Book Review | The Borrowers
Title: The Borrowers by Mary Norton
Genres: Children’s, Fantasy
Published by: Harcourt Brace & World (Oct. 8th, 1953)
Beneath the kitchen floor is the world of the Borrowers — Pod and Homily Clock and their daughter, Arrietty. In their tiny home, matchboxes double as roomy dressers and postage stamps hang on the walls like paintings. Whatever the Clocks need they simply “borrow” from the “human beans” who live above them. It’s a comfortable life, but boring if you’re a kid. Only Pod is allowed to venture into the house above, because the danger of being seen by a human is too great. Borrowers who are seen by humans are never seen again. Yet Arrietty won’t listen. There is a human boy up there, and Arrietty is desperate for a friend.
What I Thought
The Borrowers is another one of those books that I wanted to read as a kid, but never actually got around to reading when I was in the target audience, and so I just sort of forgot about it for a while. So, when I discovered a copy at my library’s book sale, I was so excited, and just knew I had to get it. I’m so glad that I finally got the chance to read it!
This book was just so cute! I really loved everything about it. The whole concept that there might be tiny people living in the walls of your house, “borrowing” those forgotten and misplaced items that we all own, is both so sweet and, admittedly, just a little creepy. The details that are used to describe the borrowers’ home are just so vivid and imaginative. I loved reading how they took every day objects, like thimbles and matchboxes, and created a life for themselves. I really was able to immerse myself in this story and, by the end of the book, I felt like I fully knew what it was like to live the life of a borrower.
The characters were so fun to read about, too! For a book so short, they were all, surprisingly, fully-fleshed out, well-rounded characters. They had flaws and a history, and yet they were loving and adventurous. I truly loved reading about them. The actual borrowers were, of course, my favorite part of the story, but the human “beans” perspective and lives were interesting, too.
Now that I’ve read The Borrowers, I really want to watch The Secret World of Arrietty. While it still looks like it has quite a few differences from the book, it looks like it captures the heart of the story much better than the movie from the 90’s. I’d really love to see a well-done adaptation of this book!
Overall, I really adored The Borrowers. It was such a cute and quick read. It’s one of those books that I would love to read to my future children, and I hope to continue reading the rest of the books in the series someday! I would definitely recommend this book to anyone, but especially children, who are looking for a fun and exciting, imaginative read.