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Borrowers

30 review for The Borrowers

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I have noticed that most people who borrow books do it in the same way the borrowers do it - to keep them indefinitely! That is how I lost my cherished copy of this classic. My sense of ownership lost a battle with my sense of missionary reading promotion. And here we are - The Borrowers are forever lost to me, at least in a visual, tangible sense. I can of course still "see" them in my mind, endlessly panicking about me - a human bean, no less! - having discovered their secret. Lovely story full I have noticed that most people who borrow books do it in the same way the borrowers do it - to keep them indefinitely! That is how I lost my cherished copy of this classic. My sense of ownership lost a battle with my sense of missionary reading promotion. And here we are - The Borrowers are forever lost to me, at least in a visual, tangible sense. I can of course still "see" them in my mind, endlessly panicking about me - a human bean, no less! - having discovered their secret. Lovely story full of beans, human and otherwise!

  2. 5 out of 5

    ☽¸¸.I am¸¸.•*¨ The ¸¸.•*¨*Phoenix¨*•♫♪ ☾

    “...Borrower's don't steal." "Except from human beings," said the boy. Arrietty burst out laughing; she laughed so much that she had to hide her face in the primrose. "Oh dear," she gasped with tears in her eyes, "you are funny!" She stared upward at his puzzled face. "Human beans are for Borrowers - like bread's for butter!” There are little people who live beneath the kitchen floor, inside the walls, behind cupboards and clocks: they call themselves the "Borrowers", because everything they need “...Borrower's don't steal." "Except from human beings," said the boy. Arrietty burst out laughing; she laughed so much that she had to hide her face in the primrose. "Oh dear," she gasped with tears in her eyes, "you are funny!" She stared upward at his puzzled face. "Human beans are for Borrowers - like bread's for butter!” There are little people who live beneath the kitchen floor, inside the walls, behind cupboards and clocks: they call themselves the "Borrowers", because everything they need they "borrow" from us human beans. Arrietty is one of them, she lives with her mom and dad and no one else: she doesn't know anyone her age and so she's often bored and dreams of seeing the world. One day, her dad brings her along while going for an errand, and that's when she meets a boy, a human boy, with whom she starts a very odd friendship. If you, like me, are an adult who enjoys reading children books, loves studio Ghibli and grew up reading fairytales, you should give this book a try. The atmosphere and the feeling of it it's just like the tales I used to read when I was child: those big illustrated books about elves, fairies and gnomes that live in our gardens. Such a classic, loving, wholesome read! Made me want to watch the anime again 💜

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jayaprakash Satyamurthy

    I've had this book on my shelves for a few years, but I only got around to reading it after watching Studio Ghibli's gorgeous adaptation, 'The Secret World Of Arietty'. I wasn't sure what to expect, but what I got was a tougher, more tender novel than its premise - little people who live underfoot and steal everything they need from human beings - necessarily suggested. This is a meticulous, honest book that doesn't condescend to its intended audience. The characters are all flawed, believable, I've had this book on my shelves for a few years, but I only got around to reading it after watching Studio Ghibli's gorgeous adaptation, 'The Secret World Of Arietty'. I wasn't sure what to expect, but what I got was a tougher, more tender novel than its premise - little people who live underfoot and steal everything they need from human beings - necessarily suggested. This is a meticulous, honest book that doesn't condescend to its intended audience. The characters are all flawed, believable, even endearing with one exception. The miniature world of the borrowers is described in creative, convincing detail. The borrowers are very small people; their little hidey holes are scaled down to their own size and its only when Arietty goes on an expedition into the outside world with her father that she realises how small they really are: 'Swiftly he ran - as a mouse runs, or a blown dry leaf - and suddenly she saw him as 'small'. But she told herself, 'He isn't small, he's half a head taller than mother..' Arietty's first encounter with the little boy who has come to stay in the house is brilliant; it's both a meeting between two children and between creatures from worlds that are alien to each other. Her mother's reaction when the boy pries open the roof of their tiny house is another piece of fine writing: 'Homily screamed then. But this time it was a real scream, loud and shrill and hearty; she seemed almost to settle down in her scream, while her eyes stared up, half interested, into empty lighted space.' This is a well-written, imaginative and moving novel by any standards. Writing for young readers - and I imagine that this book's natural audience would be between Arietty's age - 14 - and the human boy's - 10 - doesn't have to be a matter of writing down, and this is a good example of how to get it right.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    More than just loving the story in this book I liked the idea of it. You had people that were smaller than a child being intelligent and resourceful and they were taken seriously. What child wouldn't love that? Plus little people who make furniture out of buttons and thimbles - it's just too cute.

