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The Borrowers [Kindle Edition]

Mary Norton , Beth Krush , Joe Krush
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (170 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The Borrowers—the Clock family: Homily, Pod, and their fourteen-year-old daughter, Arrietty, to be precise—are tiny people who live underneath the kitchen floor of an old English country manor. All their minuscule home furnishings, from postage stamp paintings to champagne cork chairs, are “borrowed” from the “human beans” who tromp around loudly above them. All is well until Pod is spotted upstairs by a human boy! Can the Clocks stay nested safely in their beloved hidden home, or will they be forced to flee? The British author Mary Norton won the Carnegie Medal for The Borrowers in 1952, the year it was first published in England.



Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Anyone who has ever entertained the notion of "little people" living furtively among us will adore this artfully spun classic. The Borrowers--a Carnegie Medal winner, a Lewis Carroll Shelf Award book, and an ALA Distinguished Book--has stolen the hearts of thousands of readers since its 1953 publication. Mary Norton (1903-1993) creates a make-believe world in which tiny people live hidden from humankind beneath the floorboards of a quiet country house in England.

Pod, Homily, and daughter Arrietty of the diminutive Clock family outfit their subterranean quarters with the tidbits and trinkets they've "borrowed" from "human beans," employing matchboxes for storage and postage stamps for paintings. Readers will delight in the resourceful way the Borrowers recycle household objects. For example, "Homily had made her a small pair of Turkish bloomers from two glove fingers for 'knocking about in the mornings.'"

The persistent pilfering goes undetected until a boy (with a ferret!) comes to live in the country house. Curiosity drives Arrietty to commit the worst mistake a Borrower can make: she allows herself to be seen. This engaging, sometimes hair-raisingly suspenseful adventure is recounted in the kind, eloquent voice of narrator Mrs. May, whose brother might--just might--have seen an actual Borrower in the country house many years ago. (Ages 9 to 12)

Review

Praise for Mary Norton's The Borrowers:
"A book that begs to be shared."--The Horn Book

"The magic and charm of the writing convince children and grown-ups, too, that Borrowers really do exist."--School Library Journal

Product Details

  • File Size: 5417 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (April 1, 2003)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003ZSISYE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,833 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
195 of 203 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, but check out the age level June 14, 2000
Format:Hardcover
When I was a child of 12 or 13, I loved the Borrowers books. The idea of a family of tiny people, living in my own house and taking, for the most practical of purposes, things we'd thought we'd lost was quite enjoyable. The best part of the books, for me, were the descriptions of what they did with the buttons and baubles they risked their lives to 'borrow' - (imagine bumping into our family cat late one night while you're trying to lug a teacup back home).
Because I was a young girl who thought girls could do anything, I didn't really appreciate Arrietty's spunkiness. As the only child of the last Borrowers in this household, she's allowed to do many things her own mother hadn't done as a child. And perhaps because she can do some things her mother couldn't, she moves a step further and does whatever any boy could do.
I thought I could read these books to my 8 year old, who loves the Harry Potter series and The Wrinkle in Time books, but these books are too difficult for little kids (even those reading at an advanced level).
The language is very British and there are side explanations that are much too lengthy. Evidently I missed, as a pre-teen reader, the notion that the Borrowers might have been fabricated by the boy who was narrating the stories. (It is rather absurd to think that they were made up - I've lost too many socks and earrings in my lifetime, so I know Borrowers exist.)
Before the John Goodman version of the movie, we watched British video of The Borrowers and The Return of the Borrowers (great for younger kids). It was excellent, even though the special effects aren't where they were in the American version, the British version was excellent.
For those 11 and up (to 111) this is a great series to read.
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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A story that I'll always remember... and love... July 27, 2000
Format:Hardcover
I first read this book 10 years ago when I was still in Primary School and I instantly became a fan. I still remember that it was my home tutor , Ms Sim, who introduced me to this book. Now 10 years later, I re-read this book and still love it. I feel that anyone and everyone can enjoy this book, not only the kids.
The Borrowers are actually a race of little people. They believed that the human 'beans' lived to provide for them. The Borrowers loved houses that were very organised. The residents of the house must always follow a pattern of behavior so that the Borrowers could 'borrow' things from the house without being 'seen'.
"The Borrowers" tells the story of a Borrower family - the Clocks. They were Pod and Homily Clock and their 13 years old daughter, Arrietty. Why were they called the Clocks? The reason was simple enough. It's because this particular Borrower family lived under the kitchen floor but the entrance to their home was behind the old grandfather clock. So the last name of a Borrower could be anything, depending on where they lived. There were the Overmantels, the Rain-Barrels, the Bell-Pulls, the John Studdingtons (they lived behind the picture of John Studdington), the Boot-Racks and so on... The Borrowers loved to live a long way off from the entrance to their home.
Arrietty was a curious girl who had dreamed of going out to see the world other than the world under the kitchen. One day, her father agreed to let her go 'borrowing' with him. One that day, she was 'seen' by a boy (a human 'bean' boy) who had gone to lived in that house because he was unwell and needed time to recover. The boy has assisted the Clocks with their 'borrowings' later on. But good things are always not meant to be forever...
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Borrowers - a many layered classic March 28, 1998
Format:Hardcover
The Borrowers is a book for losers. Not the modern kind of loser, but people like me who are always losing stamps and pins and pens. The book tells the story of Arrietty Clock and her parents, tiny people who live beneath the floor of an old house and `borrow' the things they need from the humans who live in the house above. A postage stamp becomes a painting for their wall, pins become knitting needles. Even Arrietty's parents' names - Pod and Homily - are borrowed.
Life has never been easy for the borrowers, but now times are changing for the worse. The Sink family in the scullery, the Broom Cupboards, the Rain-Pipes and even Uncle Hendreary and his family have emigrated. Only the Clock family remain, living in fear of Mrs Driver, the housekeeper upstairs. When Pod comes home and says that a boy is living upstairs and that the boy has `seen' him, Pod's wife, Homily, is thrown into panic.

