1971: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh
Author: Robert C. O’Brien
Winner of the Newbery Medal, and the book that the film “The Secret of NIMH” was based on, this is the story of Mrs. Frisby’s attempts (she’s a mouse) to save her family with the help of rats who have escaped from a laboratory where they acquired super intelligence.
The book is part fantasy, part adventure, and part science fiction. Beautifully written, it’s on many top children’s book lists. The book was also supposedly inspired, according to the New York Times, by the work of “Dr. John B. Calhoun, an ecologist who saw in the bleak effects of overpopulation on rats and mice a model for the future of the human race.”