Rereading: THE BORROWERS ALOFT by Mary Norton

The fourth book in the charming Borrowers series, published in 1961, is framed differently than the previous ones. We have left behind Kate and Miss May. Instead we begin with retired railroad man Mr. Pott and his model railroad exhibit, for which he enjoys building an entire village. The railroad is open to the public, we heard about it in the previous book, The Borrowers Afloat, as a hoped-for destination for Pod, Homily and Arrietty, our family of tiny people. Miss Menzies is a friend of Mr. Pott who helps him with the exhibit and visitors, and she reports that one of the cottages in the village is inhabited, we know by whom. Once again, young Arrietty disobeys Borrower rules and begins talking to Miss Menzies.

Meanwhile, across the river, Mr. and Mrs. Platter have a rival model railroad, copying the idea from Mr. Pott, and enjoying the money they make from visitors. To keep up with his competition, Mr. Platter regularly spies on the Pott village from his boat, and when he learns of the tiny people living there, he’s sure his exhibit is all washed up. Unless, as Mrs. Platter suggests, they can steal the tiny people for their own village.

The Platters succeed, and make Pod, Homily and Arrietty prisoners in their attic while they build a house/prison for them to be used the following summer. Finally we learn how our Borrowers are handling all this (not well at first) and how they plan to escape. A clue is in the cover image above.

Just as enjoyable as the previous books, well written, with great characters and plot. This was meant to be the end of the series, but one more followed years later.

Recommended.

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