Harriet, the Spy

Harriet, the Spy

Book - 2001
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adering Jan 14, 2017

Not just one of the finest children's books, also one of those children's books that adults get something out of too. Harriet is acerbic, a little neurotic, sharp as a tack, naive. The book has a slight bittersweet edge to it. Partly from the narrative, but partly from the realization that Harriet's New York is almost (if not completely) gone, forced out by gentrification gone wild. Hers was a more nuanced, more delightful New York, a New York to be a child in. A New York of family grocery stores, without a Starbucks or cupcake boutique to be seen.
Put it on the shelf next to "Stuart Little" and "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn." Every generation and socioeconomic group has "its" New York. Harriet owns her piece of the city, all the way up to the sky.

r
rosebud2112
Aug 10, 2016

Though there are references to a different time, the story still remains timeless. A true classic!

a
AyahNajjar
Jul 05, 2016

One of my favourite childhood books. I love the creativity and could always relate to Harriet, since she was always writing. Awesome plot and great ending, I would definitely recommend this book!

bella037 Mar 29, 2016

My eight-year-old daughter absolutely loved this book. I heard her laughing out loud while she was reading it, and she finished it in two days. Wonderful writing and character development! It was one of my own childhood favorites.

vpl_childrens Dec 15, 2015

Eleven-year-old Harriet M. Welsch lives in New York City and aspires to be a writer. She enjoys the role of being a spy as she writes down everything she observes about her family, friends, and classmates. When her friends get their hands on her notebook and read the bluntly honest things she has written about them, Harriet realizes the difficulties of being a spy.

ehbooklover Aug 25, 2015

This book is another of my childhood favourites. After rereading it as an adult, I am glad to say that it held up pretty well. I still loved Harriet, even though this time there were definite times where I thought that she was acting like a spoiled brat. I now have more of an appreciation for the complexity of Harriet, who is a wonderfully complicated, honest, and interesting little girl. Bonus: The illustrations are fun and brought back memories of reading the book as a child.

b
BUNBUN1978
Jul 08, 2015

I am Pretty sure I read this when I was a kid but memories of the 1996 movie have replaced my childhood reading of it. Reading again at 36 years old if found it wonderful. for a book written in 1964 it was amazing how many emotions it dealt with that real kids feel. Many other books of that era had not reached that point. that why
I think kids of today will not find it too dated. one issue that I have seen come up is that Harriet is not always a likeable person. that is true but I think that is what makes her more of a real a believable character.

frankielandaubanks May 31, 2014

I the love the essays that end this 50th anniversary edition!

Beth_Hatch May 01, 2014

One of the greatest literary characters of all time- so spunky, so misunderstood. Love it!

Mark_Daly Aug 06, 2013

This book held iconic status in my childhood imagination, but when I re-read it not long ago I discovered how creepy it is. The children in the story seem to be struggling with outsized anxieties, which makes for disturbing reading.

Mark_Daly Aug 06, 2013

This book held iconic status in my childhood imagination, but when I re-read it recently I realized how creepy it can be. The kids in this book are struggling with outsized anxieties, which makes for disturbing reading.

hgeng63 Dec 30, 2011

One of my all-time favorites from childhood. Even better to re-read in adulthood.

t
THE_BREEZE
Jun 15, 2011

sooooooooooo boring poorly written and dull . but "Harriet Spys Again" the companion novel is much better

t
taravali
Feb 12, 2011

This is a really good book. It is funny and suspenseful.

alleycat Mar 19, 2008

One of my favourite stories about the trials and tribulations of growing up. Precocious and somewhat eccentric Harriet records all her observations about others in her notebooks, hoping one day to become a real writer. Along the way, she loses the most important person in her life, insults her friends, and emotionally regresses. In the end, Harriet learns a great lesson in empathy.

Published in the sixties, this is one of those timeless tales with enduring value. Suitable for both boys and girls in the 9-12 year old range as a read-aloud, read-alone or audiobook. I'd like to make this one mandatory for all (including parents).


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