The Borrowers

The Borrowers


By (author) Mary Norton, Illustrated by Sian Bailey, Illustrated by Judith Elkin, Introduction by Julia Eccleshare

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  • Publisher: Puffin Classics
  • Format: Paperback | 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 129mm x 198mm x 19mm | 233g
  • Publication date: 28 October 1993
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 014036451X
  • ISBN 13: 9780140364514
  • Illustrations note: b&w illustrations
  • Sales rank: 90,332

Product description

The Borrowers live in the secret places of quiet old houses; behind the mantelpiece, inside the harpsichord, under the kitchen clock. They own nothing, borrow everything, and think that human beings were invented just to do the dirty work. Arrietty's father, Pod, was an expert Borrower. He could scale curtains using a hatpin, and bring back a doll's teacup without breaking it. Girls weren't supposed to go borrowing but as Arrietty was an only child her father broke the rule, and then something happened which changed their lives. She made friends with the human boy living in the house...

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Author information

Mary Norton was born in 1903 and brought up in a house in Bedfordshire, which was to become the setting for The Borrowers. First published in 1952, The Borrowers was an imediate success, winning the Library Association's Carnegie Medal. There followed four more Borrowers books: The Borrowers Afield (1955), The Borrowers Afloat (1959), The Borrowers Aloft (1961) and The Borrowers Avenged (1982). Poor Stainless was the last Borrowers story Mary Norton wrote. She died in 1992.

Editorial reviews

This is a fine fantasy about tiny people who live under the floorboards and account for the mysterious disappearance of safety pins and boxes of matches. However, when the big people are threatened with eviction it is the Borrowers who must thwart the baddies, which they do with much ingenuity and vigour, and save the house. This was the 1952 winner of the Carnegie Medal and it has lost none of its charm. The numerous dramatized versions for television and a highly successful film are testament to its huge popularity with today's children. (10 yrs +) The Godfather (Kirkus UK)