Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
Written by Robert C. O’Brien, Illustrated by Zena Bernstein

With nowhere else to turn, a field mouse asks the clever escaped lab rats living under the rosebush to help save her son, who lies in the path of the farmer’s tractor, too ill to be moved.

Primary Source Pairing:
In this fantasy story, mice and rats have survived the testing at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). The experiments done on them have made the rats literate and capable to think like humans. This can open a large discussion on animal rights and animal treatment. Alternatively, students can research mice and rats and connect how their creature features help them survive.

Questions for Discussion:

  • Describe what you see.
  • What do you notice first?
  • What is the physical setting?
  •  What other details can you see?
  • How does this image make you feel?
  • What questions do you have when looking at this image?

Book Cover and Summary: Follett
Lab Rat: Wall Street Journal