Arrietty, however, is intrigued. While her parents cling to the dubious safety of the life they know, Arrietty wonders about the world outside and dreams of adventure. She persuades her reluctant parents to let her accompany her father on his borrowing expeditions. On her first venture out, she meets the boy upstairs. A dangerous friendship develops. Meanwhile, Mrs Driver stalks the borrowers, full of the sort of cruelty Roald Dahl would have been proud to create. It is only with the boy's help that Arrietty and her parents narrowly escape Mrs Driver's attempts to destroy them. At the end of the book, Arrietty faces the dangerous adventure of emigration.

Like all great books for the young, The Borrowers can be read as an enthralling story of adventure, but also contains many layers of meaning.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
loved them as a kid. Now sharing with the next generation
Published 2 days ago by cyndi
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice and sweet
I have watched the movie and wanted to read the book and I have to say I was not disappointed it is such a nice sweet story now time to read on
Published 13 days ago by kymom
5.0 out of 5 stars You say it's borrowing...
When I was little, I loved watching The Littles. Likewise, I loved reading The Borrowers by Mary Norton. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Heather E. Hejduk
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of my favorites from days gone by!
Published 16 days ago by Sue Meserow
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent clean crisp book ever!
Published 21 days ago by Tamiko Rafeek
5.0 out of 5 stars Darling children's book- perfect to read together at night!
I loved it all-it's the perfect explanation for why unusual things disappear in your house. Now I am motivated to repair my daughter's dollhouse furnishings!
Published 1 month ago by Bruce Larsen
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the drawings
I love these books! They are so easy to read- i like the descriptions and the drawings. I will buy more.
Published 2 months ago by cool kid
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Kept me excited and made me want to not set it down. A well written book and I would recommend this to everyone
Published 3 months ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this book!
I have read many versions of The Borrowers and I'm loving this one! I try to find books that my 5th graders will enjoy and this is one of them. Thank you!
Published 5 months ago by Melody Hillman
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book.
If you've never read it, you should! A charming story, well written, and it's great for all ages! Buy it now!
Published 5 months ago by Jack Paden
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Borrower type books for younger readers
Check out The Nezovats in Despair. It's a bit darker, but it's for YA, and along the same theme. (thenezovats.com)
Dec 17, 2008 by Michael Zyskind |  See all 2 posts
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