  5. 4 out of 5

    unknown

    Day 17 of my Facebook 30 Day Book Challenge asks me to list the shortest book I've read, so here it is. I almost went with the Hobbit, but then I remembered The Borrowers. This is a book about a family of tiny people who live under the floorboards of a normal human home, surviving by pilfering stuff from the giants who inhabit it. I'd guess they are a few inches tall, so that's pretty short. Certainly they weren't looking for the shortest book I have read in terms of number of pages, right? Day 17 of my Facebook 30 Day Book Challenge asks me to list the shortest book I've read, so here it is. I almost went with the Hobbit, but then I remembered The Borrowers. This is a book about a family of tiny people who live under the floorboards of a normal human home, surviving by pilfering stuff from the giants who inhabit it. I'd guess they are a few inches tall, so that's pretty short. Certainly they weren't looking for the shortest book I have read in terms of number of pages, right? Because that is an asinine question. I haven't read this book in, oh, 20 years, but it used to be a favorite. I always liked the idea of getting a totally new point of view on what would otherwise be very normal surroundings, and Mary Norton (who wisely spun this into a series, not that I read any of the sequels) thinks of a lot of creative uses for the household detritus the family of Borrowers uses to furnish their home -- bottlecaps become serving trays, scrap paper becomes wallpaper. They are the original freegans! (Unless you count hobos.) I think these details are what appealed to me as a child, as the story is otherwise what you would expect: the Borrowers live in fear of humans until one plucky girl is accidentally seen by a sad young boy, who doesn't turn out to be so bad. Maybe it was because I was a small person, but I always liked stories of tiny creatures in very big places: A Cricket in Times Square, The Mouse and The Motorcycle, pretty much any cartoon with chipmunks in it (though here I am thinking "Chip 'n Dale" more than "Alvin and the..." Plus I just figured out that Rescue Rangers basically lifted its production design from this book). Anyway, that it. The shortest book I have read. What a stupid freaking question. Facebook 30 Day Book Challenge Day 17: Shortest book you have read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Allison Tebo

    Since I was very young, I have been enamored with miniatures. Bugs Life, Tinkerbell, dollhouses – anything tiny has always tickled my fancy and the idea of something like, say, a leaf being used as a hammock is altogether magical to me. This method of shrinking our known world makes the most ordinary surroundings and implements truly magical. And while the characters and dialogue are so British to the point of being (occasionally) stilted with the dialogue can even be a tad incomprehensible at Since I was very young, I have been enamored with miniatures. Bugs Life, Tinkerbell, dollhouses – anything tiny has always tickled my fancy and the idea of something like, say, a leaf being used as a hammock is altogether magical to me. This method of shrinking our known world makes the most ordinary surroundings and implements truly magical. And while the characters and dialogue are so British to the point of being (occasionally) stilted with the dialogue can even be a tad incomprehensible at times, the adventures this little family goes through are something that anyone can appreciate and their yearning for a home is a classic theme that is completely relatable. A delicately written and imaginative little adventure that is not to be missed.

  7. 4 out of 5

    John

    When I was in third grade, I was at the library with my dad and little sister. My dad asked me if I had a book to report on for summer reading, since we were there and everything. The question blindsided me, so I said, "Yes." I had not read the Borrowers, which I had checked out the week before. But I took the book and walked over to the library lady who was shelving books. I told her I wanted to report on this book I read for summer reading. Now in those days, library summer reading was based When I was in third grade, I was at the library with my dad and little sister. My dad asked me if I had a book to report on for summer reading, since we were there and everything. The question blindsided me, so I said, "Yes." I had not read the Borrowers, which I had checked out the week before. But I took the book and walked over to the library lady who was shelving books. I told her I wanted to report on this book I read for summer reading. Now in those days, library summer reading was based on WHOLE books. Not just minutes one read or any such things. And there were no stickers. None that I recall. Anyway, the library lady started to ask me to tell her about the book. So I started to tell her things I could figure out from the front cover of the Borrowers. It became readily apparent that I did not read this book, so the library lady, looked up from her papers, since in those days, children's librarians did not make eye contact with children and mostly just SHHHushed everyone, loudly and rudely. "Can you tell me ANYTHING that is NOT on the front cover?" she asked. I stared at her. "Come back when you have actually READ this book," she said, then looked down in the most viciously dismissive way possible. I never did go back that summer. Nor did I ever read the Borrowers, that is, until yesterday. I read it, Ann Douglas, you cranky old library lady. And I can tell you all sorts of things that happened in it. But I am not going to. You want to know why? Stickers. No Stickers, no Summary. PFFFFFFFFFT.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Calista

