books in April 1971.


The story revolves around that of a widowed mouse named Mrs. Frisby and her interactions with brilliant rats who escaped from experiments by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), saving her son Timothy from pneumonia and rescuing her children and home from destruction by a farmer's plow. The book involves the themes of friendship and courage and also alludes to the immorality of experimentation done on non-human animals.

Additional books[edit]

The other two books of the Rats of NIMH were Racso and the Rats of NIMH and R-T, Margaret, and the Rats of NIMH, written by O'Brien's daughter Jane Leslie Conly after his death.


The novel was filmed as an animated feature, The Secret of NIMH, by Don Bluth in July 1982. The Frisby family name was changed to Brisby because of a threatened lawsuit for copyright and trademark violation by the American toy company Wham-O company, manufacturers of the Frisbee toy.

The movie was criticized for this and other plot changes, especially the change of "the secret" from a science-fictional cause to magic and wizardry. A 1998 direct-to-video sequel then followed it, The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue without the involvement of director Don Bluth. Despite sharing a few plot similarities, this film has no connection to Racso and the Rats of NIMH.

See also[edit]

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