cover image Racso and the Rats of NIMH

Racso and the Rats of NIMH

Jane Leslie Conly, Author, Leonard Lubin, Illustrator, Robert C. O'Brien, Photographer HarperCollins Publishers $15.95 (278p) ISBN 978-0-06-021361-9

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)