Racso and the Rats of NIMH

Racso and the Rats of NIMH

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by Jane Leslie Conly, Leonard Lubin, Leonard B. Lubin

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'Racso, a brash and boastful little rodent, is making his way to Thorn Valley, determined to learn how to read and write and become a hero. His bragging and lies get him off to a bad start, but a crisis gives him the opportunity to prove his mettle. A worthy successor [to Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, a Newbery Medal winner by the author's father].' 'BL.


'Racso, a brash and boastful little rodent, is making his way to Thorn Valley, determined to learn how to read and write and become a hero. His bragging and lies get him off to a bad start, but a crisis gives him the opportunity to prove his mettle. A worthy successor [to Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, a Newbery Medal winner by the author's father].' 'BL.

1986 Children's Editors' Choices (BL)
Children's Choices for 1987 (IRA/CBC)
Notable 1986 Childrens' Trade Books in Social Studies (NCSS/CBC)
1986 Children's Books (NY Public Library)
Best Science Fiction/Fantasy 1986 (VOYA)

Editorial Reviews

Bulletin of the Center for Children's' Books
Short, fast-pace chapters make this an excellent classroom read-aloud.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Taking up the tale where her father Robert C. O'Brien ended Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, Conly does full justice to his Newbery-winning novel. So does Lubin, depicting the endearing company that now includes a cheeky little rat named Rasco. Growing up in the city, Rasco has heard about the intelligent NIMH escapees from his father, Jenner. Leaving home, the boy is looking for the legendary rats who, he hopes, will help him to become educated and valorous. Rasco meets the gentle field mouse Timothy Frisby, on his way to the rats' school in the valley. The long journey cements their friendship as they rescue each other from perils before arriving at the peaceful colony. As time passes, the members get news of the worst possible danger, when Mrs. Frisby flies in on the wings of the crow Jeremy. Human beings, the widow warns, are about to flood the river, wiping out the rats' settlement. Rasco's learning is interrupted by the need to prove his heroism. He does that, rejoined by his father, who lends a self-sacrificing hand to his old comrades. The story is tense, funny and poignant in the classic tradition. (9-12)
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7 This sequel to Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (Atheneum, 1971), written by O'Brien's daughter, continues the NIMH saga with a focus on the second rodent generation: Timothy, Mrs. Frisby's son, and Racso, son of the rebel rat Jenner. On his way to classes at Thorn Valley, Timothy saves Racso's life but is himself severely injured. Both reach the Utopian colony only to discover that the valley and surrounding farms are to be turned into a tourist lake and campgrounds. Insecure and arrogant when he first arrives, Racso learns more than just how to read. In fact it is he who suggests a plan to save the colonysabotaging the dam site computer. Although the rats' plans fail, the dam opening is postponed by a heroic act of Racso's father. While the continuation of the NIMH story is most welcome, Conly's novel lacks the light touch of O'Brien's work, as well as the richness of character development and description. Timothy, for example, is too perfect a mouse to be very interesting, and the leader Nicodemus is often a tedious moralizer. Racso, on the other hand, is most appealing when he gets into trouble. Mrs. Frisby, Jeremy and Mr. Ages are unfortunately peripheral characters in this story. Conly sets the stage for the next sequel, for one reporter appears to believe that the computer was sabotaged by intelligent rats. Perhaps in the next installment, Racso's joie de vivre will rub off on the other rodents of Thorn Valley.Yvonne A. Frey, Peoria Public Lib . , Ill.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Rats of NIMH Series
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.12(w) x 7.62(h) x 0.57(d)
700L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One


Mrs. Frisby, a brown field mouse, hummed softly to herself as she folded her son Timothy's clothing: a sweater, a jacket, a red scarf. The latter needed mending, she noted, and set it in a separate pile from the others. It was unusual for her to be alone in the house, as she was now. Her children, Martin, Cynthia, Teresa, and Timothy, were harvesting today. There was a great deal to be done. Over the summer Martin, her elder son, had found a mate, a lovely young mouse named Breta. They had moved to a small nest under a rotted sycamore stump in the meadow. Now food for the winter must be gathered for his family, too. And tomorrow Timothy would leave home to go to school. This would be his third year as a student in a school run by the superintelligent Rats of Nimh.

He had learned a great deal there — so much that Mrs. Frisby had lost track of the subjects he had studied. He could read and write, did math problems, and knew that the earth was round, which was hard for Mrs. Frisby to believe. He knew the constellations and could predict with a good deal of accuracy how long it would take to travel to a place where one had never been before. Thinking of travel made Mrs. Frisby sigh. For the school was a long way off-miles and miles away, in a remote section of the state forest called Thorn Valley. It was so far that Timothy was not able to come home during the school session, which lasted for nine months of the year. Mrs. Frisby missed him terribly.

