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Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

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Frisby, a widowed mouse with four small children, must move her family to their summer quarters immediately, or face almost certain death. Frisby to the owl's tree, but the owl says he cannot help, until he finds out that she is the widow of Jonathan Frisby. I loved how the rats were presented as really nice, since they are usually presented as nasty, especially to mice.

He listened intently to chapters at bedtime, engaged with all the animal characters and wanted to talk about them and even act out some of the exciting bits. Conly, Jane Leslie 1947-" The Cambridge Guide to Children's Books in English, edited by Victor Watson, Cambridge University Press, 1st edition, 2001. I loved getting more details about the time Jonathan and the rats spent at NIMH, and I will continue to read the other accounts in the series. And there's an interesting snippet at the back as to how the seeds of the story were planted in the author's mind.Calhoun on mouse and rat population dynamics at the National Institute of Mental Health from the 1940s to the 1960s.

During this period, scientific advancements–especially in the field of genetics–increased fears about the pervasiveness of technology in everyday life. It makes you think about how human we are or not, how clever we are or not, how important friendship is in our lives.We live just three houses down from a farm, so we frequently have the pleasure of hearing a goat bleat or having a curious horse reach their head over the fence for a quick nuzzle. O’Brien teaches the concepts of true heroism, of doing brave things when you are terrified, of sacrificing oneself for others. She is just a regular mouse but her love is her strength and I was surprisingly very moved by her adventures.

Normally it's a mixed bag with books that win this award for me, but this time I can say this book deserved the award. 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. This has attracted the attention of a group of men who have offered to exterminate the rats on the farmer's land free of charge. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH won numerous awards including the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award, Newbery Medal, and the runner-up National Book Award in 1972; the Mark Twain Award in 1973; the Pacific Northwest Library Association Young Readers' Choice Award and the William Allan White Children's Book Award in 1974.Fortunately, she encounters the rats of NIMH, an extraordinary breed of highly intelligent creatures, who come up with a brilliant solution to her dilemma. The character of Jenner is made a villain who is still present with the rats, rather than having left them before the story begins. The successful house move allows the mouse family to remain so that Timothy has time to recover before moving to their summer home. After the death of O'Brien, his daughter, Jane Leslie Conly, wrote two other novels based on the rats of NIMH. A culture of fear began to grow surrounding unethical medical and scientific practices, which are heavily reflected in the book.

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