Michael de Larrabeiti's The Borribles
Children's book review by Leah Gray.
YA Urban Street Fantasy
Cult book - once banned, now saluted for its original, no nonsense, undiluted street meets fantasy adventure story. The perfect book for the emotionally charged, anti-establishment teenager. But don’t let this crude description fool you. It is also character building and gives hope to non-conformist children everywhere.
Without further ado, I present The Borribles:
The Borribles is the first book in a trilogy written by English author Michael de Larrabeiti.
What or who are the Borribles?
The Borribles begin life as ordinary children who become Borribles when they are rejected by society, labeled 'wrong-uns' and forgotten. The child is cast-out and as a result becomes a Borrible. Once a Borrible the child grows long pointy ears and lives forever as a child unless they are caught by the police and returned to a real child by having their ears clipped. Becoming a child again and thus an adult is something Borribles fear more than death!
Borribles are perhaps best understood by likening their lifestyle to that of gang culture. They live by their own curious set of laws and moral codes on the out-skirts of society. They reject all things to do with authority and power and live by their wits. They also steal to survive as they reject wealth and money as if they are the source of some deadly disease.
What child doesn’t want to be a Borrible?
Heroic, passionate and above all defiant, this is a book aimed at the puberty stricken child if ever there was one! It appeals to the desire to rebel and the desire to take on the world and win!
I first read The Borribles as a child myself before the books (due to bad reviews) were forced underground. These books keep it real and for me as a child I saw nothing at all unusual or shocking about he language or the violence. The book reflected the times I was living in and this is why these books are perhaps even more in tune with today's youth than they were all those years ago.
I won’t go into anymore detail about the Borribles or their adventures as I don’t want to dilute the series of surprises that will undoubtedly delight, enchant and provoke your child. You can tell them their dinner is ready as many times as you like, they won’t hear you. When they are reading The Borribles, they will sink deeper and deeper into the world of the Borribles and won’t want to come back. Coming back is akin to having their ears clipped. They are dragged back to obedient submission, your rule, teachers' order and they will no doubt get indigestion as they gulp down their food to rush back to this book.
As a parent I encourage you to review the book before passing it to your child if you are at all concerned about the violent content, crude language and occasional profanity.
Read more of Leah's reviews.
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