    Charming! This story is charming and a lot of fun too. Little people living in a big English house. Sadly they are discovered. I enjoy how the story is told. Two woman are knitting a quilt together and the older begins to tell a tale that her brother told her. The brother was part of the story. This is the beginning and the end. Mary only gives us a hint of what really happened at the end. It makes for a sly story. This book brought me much joy. I will be reading more of this series. The story Charming! This story is charming and a lot of fun too. Little people living in a big English house. Sadly they are discovered. I enjoy how the story is told. Two woman are knitting a quilt together and the older begins to tell a tale that her brother told her. The brother was part of the story. This is the beginning and the end. Mary only gives us a hint of what really happened at the end. It makes for a sly story. This book brought me much joy. I will be reading more of this series. The story is from the 50s and I think it can still be enjoyed by everyone today. It is timeless.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

    4.5 STARS I feel quite certain my mom read this to me when I was little, and that it made a big impression on me. I even remember naming one of my Barbies Egglatina! The story has has many wonderful aspects that many children will enjoy, such as the Borrowers being little people that live, hidden away, in our homes and "borrow" (steal? that is open to interpretation) things from us. If you miss a pencil, or postage stamp, and you feel quite sure you really *did* leave it *right there*--well, 4.5 STARS I feel quite certain my mom read this to me when I was little, and that it made a big impression on me. I even remember naming one of my Barbies Egglatina! The story has has many wonderful aspects that many children will enjoy, such as the Borrowers being little people that live, hidden away, in our homes and "borrow" (steal? that is open to interpretation) things from us. If you miss a pencil, or postage stamp, and you feel quite sure you really *did* leave it *right there*--well, perhaps a Borrower has been visiting? (I sure like that idea better than just being plain forgetful, haha!) There is adventure and daring, and so many darling descriptions of the the wee objects the Borrowers use to make their home (I was obsessed with all such things when I was little--doll houses, fairy houses--and since I didn't have a "real" doll house, much like the Borrowers, I used what I could to make doll furniture and things) This is the version I read: I love that cover because it really highlights all the lovely things the Borrowers have and seems so illustrative of their life, what they do, very close to how it's written in the book. (And Arrietty is writing in her journal--it's perfect!) However, reading it as an adult, I feel like I got even more from the story. I was really impressed with the writing style and the wit, the insights into character foibles... Some of the passages are just so beautifully written (the garden, sigh!) and I thought Arrietty's dreams and determination to make that happen (without being completely unfair to her parents) was very poignant. As was what happened to the Boy. (Actually, there was a lot more peril in the story than I expected, some unsettling aspects, that some children may not like. I obviously elected to give Egglatina a happy fate through my own imaginative play!) I am not so sure how much I loved the beginning and ending, with young Kate talking to the Boy's sister (now an old lady) who is telling the story of the time her brother met the Borrowers. It lends a hint of melancholy to the story, knowing the fate the boy met. And I was so wrapped up in the story of the boy and the Borrowers that when it ended (and we switch back to the old woman telling Kate that was "the last time my brother saw the Borrowers") it was so jarring. I can't quite decide if this was brilliance or a shortcoming on Norton's part. I think I was satisfied with how it all ended, and really liked one aspect, but I'm not entirely sure how I feel about all of it. I won't say more because it will be a spoiler. But, if you have read the story you and if have thoughts about the very end (something to do with PENMANSHIP), please drop a line in the comments! ;-) All in all, I really did love this book and I am so excited to see the Studio Ghibli film soon. I didn't realize that there is a whole series about the Borrowers, so I may have to read more and wonder if the film will incorporate more or just this first book? I look forward to finding out.

