Nominated by:

LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library System, Tallahassee, USA

Publisher of nominated edition:

Viking Penguin, USA

The Borrower

Rebecca Makkai    

“Rarely is a first novel as smart and engaging and learned and funny and moving as The Borrower.” —Richard Russo, author of Pulitzer Prize–winning Empire Falls.

Lucy Hull, a children’s librarian in Hannibal, Missouri, finds herself both kidnapper and kidnapped when her favorite patron, ten-year-old Ian Drake, runs away from home. Ian needs Lucy’s help to smuggle books past his overbearing mother, who has enrolled Ian in weekly antigay classes. Desperate to save him from the Drakes, Lucy allows herself to be hijacked by Ian when she finds him camped out in the library after hours, and the odd pair embarks on a crazy road trip. But is it just Ian who is running away? And should Lucy be trying to save a boy from his own parents?

(From Publisher)

About the Author

Rebecca Makkai’s stories have been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories 2008, 2009, and 2010, and have appeared in Tin House, Ploughshares, The Threepenny Review, and on NPR’s Selected Shorts. Makkai teaches elementary school and lives north of Chicago with her husband and two daughters.

Librarian’s Comments

The Borrower is very well written, has some humour, and is a really fascinating story of the relationship between a librarian and a young boy, originally centred around books, which evolves into shared adventures on a road trip.

Related Entries