Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH is a thought-provoking book dealing with the subject of family, sacrifice, teamwork, and leading kids to think about their feelings on animal testing. It is a great book to use in your classroom or homeschool for a whole class novel study, small book groups, or individual book studies.


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Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH written by Robert C. O’Brien was published in 1971. The novel was a Newbery Medal winner in 1972 and was adapted into a movie, The Secret of NIMH, in 1982.

The novel is extraordinary in that it speaks to both young readers and adults, in a little different way. It is sure to spark some deep conversations amongst your class about the intelligence of animals and ignite debate about the practice of animal testing in the medical and scientific community.

From the Book Jacket:

Mrs. Frisby, a widowed mouse with four small children, must move her family to their summer quarters immediately or face almost certain death. But her youngest son, Timothy, lies ill with pneumonia and must not be moved. Fortunately, she encounters the rats of NIMH, an extraordinary breed of highly intelligent creatures, who come up with a brilliant solution to her dilemma. And Mrs. Frisby, in turn, renders them a great service.


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The plight of Mrs. Frisby and her family with help from an intelligent rat community is a story that will captivate your readers from the start. It has a little mystery, some adventure, some villains, and it shows the strength that we have when a community comes together to help one another.

I offer a complete novel study to accompany Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH for use in the classroom or homeschool. The unit includes both a printable format and a Google Drive™ format for use in a paperless classroom or with Google Classroom.

You can purchase this novel study at the following locations:

Are you interested in reading about and sharing ideas with other educators on using children’s literature in your classroom? My goal is to bring together teachers and homeschoolers who teach grades 3-8 and use novels with their students. I’d love for you to join me to learn, share, and grow together!

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