October 25, 2012

31 Days of Awesome Kids' Books: The Borrowers

This is one of those books that I contemplated not including, just because I thought maybe everyone has already read it. But then I got worried that maybe you don't know about The Borrowers, and everyone needs to know about them! Plus, I just kind of wanted to read the book again. Et voilaThe Borrowers.

I have to say, I vividly remembered a lot of the middle part of the book - how Arrietty and Pod are "seen" by a "human bean" and how Homily is panic stricken about potentially leaving their home. But I didn't remember the frame around their story at all. 

The book begins with a girl named Kate, who is spending time with their elderly boarder, Mrs. May. Mrs. May tells Kate about her brother, who, when he was very young, was spending time with their great-aunt in the country. In the great-aunt's house he met a family of Borrowers: tiny people who live beneath the floors and inside the walls of humans. Pod, Homily, and their teenage daughter Arrietty 'borrow' things like safety pins and scraps of cloth to make their homes and clothes, and live on the scraps of food the people leave behind. This explains why you can never find a bobby pin when you need one - because the Borrowers took it!

But then 'the boy' sees them - and their world changes drastically. Arrietty had been longing for adventure, but now things are happening faster than she wanted. Will the Borrowers survive? Will the boy be able to save them from discovery by everyone else?

I loved this whole series of books so much. I definitely had some imaginary Borrower-sized friends, and spent a good deal of time pondering what life would be like if you were that tiny. I think that's the genius behind Mary Norton's idea, and the way she framed the story - because Kate is hearing about them from Mrs. May, who heard about them from her brother... which makes it all almost believable.

Have you read The Borrowers?

Rating: 4 out of 5
Recommended age: 6 and up

This post is day 25 of my 31 Days of Awesome Kids' Books.
This post contains Amazon affiliate links.