The borrower book list

Since The Borrower appeared in 2011, I’ve had a number of people ask if I have a list of all the books Lucy gives Ian. I didn’t until a lovely reader named Sharon Cox actually went through the whole book and wrote down all the ones she could find.

There are many more books in The Borrower alluded to but not mentioned by name. There are quite a few fake books mentioned by (fake) name. There are several book parodies, where Lucy starts narrating in the style of a famous book. There are also many authors and poets mentioned. This is a list of one particular thing: the real books and book series mentioned by name. Most are for children around Ian’s age, but some are for adults, and two are for very young children. It is also, almost certainly, incomplete.

Of this list, there are a few I’d certainly recommend more than others. If you were ten years old and I had three minutes to fill your backpack with books, the ones I’d pick would be The Westing Game, The Giver, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, The Egypt Game, The Twenty-One Balloons, and The Princess Bride. Oh, and The Pushcart War. (It’s hard to stop.)

Download The Borrower Book List

You can also see it below:

Chapter 1

  • Matilda (Roald Dahl)
  • Little House in the Big Woods (Laura Ingalls Wilder)
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox (Roald Dahl)
  • Green Eggs and Ham (Dr. Seuss)
  • Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing (Judy Blume)
  • D’Aulaires’ Greek Myths (Ingri d’Aulaire & Edgar Parin d’Aulaire )
  • The Wheel on the School (Meindert Dejong)
  • The Egypt Game (Zilpha Keatley Snyder)
  • Theater Shoes (Noel Streatfeild)
  • My Side of the Mountain (Jean Craighead George)
  • From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (E. L. Konigsburg)
  • Charlotte’s Web (E. B. White)

Chapter 2

  • Tuck Everlasting (Natalie Babbitt)

Chapter 3

  • The Golden Goblet (Eloise Jarvis McGraw)
  • The Empty Pot (Demi)
  • The Chronicles of Narnia (C. S. Lewis)
  • Misty of Chincoteague (Marguerite Henry)
  • Vanity Fair (W. M. Thackeray)

Chapter 4

  • A Wrinkle in Time (Madeleine L’Engle)
  • The Westing Game (Ellen Raskin)
  • Haroun and the Sea of Stories (Salman Rushdie)
  • Five Children and It (E. Nesbit)
  • The Princess Bride (William Goldman)

Chapter 5

  • Treasure Island (Robert Louis Stevenson)

Chapter 10

  • The Search for Delicious (Natalie Babbitt)
  • Blueberries for Sal (Robert McCloskey)
  • Carry On, Mr. Bowditch (Jean Lee Latham)
  • Oz series (L. Frank Baum)

Chapter 12

  • The Little Grey Men (BB)

Chapter 14

  • The Borrowers (Mary Norton)

Chapter 24

  • Johnny Tremain (Esther Forbes)

Chapter 27

  • The Hobbit (J. R. R. Tolkien)
  • Danny, the Champion of the World (Roald Dahl)
  • The BFG (Roald Dahl)

Chapter 29

  • Number the Stars (Lois Lowry)

Chapter 34

  • The 21 Balloons (William Pene Dubois)
  • Anna Karenina (Leo Tolstoy)

Chapter 38

  • Heidi (Johanna Spyri)

Chapter 39

  • The Giver (Lois Lowry)
  • The Golden Compass (Philip Pullman)
  • Lord of the Flies (William Golding)
  • The Catcher in the Rye (J. D. Salinger)
  • A Separate Peace (John Knowles)
  • The Things They Carried (Tim O’Brien)
  • David Copperfield (Charles Dickens)
  • Middlesex (Jeffrey Eugenides)

Chapter 40

  • The Pushcart War (Jean Merrill)


  • Where the Red Fern Grows (Wilson Rawls)
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