  10. 4 out of 5

    DeB MaRtEnS

    I was the bane of my teachers in elementary school, because at that time there was so little fiction available for a speed reading ten year old who had finished every Nancy Drew (no Junior editions) written, any L.M. Montgomery books the little local library owned plus the ones from my GR.3 teacher's daughter's shelves, every series I could find... So my teachers ended up scrounging whatever fiction they thought might be appropriate from any grade. I was transfixed by The Borrowers. Still am!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    FRom BBC Radio 4 Extra: Adaptation of the children's classic following the adventures of the tiny Clock family. Stars Clare Corbett.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Megan Agee

    Last book for February So cute! I loved The Secret World of Arrietty a little more than The Borrowers but the book was still so magical! I bought the whole series and I definitely want to read them all. Last book for February ❤️ So cute! I loved The Secret World of Arrietty a little more than The Borrowers but the book was still so magical! I bought the whole series and I definitely want to read them all.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    My favorite parts are the description of the Borrowers' home and the possibility of discovery at the end. :)

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jessika

    I read pretty much constantly as a child, so I'm not sure how I missed out on this one until now, but I'm seriously bumming about that. I would have loved this as a kid. It was such an imaginative story, and I can imagine that it's led many children over the years to wonder what was living in their houses with them. I especially loved that the way Mrs. May told the story of the Borrowers left the fact of their existence up to the reader. Those were my favorite kinds of stories as a kid. I went I read pretty much constantly as a child, so I'm not sure how I missed out on this one until now, but I'm seriously bumming about that. I would have loved this as a kid. It was such an imaginative story, and I can imagine that it's led many children over the years to wonder what was living in their houses with them. I especially loved that the way Mrs. May told the story of the Borrowers left the fact of their existence up to the reader. Those were my favorite kinds of stories as a kid. I went through this phase where I was obsessed with the movie Toy Story, and I was convinced that my toys came to life when I wasn't around. I can only imagine what I would have done with a story like this. The characters were wonderful, too. There's nasty old Mrs. Driver, frantic Homily, steadfast Pod, and of course, Arriety. Arriety was, without a doubt, my favorite. She leaves a good example for children. She wants to get out and explore the world beyond her window, and in doing so, she makes herself all sorts of discoveries and even a new best friend. There's not too much depth to this, but it is a children's story--and a romping good one at that! Kids will have a good time imagining life as a Borrower and wondering what might be under their floors. The British-isms make this a fun one to read out loud, too!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Theresa

    I regarded The Borrowers with merciless scorn when I was actually at the age where reading The Borrowers was appropriate--I found it boring. However, I have since come to love the adventures of Homily, Pod, Arriety, Spiller, and the Hendrearies. There are several Borrower books I believe--The Borrowers, The Borrowers Afield, The Borrowers Afloat, the Borrowers Aloft, and the Borrowers Avenged. The stories are as whimsical as can be, but Norton writes with Victorian edge and can make the mood I regarded The Borrowers with merciless scorn when I was actually at the age where reading The Borrowers was appropriate--I found it boring. However, I have since come to love the adventures of Homily, Pod, Arriety, Spiller, and the Hendrearies. There are several Borrower books I believe--The Borrowers, The Borrowers Afield, The Borrowers Afloat, the Borrowers Aloft, and the Borrowers Avenged. The stories are as whimsical as can be, but Norton writes with Victorian edge and can make the mood dark and foreboding as well--when we first learn of the Borrowers they are not described as fairies, but rather uncanny little beings who are proud and delusional about their place in life and the prevalence of their kind. The descriptions and the illustrations make it what it is and for the sort of Victorian/children/fantasy genre that this is, I was surprised by Norton's ability and much appreciated choice to bring this unexpected depth to the characters--each one has a great deal of humanity about him/her. For example, Homily is painted as an illiterate wife and mother. She loses calm in emergencies, she is poor now but she remembers a time when they lived in great splendor and she clings to that. She is proud and materialistic, foolish and obsessed with the comforts of living and showing up the neighbors and relatives. For anyone who still loves simplistic yet brilliantly painted fantasy saturated in detail.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sophie Crane

    I love the twists and myths of the Borrowers, often coming into actual life conversations, usually as an excuse for something going missing... which may not be far from reality after all. Seriously, whilst we may no longer be losing our thimbles, the remote control and the odd sock are still a mystery and may not be far away at all...

  17. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Pickstone

    I haven't read this since.......a long time! A was a child, anyway. It's rather good and I hope it's still read by children - as well as much older children such as am I :)

