Picture of author.

Robert C. O'Brien (1) (1918–1973)

Auteur de Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

Pour les autres auteurs qui s'appellent Robert C. O'Brien, voyez la page de désambigüisation.

9+ oeuvres 13,406 utilisateurs 250 critiques

A propos de l'auteur

Robert C. O'Brien was a distinguished author and journalist, whose other books for young readers include The Silver Crown and Z for Zachariah. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH was the basis for the motion picture, the Secret of NIMH.

Œuvres de Robert C. O'Brien

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (1971) — Auteur — 10,826 exemplaires
Z for Zachariah (1975) 1,776 exemplaires
The Silver Crown (1968) 737 exemplaires
A Report from Group 17 (1972) 35 exemplaires
Z for Zachariah [2015 film] (2015) — Auteur — 17 exemplaires
Rats of Nimh Trilogy Series Set (1960) 1 exemplaire

Oeuvres associés

The Secret of NIMH (1982) — Original novel — 375 exemplaires
Illustrated Treasury of Modern Literature for Children (1985) — Contributeur — 61 exemplaires
The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue [1998 film] (1998) — Original novel — 26 exemplaires


Partage des connaissances




At the time of writing, about a month after finishing this children's novel, I suddenly realised I have forgotten to record it on Goodreads so my memories of it are already somewhat faded.

My recollections are that there are some interesting characters, especially the owl and a few of the rats, and that the story was quite entertaining. It begins when Mrs Frisby, a widowed mouse, has to find help because her young son Timothy is ill and she is warned by another mouse, who dispenses medicine, that if he moves too soon to their summer residence by the river bank, he is likely to catch a severe chest infection which could be fatal. But Mrs Frisby has overheard the farmer and his sons talking, and realises he is planning to plough the area where the mouse home resides. She has to overcome her natural reticence and, with the help of a crow she has rescued from the cat, visit the fearsome owl for advice. When he learns her name, he tells her to go to the rats who have a mysterious entrance under a rose bush and ask them for help. These rats are different from the normal type, but it is only when she goes to their burrow that she discovers how different. For they have adopted a lot of human ways, including lighting their burrow with electricity. The rats decide to help move the mouse home so that it will escape the ploughing, and the story mostly deals with this and the rats own plight.

Part of the book deals with the narration to Mrs Frisby of the rats origin - which is where NIMH comes into it. I do recall that I found that part of the story - where they are subjected to experiments which both enhance their intelligence and extend their lives - to be far more interesting than the rest of the story about Mrs Frisby and her family. I liked the book but don't think I found it merited more than a 3 star rating.
… (plus d'informations)
kitsune_reader | 163 autres critiques | Nov 23, 2023 |
An interesting fantasy for children written in the late 1960s. Ellen wakes up on her tenth birthday and finds a silver crown on her pillow; a crown made of material which can be folded (which becomes relevant later when she has to carry it with her long distances and eventually hide it). An imaginative child, she decides to go for a walk to the local park and play at being a queen there as she often does. She thinks the crown might have come from her Aunt Sarah who is the only adult she knows who doesn't just pretend to believe Ellen is a queen: she says she is and means it.

While at the park, Sarah tries on the crown and it has the effect of making her calm and clear minded, something she needs shortly afterwards when she discovers that her family have apparently all died in a mysterious fire while she was out playing. And shortly afterwards, a robber in a green hood, who murders a shopkeeper and a policeman from whom she was trying to get help, seems to be implicated in the arson on her house. Meanwhile, Ellen sends a postcard to tell her aunt she is coming to see her because she is now on her own, and a series of men start to help Ellen in what, to a modern reader, seems rather creepy - even in the 1960s there were warnings about not to get into cars with strange men, for example.

I won't say much more about the plot, but other characters do appear, especially Otto an eight year old child prodigy who is an expert tracker, animal trapper, knife thrower and tree climber, having apparently taught himself those things. There is also a rather entertaining talking crow called Richard who is Otto's pet. Otto has been raised by a resourceful older woman who he now persists in believing is his mother although she has tried to tell him otherwise, after she found him wandering in the woods near her house when he was a toddler. She wants Otto to go with Ellen on her journey to Aunt Sarah's, as she thinks Sarah will adopt him and wean him off this idea about his mother and also break a rather destructive habit - he has been causing trucks on the nearby highway to crash so that he can scavenge their contents. The two children are menaced on their journey by the force behind the robber and other sinister men.

Probably because of the age of the children, and the period when this was written, the relationship between them is just simple uncomplicated friendship. Although Ellen is quite forward thinking and a planner, the story does conform in some ways to 1960s ideas of appropriate roles for boys and girls: the boy is the active one who is more capable physically and the girl is the one who injures herself and holds them up. However, she also can't be controlled in the way that most other people, including Otto, turn out to be later in the story.

I enjoyed the book on the whole but unanswered questions piled up by the ending, such as, if the crown has the effect it is shown to have at the end of the story on the evil force behind everything, then why was that force not affected whenever Ellen wore her crown - which at one point, left on her own with a sprained ankle for days, she does for hours at a time. At the very least, those whom she meets later (avoiding spoilers) should perhaps comment in puzzlement that this force has been zoning out and not giving orders for long periods of time recently. Also, I expected that there would be an explanation for Otto's origin, and that we might find out that Ellen's family somehow survived - she seems to get over her multiple bereavement very rapidly. The denoument of the story, which requires a third character to somehow evade hot pursuit and return to the very heart of the villains' hideout - when access to that was shown to involve authorised personnel touching a handplate and there were other perils as well - was a bit weak.

I've also read, since finishing the book, that there were apparently two endings in the American edition. The version I read was published in the UK and involves only a short postscript which explains who sent the crown to Ellen, but the whole issue of how the villains found out she had it is left open. On the whole, the build up to the story is stronger than the actual resolution and for that reason my rating balances out at 3 stars.
… (plus d'informations)
kitsune_reader | 13 autres critiques | Nov 23, 2023 |
Independent Reading Level: Grade 3-5
Awards:Newberry Award
Htown | 163 autres critiques | Nov 8, 2023 |
A teen girl lives on her own on her family’s farm in a protected valley, and in fact thinks she’s possibly the only person left alive after the nuclear attacks until a man in a radiation suit enters the valley. She had both hoped for and feared this event, and it soon becomes clear to her that fear is the proper response…

An interesting little thriller, although the main character’s choices sometimes irked me, and that says, probably, a lot more about me than about the book; she yielded way too much ground to the dangerous and violent macho bullshit of Radiation Suit Man. So while it’s a good read in most respects, I was too frustrated by her actions and the resolution to love it.… (plus d'informations)
electrascaife | 70 autres critiques | Oct 15, 2023 |


1970s (1)

Prix et récompenses

Vous aimerez peut-être aussi

Auteurs associés

Peter Hodson Abridger
Zena Bernstein Illustrator
Jan Francis Narrator
Edward S. Gazi Illustrator
Michael Baldwin Cover designer
Dale Payson Illustrator
Geoff Taylor Cover artist
Jerry Hoare Illustrator


Aussi par
Liens rapides

Tableaux et graphiques