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Vol 1, Issue #3
"Stand By For Mars!"
March 2006

Children's Fiction Book Reviews
by Kathy Thomason

The Borrowers
by Mary Norton
Scholastic Paberbacks

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Have you ever wondered what happens to all the little things you lose around the house? You know, the crayon that you know you left lying on the table, or the postage stamp your Mom was sure was on her desk? Well, chances are the borrowers got them. The Borrowers are little people who live in the walls of your house and they survive by borrowing things from the big people and recycling them. The Clock family, Pod, Homily and their daughter Arrietty live quietly in the walls of the house of their human beans, content to live off the items they can borrow.

And then one day, everything changes. A little boy, with a ferret, arrives to live in the house. In their youthful curiosity, the boy and Arrietty meet and disaster follows. The boy, in his zeal to help his new friends, begins bringing them all manner of gifts. But, he takes too much and the housekeeper begins to notice things are missing. Suddenly the Clocks find their world is turned upside down and they are forced to flee their comfortable home. They find a whole new world waiting for them, filled with danger and adventure.

This first book in a series has been thrilling children and adults alike for more than fifty years. The book is set in the 1860's in Britain and is narrated in a very matter of fact way by Mrs. May, who has a beautifully eloquent way of speaking. This book is so well -written that you will find yourself believing that the scratching in the wall you hear in the middle of the night is not the stray mouse, but is in fact a Borrower family. Winner of the Carnegie Medal in England and a Lewis Carroll Shelf award, this book is a must have for every child's library.

Mary Norton was born in London in 1903, and brought up in Bedfordshire. This would be her setting for The Borrowers. In 1941 she was given a war job in America, and worked for two years for the British Purchasing Commission in New York. It was during this time that she began to write. After the war, she moved back to England with her family and continued writing and acting. She died in 1992.

She is also the author of the delightful Bedknobs and Broomsticks series More information is available on her and her books at her official website, [ ]

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