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The Borrower

Makkai, Rebecca (Book - 2011 )
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Borrower
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Lucy Hull, a young children's librarian in Hannibal, Missouri, finds herself both a kidnapper and kidnapped when her favorite patron, ten- year-old Ian Drake, runs away from home. The precocious Ian is addicted to reading, but needs Lucy's help to smuggle books past his overbearing mother, who has enrolled Ian in weekly antigay classes with celebrity Pastor Bob. Lucy stumbles into a moral dilemma when she finds Ian camped out in the library after hours with a knapsack of provisions and an escape plan. Desperate to save him from Pastor Bob and the Drakes, Lucy allows herself to be hijacked by Ian. The odd pair embarks on a crazy road trip from Missouri to Vermont, with ferrets, an inconvenient boyfriend, and upsetting family history thrown in their path. But is it just Ian who is running away? Who is the man who seems to be on their tail? And should Lucy be trying to save a boy from his own parents?
Authors: Makkai, Rebecca
Title: The borrower
Publisher: New York : Viking, 2011
Characteristics: 324 p. ;,22 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Rebecca Makkai
Summary: Lucy Hull, a young children's librarian in Hannibal, Missouri, finds herself both a kidnapper and kidnapped when her favorite patron, ten- year-old Ian Drake, runs away from home. The precocious Ian is addicted to reading, but needs Lucy's help to smuggle books past his overbearing mother, who has enrolled Ian in weekly antigay classes with celebrity Pastor Bob. Lucy stumbles into a moral dilemma when she finds Ian camped out in the library after hours with a knapsack of provisions and an escape plan. Desperate to save him from Pastor Bob and the Drakes, Lucy allows herself to be hijacked by Ian. The odd pair embarks on a crazy road trip from Missouri to Vermont, with ferrets, an inconvenient boyfriend, and upsetting family history thrown in their path. But is it just Ian who is running away? Who is the man who seems to be on their tail? And should Lucy be trying to save a boy from his own parents?
ISBN: 9780670022816
0670022810
Branch Call Number: FICTION MAKKAI 2011
Subject Headings: Librarians Fiction Boys Fiction Books and reading Fiction
Topical Term: Librarians
Boys
Books and reading
LCCN: 2010052432
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Lucy Hull, a young children's librarian in Hannibal, Missouri, finds herself both a kidnapper and kidnapped when her favorite patron, ten- year-old Ian Drake, runs away from home.


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Jan 20, 2014
  • Sansha rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Different, not what I expected. I kept reading to the end but am still not sure what the implied message or point of view was.

Apr 04, 2013
  • JCLBrownM rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Lucy Hall is a children's librarian who is practically forced to kidnap her favorite patron, a young boy who she suspects is gay and whose parents are very conservatively religious. Fans of children's literature will have fun with many references to books such as "If you give a librarian a closet...".

Jan 23, 2013
  • jeanie123 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I really enjoyed reading this well-written book. The plot was a little implausible and as I was nearing the end I was thinking that the ending would have to kind of lame, but I was pleasantly surprised.

May 28, 2012
  • dnl rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Fun and fresh first novel. The 10 year old Ian character is utterly charming. The whole topic of "gay therapy" and "ex-gay ministries" have been getting attention in the news lately, too, and the APA recognizes them as psychologically abusive. Very book and story-centric, which suited me just fine.

Apr 14, 2012
  • KatrinaP rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

This book was a bit of a disappointment. The premise was really promising, but the plot moved at a glacial pace and the characters weren't interesting enough in themselves to sustain my interest. I made it to the end of the book out of sheer determination, rather than enjoyment. Ostensibly a book for book lovers, there were some interesting devices used. I liked the little chapters that mirrored aspects of the plot but in the format of different popular children's books, such as Eric Carle's "the Very Hungry Caterpillar." Even the title of the book alluded to another childhood favourite "The Borrowers." The parallels drawn between the main character's father running away from Soviet Russia and her own flight from the small town she lived in broke up an otherwise very slow plot.

Jan 02, 2012
  • mogie rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It had a quick pace and kept me reading, unfortunately the book slowed down in the last few chapters. Overall very good though.

Nov 05, 2011
  • HeidiKa rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

An unexpected pleasure to read, the story was interesting and compelling. The characters are well defined and relevant. A great book.

Aug 29, 2011
  • nutty7688 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

It had potential, however I did not like the fact that the parents of Ian were left out of the narrative during their travels.

Aug 24, 2011
  • PennyKollar9685 rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

What started out with such tremendous promise and a touch of brillance quickly, quickly faded and resulted in a very frustrating and annoying book.

When the word "borrower" is used in conjunction with a story set at a public library, one would expect it to refer to a patron who checks out books. In this refreshing first novel, that is most certainly not the case. When the adventure begins, it's not clear that "borrower" refers to books at all. Did Lucy Hull, children's librarian in Hannibal, Missouri borrow (i.e., kidnap) 10-year old Ian Drake, a regular who connives with Lucy to get books his mom won't allow him to read; or did Ian camp out overnight at the library with the clear intention of hijacking Lucy and trapping her into helping him runaway?

Ian is an odd duck of a kid with a voracious reading appetite.His parents want to restrict his reading to books "with the breath of God in them." Mrs. Drake presents Lucy with a list of taboo subjects: witchcraft, magic, weaponry, evolution, Halloween, and authors Roald Dahl and Lois Lowry. The Drakes are a devout Evangelical family and Lucy suspects that they are worried Ian is gay. Actually, she thinks they are right about that, but her progressive, liberal, sympathetic heart is rooting for Ian to survive the restrictions and the special "corrective" religious group he attends, and she knows that literature will help him do this.

Lucy is also a rebel at heart. She finds herself driving Ian, not to his house as she first intended, but all the way to Vermont with stops along the way. It turns out she could not just leave him to the miserable fate a gay kid with such strict, far-right parents faces. Makkai's picaresque story is loaded with references, parallels and parodies of the much-loved books that have enriched all our lives. The evolution of this odd friendship between two book lovers will warm your heart and their conversations and predicaments en route will make you laugh.
-Madame Librarian

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Version pocillo (pocillo) Last updated 2014/08/21 13:32