The 2019 ATY Reading Challenge includes four prompts inspired by the wedding rhyme “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” For the “borrowed” prompt, I chose to read The Borrowers, by Mary Norton.
The Borrowers is the story of Arrietty Clock, part of a family of tiny people who live in the floors and walls of the Big House. Arrietty’s father, Pod, is a Borrower, meaning that he makes forays into the house above them where the “human beans” live, and “borrows” small objects and foodstuffs for their own use. This is a dangerous occupation, for it must be undertaken without being seen.
Arrietty is young and very curious about the world above, a place she has never been allowed to go herself. She lives with her mother and father below the floors and must obey the rules to prevent discovery. Once there were other Borrowers who lived there with them, but they have since emigrated to another location when their daughter came up missing after the humans brought a cat into the house.
Arrietty is finally allowed to accompany her father on a borrowing expedition and there encounters The Boy, an unexpected guest of the elderly women who live in the House. Arrietty and The Boy eventually strike up a friendship of sorts, but this ultimately leads to trouble for both of them.
This is a delightfully fun book, and I enjoyed it a great deal. It is part of a series, followed by four more books after this one. The Borrowers holds up well on its own, however, and I don’t know that I will pursue the rest of the books.