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    This is a childhood must. Must. Absolute must. Something about the incredible creativity and wholesomeness of this book puts it on my most dear classics shelf next to Narnia, Pooh, Paddington, Betsy Tacy, Stuart Little, Five Children and It and Cowboy Small. The Borrowers is magical and creative and full of wonder and awe. In many stories we talk about the power or genius coming from specific characters, events or actions. In Narnia we love Aslan and the story arc and values the inspire greatness This is a childhood must. Must. Absolute must. Something about the incredible creativity and wholesomeness of this book puts it on my most dear classics shelf next to Narnia, Pooh, Paddington, Betsy Tacy, Stuart Little, Five Children and It and Cowboy Small. The Borrowers is magical and creative and full of wonder and awe. In many stories we talk about the power or genius coming from specific characters, events or actions. In Narnia we love Aslan and the story arc and values the inspire greatness in the characters. In Pooh we revel in the simple wholesome attitudes of friendship and love that permeate all of the decisions. In the Borrowers, we do not look to the book for the genius but the author. A bit like Tolkien in Middle Earth, we celebrate not what happens in the book but the actual landscape that Norton has created. It isn't that we particularly love Homily or Pod or that we can really relate to Arrietty that prompts us to keep reading. It is more of our own curiosity about HOW they live that propels us forward. Before there is any doll furniture in the house, these little people "borrow" everyday items from the rest of us that they use in totally different ways for their everyday existence... postage stamps as wall art... blotting paper as rugs... carpet fibers turned into brushes. These little Borrowers teach us much about creative ingenuity and stewardship of resources all while we are having incredible fun! I am so very glad that this is only the first in a series of books and that many have said that the others are equally good.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jackie

    These books SOOOO appealed to me as a young girl, especially the alternative uses for all of their "borrowed" objects. I was forever creating little towns with their own stories in the vacant lot next door and I think that in Norton I found a kindred spirit who fed the fire of my already very active imagination. I may just have to go back and read these again for old times sake.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    Holds up beautifully. I can't begin to describe how formative this series was for me as a child, and what a joy to go back to it now and discover all the magic still there. I first discovered this among the books at the Middelburg library, where there was a smallish selection of English-language children's books that I was zipping through, given that I didn't (and still don't) read Dutch very well. I was staying with my grandparents for some portion of the summer, and because of this book I Holds up beautifully. I can't begin to describe how formative this series was for me as a child, and what a joy to go back to it now and discover all the magic still there. I first discovered this among the books at the Middelburg library, where there was a smallish selection of English-language children's books that I was zipping through, given that I didn't (and still don't) read Dutch very well. I was staying with my grandparents for some portion of the summer, and because of this book I spent all kinds of time imagining where Borrowers might be hiding in their flat, and begging to go on extra visits to Miniatuur Walcheren so I could stand gaping at the little buildings and trains and tiny cars and windmills and fairgrounds and imagine where it is that Arrietty's family might choose to live if they could have this tiny world to themselves. Pure joy. As usual, I remembered all the logistical bits about borrowing blotting paper and pins and entire potatoes, but none of the dire peril that befalls the family when they get found out by unsympathetic "human beans." I'm terribly predictable that way: the worldbuilding matters more than the action, every time.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance

    I remember reading this when I was a little girl. I was captivated. Little people living in your house? Who wouldn't love that? This read was just as good. I kept thinking that this should be a must-read for kids, and that more teachers should choose this for their read aloud book after lunch. It's the story of the people who call themselves Borrowers, and they exist by borrowing things from the human people in the house. It's delightfully fun.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kellyn Roth

    I really enjoyed this when I was ten or eleven. It's a really neat idea.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rebekah Sussex

    I do absolutely love the premise of this book, but the actual reading experience I found rather boring. The idea of ‘the borrowers’ is so fun, however the plot and writing were much less engaging for me.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nishita Patel

    As I love my classics, and I remember giving this book a read a few years ago, I thought it'd be quite repetitive and i'd know what would happen very well. But unfortunately, I missed out a few key points. And after reading the book again, I absolutely enjoyed reading the book. The idea of the 'little people' and how they 'borrow' just makes the book more exciting, and allows the reader to dissolve in the fantasy. The way the story unfolds of how the fear of the 'big people' and how they manage As I love my classics, and I remember giving this book a read a few years ago, I thought it'd be quite repetitive and i'd know what would happen very well. But unfortunately, I missed out a few key points. And after reading the book again, I absolutely enjoyed reading the book. The idea of the 'little people' and how they 'borrow' just makes the book more exciting, and allows the reader to dissolve in the fantasy. The way the story unfolds of how the fear of the 'big people' and how they manage to survive by 'borrowing' is very exciting. I'd highly recommend it.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Wealhtheow

    Tiny people live in your house! A tiny little girl and her parents live out their daily lives under the baseboards of an old house. They furnish their home with items "borrowed" from the larger home (the girl sleeps in a bed made from a cigar box). Although years ago there were many "Borrowers," there is only one family left. This is an odd story, with that dark sort of whimsey that has fallen out of favor since the second world war.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nikki

    It's a long, long time since I read this, but I remember being enchanted with the story of the tiny creatures and especially the uses they find for the things they "borrow" from us, the Human Beans. There was a movie, I believe, a few years ago, but I haven't seen it. I would recommend the Borrowers series for any imaginative child.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Amariah Dixon

    Cute and entertaining story. I now wanna see the movie--the older, live-action one. It's a quick read with an almost realistic premise. I love the relationship between Arrietty and the boy--innocent and kind. A recommended read for all ages!!

