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The Borrowers (Puffin Modern Classics) Paperback – 6 Jan 2011

40 customer reviews

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Paperback, 6 Jan 2011
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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Classics; Re-issue edition (6 Jan. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141333324
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141333328
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 63,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon 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 fit out their subterranean quarters with the titbits 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.

Review

Beautifully written, poetic and almost always alarming, the Borrowers have something very mysterious, sad and exciting about them (Sunday Times)

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

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Kurt A. Johnson on 27 Oct. 2003
Format: Paperback
Unknown to the humans who seem to rule the Earth, they actually share the world with a race of little people, the Borrowers. Living beneath the floorboards, and anywhere else they can remain unseen, the Borrowers live by "borrowing" what they need from the "human beans." This is the story of one family (Pod, Homily and Arrietty Clock), their life in a spacious home, their borrowing, and their efforts to stay unseen. But Arrietty wants to see what else there is to life, and she is going to see it!
This is such a wonderful book. The story is charming, with the illustrations showing a realistic (if tiny) family. My children loved this story, and even have developed some games based on the story. If you have children, then please consider buying this book for them.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Glenn Cook HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 Mar. 2014
Format: Audio CD
NOTE THIS IS A REVIEW OF THE ABRIDGED BOOK READ BY SAMANTHA BOND.

Samantha Bond has dome something I did not think possible - raised this simple story up to fabulous heights making it wonderful for the adult and child alike.
Five stars are simply not enough.

Hr narration and vocal skills are simply outstanding and exceptional.
She has the voices of each individual character off pat to a wonderful degree.
I simply forgot she was a female actress reading the book and immersed myself into the world of the Borrowers.
each and every character is supremely portray by the talented Ms Bond.

Mary Norton has written some brilliant books and I really would urge you to seek them out but in Bond's hands- or should that be voice the book is simply lifted to a really new high level.

Now to the book.
Many others will concentrate on the story and the characters in the plot.
So I will not go over well trodden ground.
BUT Samantha Bond simply brings out the deeper hidden depths of the book to a again- I'll use that word- deeper meaning.
The story itself is told to a young child by Mrs May but Bond cleverly draws out the inference that she is the sister of the brother who discovers the Borrowers.

This story within a story really elevates the story to a whole new level and hints at the genius of what a great writer Mary Norton was.

I simply cannot urge you enough to listen to Samantha Bond's superlative narration of this stupendous book.

At this price it is really worth a punt.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 18 Aug. 2007
Format: Paperback
Have you ever pondered where your hairclips, bobby pins and thimbles have gotten to? Do you wonder why small quantities of your father's tobacco and Madeira seem to smoke themselves or evaporate? Did your wooden knight ever ride off the chessboard never to be seen again?

You don't even know what I'm talking about, do you? OK, so have you ever lost your iPod Nano? Maybe the Borrowers needed a stereo for their home entertainment system. The same thing happened to your Nintendo Gameboy.

Mary Norton's "The Borrowers" published in 1952 is about a race of little people living beside a rain pipe, over the mantel, behind the harpsichord and in all the nooks and crannies of the house. These little people "borrow" from us, the big people. They use blotting paper for their carpets, a single onion ring for their cooking and postage stamps for wall portraits.

In the book, Pod, Homily and Arriety are the last Borrowers left in Aunt Sophy's house. They lived in the floorboards under the kitchen ad entered and exited their home from a hole behind the grandfather clock. They weren't rich but they had everything they needed - potatoes for their supper, a gas pipe leak for their cooking, a foie gras dish for their bath. Pod, the father, ventures into the house every now and then for supplies.

This is the story of how Arriety, after being allowed to go borrowing with her father, befriended a nine-year old boy who was a visitor in the house. Then their lives change forever: They discover news about their Borrower relatives, gain new riches and then lose everything they own.

This is a good story to read in a big house on a rainy afternoon. Perhaps you can explore the house for little corners where a Borrower may be living.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 Dec. 2000
Format: Paperback
I cannot believe that no-one has reviewed this classic! I adored it as a child (it was a wonderful explanation of the mystery disappearance of household objects)- the idea is very appealing, plus the style of the narrative is down to earth and so keeps away from the potentially cloying 'fairy' idea (the borrowers themselves are scornful of the subject). It is a great addition to the children's bookcase- an enjoyable discovery or re-discovery depending on the age of the 'child'.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kurt A. Johnson on 29 Oct. 2003
Format: Paperback
In this sequel to The Borrowers, the Clocks, having lost their home, must now set up a new life in a lost boot. Arrietty finds the outdoors exhilarating, while Homily finds it dangerous and extremely dirty. The Clocks know that there must be other Borrowers somewhere, but where are they, and how will they find them in such a big, wide world?
As with the last book, this one contains a charming story that is well accompanied by illustrations that add a lot to the simple words. These books are considered children's classics, and it's easy to see why. My children loved this book, and yours will, too.
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