Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Borrowers Afloat

The Borrowers Afloat

Mary Norton
Fiction  Series
For ages 8 to 12
Harcourt, 2003   ISBN: 978-0152047337

There is no doubt that living in the wall of the gamekeeper's cottage is not working out as well as the Clock family had hoped. For one thing Uncle Hendreary and his family don't seem to be terribly happy to have them there, now that the initial excitement has worn off. For another, they are rather mean with the food and supplies . Worse still, they are not keen for Pod to go borrowing in the house. What is Pod supposed to do with himself if he cannot go borrowing? The Clocks feel as if they are living on the charity of others, and they are just beginning to think that perhaps they should go somewhere else when the decision is made for them.

It appears that the gamekeeper and his grandson are moving, and the cottage is going to be empty. Now, everyone knows that borrowers cannot survive if there are no humans to borrow from. There is only one thing for it - the Clocks have to move on. Thankfully, Spiller, a very independent and fearless borrower who gets out and about in the big world a great deal, comes to the rescue. He helps the Clocks get out of the cottage and then lets them live in his home -which is a kettle - for a while until they are able to find a new home of their own. He even suggests that they should move to a wonderful place where there are lots of miniature houses. Surely this model town would be perfect for the borrower family.

Of course things are never as straight forward as one hopes, and the Clocks end up taking an incredible journey in Spiller's kettle, floating and bobbing down a stream, unsure of what is going to happen to them next.

This wonderful tale of high adventure, great dangers, and all sorts of trials and tribulations is sure to delight those readers who have been following the doings of the extraordinary borrower family. We come to admire the resourcefulness of Homily, Pod, and Arrietty and we cannot help wondering if we would cope as well as they do if we found ourselves homeless and floating down a stream to who knows where.

This is the third book in the Borrower's series.