Kathleen's Reviews > Harriet the Spy

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
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Oct 26, 11

bookshelves: children, funny, re-reading

Harriet observes the world around her and documents everything she sees in her notebook. She spies on a range of people in her life and takes copious notes about the good, the bad, and the terribly boring. She keeps tabs on her neighbors including the wealthy woman in her apartment building who lies in bed all day talking on the phone, the loud family that owns the corner grocery store--and her friends. Harriet doesn’t hold back in her notebooks, and she gets into big trouble with her classmates when they read some of the more uncharitable lines she has written about them.

Over the course of the novel, Harriet learns some tough lessons about how to balance her candid take on the world with her need for friendship. Though Harriet the Spy was published in the 1960s, the novel will still appeal to readers today, especially those who like a laugh and anyone trying to figure out how to be honest while maintaining friendships. Not a bad lesson for the Facebook generation.
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message 1: by Claire (new)

Claire Scott And through a queer lens: http://purple-socks.webmage.com/socks...


Kathleen Thanks, Claire! I was totally thinking about the queer lens on Harriet the Spy as I was reading it and am glad to hear a broader conversation on this subject. Harriet is such a terrifically bright, cranky, insightful and flawed gal. How great that she could be portrayed this way in the mid-1960s.


Kathleen Oh, and her appearance! So perfectly captured in the illustrations--the chunky glasses, sweatshirt, high-top sneakers, and jeans. Love that girl.


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