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About the book
  • Published: 22 October 2014
  • ISBN: 9780141354866
  • Imprint: Puffin Modern Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224
  • RRP: $17.99

The Borrowers


Formats & editions


Pod, Homily and Arrietty are a family of tiny people who live beneath the floorboards.  Everything they have is borrowed from the 'human beans', who don't even know they exist.  That is, until the fateful day when Arrietty makes friends with 'the boy upstairs' . . .

A Puffin Book - stories that last a lifetime.
Puffin Modern Classics are relaunched under a new logo: A Puffin Book. There are 20 titles to collect in the series, listed below, all with exciting new covers and fun-filled endnotes.
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. 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...
'Beautifully written, poetic and almost always alarming, the Borrowers have something very mysterious, sad and exciting about them' - Sunday Times
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.
Also available in A Puffin Book:
GOODNIGHT MISTER TOM and BACK HOME by Michelle Magorian
CHARLOTTE'S WEB, STUART LITTLE and THE TRUMPET OF THE SWAN by E. B. White
THE BORROWERS by Mary Norton
STIG OF THE DUMP by Clive King
ROLL OF THUNDER, HEAR MY CRY by Mildred D. Taylor
A DOG SO SMALL by Philippa Pearce
GOBBOLINO by Ursula Moray Williams
CARRIE'S WAR by Nina Bawden
MRS FRISBY AND THE RATS OF NIMH by Richard C O'Brien
A WRINKLE IN TIME by Madeleine L'Engle
THE CAY by Theodore Taylor
TARKA THE OTTER by Henry Williamson
WATERSHIP DOWN by Richard Adams
SMITH by Leon Garfield
THE NEVERENDING STORY by Michael Ende
ANNIE by Thomas Meehan
THE FAMILY FROM ONE END STREET by Eve Garnett
%%%A Puffin Book - stories that last a lifetime.



Puffin Modern Classics are relaunched under a new logo: A Puffin Book. There are 20 titles to collect in the series, listed below, all with exciting new covers and fun-filled endnotes.



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. 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...



'Beautifully written, poetic and almost always alarming, the Borrowers have something very mysterious, sad and exciting about them' - Sunday Times



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.



Also available in A Puffin Book:
GOODNIGHT MISTER TOM and

  • Pub date: 22 October 2014
  • ISBN: 9780141354866
  • Imprint: Puffin Modern Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224
  • RRP: $17.99

About the Authors

Mary Norton

Mary Norton (1903 - 1992), was born in London, the only girl in a family of five children. She was brought up in the Manor House in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, which later became the setting fof her most famous book, The Borrowers. She was educated at convent schools and, after a brief and unsuccessful time as a secretary, she became an actress. She was a member of the Old Vic Theatre Company for two years and always thought of herself more an actress than a writer. She remembered her most thrilling moment as the time she first went on stage as an understudy at the Old Vic. She gave up the theatre when she got married and went to live with her husband in Portugal. There her two sons and two daughters were born, and she began to write.
When war broke out in 1939, Mary's husband joined the Navy and she brought her children back to England via the United States - she lived there for a while waiting for a passage home. She returned to the stage in 1943. The Borrowers was published in 1952 and won her the Carnegie Medal, the most important prize in children's fiction. The story was based on fantasies from her childhood when her short-sightedness made her aware of the teeming life in the countryside around her. C S Lewis, the author of the Narnia books, wrote to her in 1956: "May a stranger write his thanks and congratulations for 'The Borrowers' and 'The Borrowers Afield'? They have given me great and (I anticipate) lasting pleasure...". Films and TV series continue to bring new generations of children to Mary Norton's books.


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