  28. 5 out of 5

    writer...

    Great re-read of this introduction to a childhood fav fantasy world of wee people living hidden beneath the floors within a large country home in England. Included for Bout of Books 17 and CFD's Award Winner Challenge reading , August 2016.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Artemis

    A quiet little (pun unintended) classic children's fantasy. What kid wouldn't like to imagine fifteen cm tall or lower people living under their floorboards, inside their walls, in their gardens and burrows, and sneaking around on their tables and dressers and mantelpieces and curtains? It's a fairy tale that, to a child already so small in the big scary world, can seem plausible, for there to be people even smaller than they are, also surviving as best they can. These miniature people, the A quiet little (pun unintended) classic children's fantasy. What kid wouldn't like to imagine fifteen cm tall or lower people living under their floorboards, inside their walls, in their gardens and burrows, and sneaking around on their tables and dressers and mantelpieces and curtains? It's a fairy tale that, to a child already so small in the big scary world, can seem plausible, for there to be people even smaller than they are, also surviving as best they can. These miniature people, the Borrowers, actually nick neglected human stuff, and only call it stealing when their "borrowed" items are taken and used by another Borrower. They think that humans ("human beans") only exist for them to take from, unaware that the world is so much bigger than they could possibly fathom. Their world is in fact a lot smaller and more insignificant than they would like to admit. Mary Norton writes in good detail without going overboard. Characters and action come first in 'The Borrowers', and it can be read in a day. Amid the creative tidbits and trinkets that are used for alternate purposes by the Clocks, the family of Borrowers that the reader follows, I also really like the spirited, independent and inquisitive Borrower Arrietty (lovely name). At thirteen-years-old, Arrietty is a reader, a writer of diaries, and an adventurer who is just learning about the limits of her world and her existence via a human boy who spots her by chance, in the garden while she is relaxing on her first borrowing errand with her father, Pod. Are the Clocks really the last surviving Borrowers? Is Arrietty's poor, struggling species dying out? As if she didn't feel lonely and isolated enough. A lot of young children and teenagers can relate to her, I believe. I can't forget the willfulness of Arrietty's slightly-fretful mother Homily, either. Homily manages to be domesticated, strict, commanding, neurotic, materialistic, superficial, somewhat selfish, yet also fair, loving, and understanding towards her outgoing and growing (for a Borrower) daughter. A female character like her who is this well balanced, nuanced and three-dimensional, without being insulted and shamed for her vices by the narrative, without changing her ways, needs to be remarked upon; most extraordinary for a book that was written in the fifties. 'The Borrowers' is considered a timeless children's classic for a reason. There is imagination and love worked into it, and it is very good at capturing a child's viewpoint. It's wide-eyed, curious, and humble, with an existentialist thread and theme cleverly stitched in; it's small but it's there, just like a Borrower, adding a melancholic edge to the story. We all long for the fresh, innocent childhood years gone by; for the days of summer cottage and house holidays, of the outside countryside air, sun, flowers, and trees. 'The Borrowers' can take you back to that time and preserve it for you, to read a little again and again. For there are stories that are timeless, even though nothing lasts forever. Final Score: 4/5

  30. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    A charming book. I loved the framing of the story told by an old woman to a young girl that may...or may not...be true. I know there are sequels and I don't know if I would read them because that framing was my favorite aspect of the story. Arrietty is an interesting blend of arrogance and naivety. The adults (except for the storyteller) are all, whether human or borrower sized, caricatures more than fully realized characters, but that tends to be true in a lot of fiction for children and does A charming book. I loved the framing of the story told by an old woman to a young girl that may...or may not...be true. I know there are sequels and I don't know if I would read them because that framing was my favorite aspect of the story. Arrietty is an interesting blend of arrogance and naivety. The adults (except for the storyteller) are all, whether human or borrower sized, caricatures more than fully realized characters, but that tends to be true in a lot of fiction for children and does not hold back the story here. Popsugar challenge 2018: A childhood classic you've never read

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