Mrs. Frisby and the rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien ; illustrated by Zena Bernstein
New York : Atheneum, 1971. Book club edition. Hardcover. 233 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm. A good copy with the original dust jacket, has firm binding, clean and unmarked pages.
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
Mrs. Frisby was a mouse whose husband, Jonathan, was dead. And so, when she had a serious problem, she had no one to turn to for help. That is she had no one until a friendly crow took her to a wise old owl, a frightening creature for a mouse to visit. Then at the owl's suggestion, she went to visit the rats who lived under the rosebush. This, too, was a daring undertaking. The rats were an odd and unknown lot. Everyone on Mr. Fitzgibbon's farm knew the rats did strange things.
Yet nothing Mrs. Frisby had heard of the rats was as strange as the truths she discovered about them, and also about her dead husband. Neither these rats nor her husband were ordinary creatures. All had been imprisoned for several years in a laboratory known as NIMH, where various injections had made them wise, long-lived, and inventive. The rats were indeed able to help Mrs. Frisby. And she in turn rendered them a great service.
As to the end of the story: Mrs. Frisby had her problem solved. But the rats, well that's something else again.
Robert C. O'Brien
In real life, Robert C. O'Brien was Robert Leslie Conly. He was born in Brooklyn, New York, attended Williams College and graduated from the University of Rochester. While there he studied piano at Eastman School of Music, and at one time considered being a musician. Instead, he became an editor and writer for Newsweek magazine from 1941 to 1944, and for Pathfinder from 1946 to 1951. From 1951 until the time of his death in 1973 be was employed as a writer and editor by the National Geographic Magazine. He made his home in New York City before 1944 and in Washington, D.C. after that. He also had a home in Morgan County, West Virginia, after 1965, a place he loved and visited as often as he could. He was married and the father of one son and three daughters.
His books include The Silver Crown, A Report from Group 17 and Z for Zachariah, which was nearly completed at the time of his death; the last few chapters were written from his notes by his wife and one of his daughters.
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