Reader Reviewed The Borrowers by Judith Elkin, Sian Bailey, Mary Norton

The Borrowers

Written by Judith Elkin, Sian Bailey, Mary Norton
Part of the Puffin Modern Classics Series

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A magical adventure story of an alternative, small-scale life as lived by Pod, Homily and their daughter Arrietty who could be any family - except that they are so tiny that they can live under the floorboards. Protected by a safety-pin gate and with wallpaper made out of ‘borrowed’ scraps of writing paper with the lines of handwriting carefully pasted on to make vertical stripes from ceiling to the floor covering which was pink blotting paper, everything that the family owns from has been borrowed from the ‘human beans’ who live above them. The humans know nothing of the Borrowers existence or why so many things go missing until Arrietty makes friends with a human boy who can see her. How can the Borrowers stay safe?

Carnegie Winner in 1952 - To find out more about this book CLICK HERE to visit the Carnegie Greenaway site

If you enjoyed this then why not check out The Honourable Ratts or Tumtum and Nutmeg.

Puffin Fact! The Borrowers are all about 15 centimetres tall! Download more Puffin Facts here!


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Reader Reviews

Kids love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading4kids expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel members were also lucky enough to read and review this as well as a number of other titles in the A PUFFIN BOOK series. You can view all the reviews of the A PUFFIN BOOK titles that our kids panel have read and reviewed by clicking here or scroll down to see the kids reviews for this title.

  • Susanna and Matthew Wagstaff, age 12 - A fun book that is suitable for all ages that tells the adventures of a family who are only a few inches tall!' Read full review >
  • Joseph Harris-Hart, age 12 - 'A book set in the olden days , as it was before computers.  I read it together with my mum and sister and really enjoyed it.' Read full review >
  • Jasmine Harris-Hart, age 12 - 'A great read for all of the family, young or old. I loved it!' Read full review >
  • Jasmine and Joseph’s mum - 'Releasing this book again for today's generation of children to enjoy is a great idea and will fire their imaginations.' Read full review >
  • Adiella Norridge, age 10 - 'The Borrowers draws you into a world of imagination: if I was tiny how would I live? This is the whole idea that I love.' Read full review >
  • Adiella’s Mum - 'I liked these stories as a child and remember owning and reading the series. Coming back to them decades later I'm still struck by how well the world of the Borrowers is created.' Read full review >
  • Mairi Bauer, age 10 - 'Adventures of little people under the floor boards.' Read full review >
  • Leoni Williams, age 8 - 'I wish there really was little tiny people living under the floor in my house...I loved the film and I loved the book just as much.' Read full review >
  • Leoni’s mum - 'Growing up The Borrowers was one of my favourite books and reading it again with my daughter was a lovely experience...A truly magical, wonderful story with a happy ending and I'm glad I got to read it again.' Read full review >
  • Eloise Mae Clarkson, age 11 - 'The Borrower’s was a great book. I loved the characters and their personalities.' Read full review >

Win books 1 & 2 in the Rory Branagan (Detective) Series!

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Enter prize draw Draw closes: 09/07/2018


The Borrowers by Judith Elkin, Sian Bailey, Mary Norton

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.

Mary was very short-sighted as a child and often used to gaze closely into banks and hedgerows and shallow pools where she’d imagine what it would be like to be the tiny creatures living there. As a result she created a make-believe world in which miniature people lived out of the sight of human beings. It’s from this imaginary world that The Borrowers began to take shape.

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...

For more information on the author Mary Norton, a Borrowers quiz and character 'Guess Who?' download a Special Puffin Extra!

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About the Author

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 immediate 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.

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Book Info


224 pages


Judith Elkin, Sian Bailey, Mary Norton
More books by Judith Elkin, Sian Bailey, Mary Norton


Puffin Classics an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd

Publication date

3rd July 2014




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