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The Borrowers [Paperback]

Mary Norton
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

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Book Description

December 1964 Aldine Paperbacks
John Goodman, as the evil Ocious Potter, takes on Mary Norton’s tiny Borrowers in their first huge adventure on the big screen. Based on the screenplay by Gavin Scott and John Kamps. Based on the Borrowers novels by Mary Norton
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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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) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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

"A rare and delicious addition to children's literature [that] deserves to take its place on the shelf of undying classics."--Louisville Courier-Journal

"Delectable fantasy."--Booklist
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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IT WAS Mrs. May who first told me about them. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Borrowers July 10 2004
I've always loved this book, ever since I read it in fourth grade; the thought of little people always appealed to me. The style the book is written in is sort of old-fashioned for today's readers, but if a person can read it, then I definitely recommend it.
It's about a type of people, Borrowers, that are very tiny. They live in houses and 'borrow' things, like food, paper, and basically anything that they can get their hands on. They picture people as giants that are put on this earth to make things for them to 'borrow'... They live under floor-boards, behind pictures, over mantles; basically anywhere. That's how Arrietty's mother and father tell it.
But, in all reality, there is only herself, her mother, and her father left in that one particular house. Every other Borrower family had emigrated to somewhere else... and Arrietty accepts that until one day she is seen by a boy that puts the thought into her head that maybe her family is the last of the Borrowers.
And that's really how it all starts. Arrietty and the Boy form a sort of friendship, where the boy takes a letter to the place where Arrietty's Uncle is supposed to live, and Arrietty reads to him. (The Boy says that he's bilingual, and that's the reason that he can't read well.) And taking the mail isn't the only thing that the Boy does- he also brings the Clocks furniture, food, and other things.
Things which are discovered missing later.
And that brings in the cat and the rat-catchers...
One of my favorite childrens' books; I think the reason I like it so much is that it doesn't take for granted that kids wouldn't be able to understand a longer book... I think that's also what I love about the Harry Potter books, as well.
Anyway, read this. Very sweet, very family friendly. Altogether enjoyable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Borrowers - a many layered classic March 28 1998
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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4.0 out of 5 stars A slow starter but good book all around March 10 2004
By A Customer
This book is the second book in a series by Mary Norton about little people who borrow what they need to survive from humans.The borrowers from book one are Arrietty, Homily and Pod. They continue their story in this sequel. In this book other borrowers are introduced. These include Spiller, Uncle Hendreary, Eggletina(one of Arrietty's three cousins) and Aunt Lupy.
In the beginning, I found this book to somewhat boring. It was a narrative from a human called Kate. She was the girl who learned of this story in book one. She and her Great Aunt Sophie travel from their home in the city to the country where Great Aunt Sophie inherited a cottage. This cottage is near where the borrowers story started. There was a complication however. It seemed that someone else lived in that same cottage. This man was now old. He lived there in the cottage for 80 years. Kate and Great Aunt Sophie want to find out if the story of the borrowers is real or not. Old Tom Goodenough is the man who lived in the cottage. He was also the young man in the original story who was brought in to use his ferret to try to get the borrowers out of the house. He remembers the borrowers. He had Arrietty's diary and let Kate read it. The book then flashes back to the actual time when Arreitty, Homily and Pod are escaping from the big house and trying to survive in their new world.
They had to try to find the Badger Set where they think other family mambers are living. This is the story of their journey. Arrietty, Homily and Pod find an old boot and decide that it would be their sleeping area. They had to drag it with them during the day, while they looked for the badger set. You could say this was an early camping trailer.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for kids (and adults)
I first learned of this book from the Ghibli movie "The Secret World of Arrietty" (from which this book is based on), so I was curious to see what it was like (Howl's... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Audrey Ng
5.0 out of 5 stars childhood revisited
I read this in school when i was 10. i loved it then, and reading it again was almost as good as the first time. Just a funny, amusing little book that provokes different emotions. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Janet Graham
1.0 out of 5 stars Defects
Don't buy "The Borrowers" with ISBN-10: 0152099913 .
This version has several printing defects. 16 pages are clean, words missed!
Published on Oct. 4 2010 by List
3.0 out of 5 stars Story Student
The Borrowers is a really good book. Borrowers are little people who live in the bottom of peoples houses and borrow their things. There is a family called the Clocks. Read more
Published on Feb. 26 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars A very old fashioned , but well written book
This yarn takes place under the kitchen floor of a house where no human child has lived in a very long time.The book begins when a lady named Mrs. Read more
Published on Nov. 6 2003 by Attorney momma
5.0 out of 5 stars Enduring Classic- The Beginning of a Wonderful Series!
A must read for all early and middle grade readers. A charming and delightful story of "imaginary little people" who live under the floorboards of big people's homes. Read more
Published on Feb. 19 2003 by Evelyn Horan
4.0 out of 5 stars little people rock
this book is a awesome book because it has little pwople about six inches tall who live under a grandfather clock and they live buy borrowing things from humans like thumb pins and... Read more
Published on March 25 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Little People
This book is a great intertaining book about little miniture people called the barrowers. Find out about the amazing lives this fantastic book. Read more
Published on March 12 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars The Borrowers Afield
This book is about a very tiny family who is smoked out of their house under the floorboards of an old England home. Read more
Published on Dec 15 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Magic For The Child In All Of Us
The first in a wonderful series that weaves a spell nothing short of Magical! This is the type of book that takes you to that place where anything is possible, even to the point of... Read more
Published on Sept. 7 2001 by Mark A. Smiddy
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