So I must mend his scarf, she thought, and I will pack his favorite foods in his knapsack, in case he doesn't reach Thorn Valley in time fordinner tomorrow. And I must clean out the cupboard, to make room for the beans that the children will be bringing. With that thought she hurried into herkitchen, which was really one half of a cinder block mired deep in the earth near a large stone in the Fitzgibbons' garden. Mrs. Frisby loved the cinderblock house: It was cozy and warm in winter, and it was safe-ever since the rats had moved it out of the path of Mr. Fitzgibbon's plow. For an instant Mrs. Frisby recalled that terrible spring three years ago, when Timothy had been sick with pneumonia and the cinder-block house in danger of being crushed in the March plowing. The rats had worked all night, moving the house into the lee of the stone, where the dirt remained unturned throughout the year. Mrs. Frisby still felt a debt of gratitude to the rats for saving her house and her son's life.

Today the sunlight fell through the entrance hole into her kitchen in a lovely golden arc. Mrs. Frisby stood in it for a moment, feeling it warm her head and back. Then she reached for a broom and began to sweep some bits of corn husk into a pile. She had almost finished doing this when she heard-from someplace up above her head — a great to-do.

"Mrs. MOUSE!" rasped a loud voice. "TIMOTHYS MOTHER, come OUT!"

Mrs. Frisby hurried up the entrance hole, broom in hand, and poked her head out cautiously to seewho was there. It was young Jeremy, a crow she had once befriended, and he was hopping up and down in agitation.

"Mrs. FRISBY!" he shouted. "I was so upset I forgot your name!"'

"Goodness, Jeremy," Mrs. Frisby said, "Calm down. And tell me what's wrong."

"I can't take Timothy to school tomorrow!" Jeremy shouted. He looked close to tears. "It's an EMERGENCY! I have to go home right away. My mother is very sick. She flew into a ladder and broke her wing." And with that a large tear slid down the black feathers under Jeremy's eye.

"Now, now," Mrs. Frisby said, keeping her voice calm for Jeremy's benefit.

"My cousin brought the news this morning," Jeremy added. "I went to Mr. Ages and he says that she may not fly for a whole month. And he gave me some powder for her to swallow after dinner."

Secretly Mrs. Frisby was surprised that Jeremy had thought to visit Mr. Ages, the white mouse who served as doctor for the wild animals who lived on the farm. "You did well," she said. "And, of course, you should fly home. Your mother will need your help. "

"But what about Timothy? School starts next week, and I was supposed to fly him to Thorn Valley tomorrow!"

"We will manage," Mrs. Frisby said, although inside she wondered how they would manage. "You must stay with your mother while she needs you."

"Will she die?" Jeremy asked. Another tear slid through his black feathers.

"Of course not!" Mrs. Frisby said, but when she saw Jeremy's stricken expression she tried to make her tone more kindly. 'Just make sure she takes Mr. Ages's powder. Within a month her wing should be as good as new."

"Thank you!" Jeremy said. "Oh, thank you!"

"You're welcome," Mrs. Frisby said dryly, and she ducked her head to avoid the flap of Jeremy's large wings as he heaved himself into the air.

"SEE YOU LATER!" he shrieked from up above her — loud enough to be heard for a mile around, she thought to herself — and then he quickly flew away.

Mrs. Frisby retrieved her broom and returned slowly to her kitchen. She sat down in the corner of the room and tried to think. She knew that going to school was the most important thing that had ever happened to Timothy, and that he must continue.

He was not a strong mouse and never would be physically strong, so it was all the more important that he have an education. Then when trouble did come along — for surely everyone must anticipate at least a small amount of misfortune — he would be able to reason his way out of it. Timothy knew the way to Thorn Valley — he had seen the route four times from up on Jeremy's back as they flew over the woods — but he had never made such a long trip on foot. And this year there was no one who could go with him.

Meet the Author

Jane Leslie Conly's first novel, Rasco and the Rats of NIMH,an ALA Booklist Children's Editors Choice, and its sequel, R-T, Margaret and the Rats of NIMH,were included on a multitude of state library masterlists. She is also the author of the critically acclaimed Trout Summer (an ALA Notable Children’s Book and Best Book for Young Adults) and the Newbery Honor Book Crazy Lady! She lives in Baltimore, MD.

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Racso and the Rats of NIMH 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Raul96 More than 1 year ago
I wasn't expecting much from this book, but now that I've read it, I am so glad that this book was made. It answers all of the unsolved questions made in the original book. It has great suspense that gave me butterflies in my stomach, and several VERY unexpected twists. I'd highly recommend it to anyone who has read the original, however if you haven't, don't bother reading this first, because you will be very confused with what;s going on and who everyone is. I give this book a 5 out of 5, and I really wish that this book was more popular, because I know a lot of people who never even knew that this book was made! Well, this concludes my review for Racso and the Rats of NIMH. Now, I'm going to begin reading R-T, Margaret, and the Rats of NIMH...Let's hope this one doesn't ruin it for me...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this is such a good book i did this for a report.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great book I read it last year and i loved it. If you read atleast 3 chapters then you'll want to keep on reading if not try till 5.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rasco and the Rats of NIMH is a good book for all ages. It's very funny. Kids will get a good laugh out of it. It's the sequel to the best-seller Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh.