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Harriet the Spy (1964)

by Louise Fitzhugh, Louise Fitzhugh

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Harriet the Spy (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,0121181,283 (4.07)148
Eleven-year-old Harriet keeps notes on her classmates and neighbors in a secret notebook, but when some of the students read the notebook, they seek revenge.
  1. 60
    The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley (lorin77)
  2. 10
    Absolutely Normal Chaos by Sharon Creech (themephi)
  3. 00
    Small Change for Stuart by Lissa Evans (kraaivrouw)
  4. 00
    Mixtape for the Apocalypse by Jemiah Jefferson (kiparsky)
    kiparsky: Jefferson claims that Fitzhugh was a direct inspiration for her narrative style.
  5. 00
    The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag by Alan Bradley (kraaivrouw)
  6. 11
    When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead (DetailMuse)
  7. 00
    Elvis & Olive by Stephanie Watson (infiniteletters)
  8. 00
    Dear George Clooney: Please Marry My Mom by Susin Nielsen (foggidawn)
    foggidawn: Both of these books have feisty heroines struggling through that awkward tween phase, making up schemes, getting into scrapes, and delighting their readers.
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» See also 148 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 117 (next | show all)
As an adult not particularly enjoy mystery books but as a child I loved them and Harriet the Spy was one that I read over and over. Harriet is a very relatable character and and so clever I loved her as a child. The movie version of this book is quite god also. ( )
  KateKat11 | Sep 24, 2021 |
(see copy 2; re-read 2019-08-18) ( )
  librisissimo | Feb 25, 2021 |
NA
  pszolovits | Feb 3, 2021 |
I know I loved this book when I was around 8-10, but now 20-something years later, I find myself disappointed and confused. I found the book to be less about Harriet's discoveries while spying and more about the mean thoughts she wrote in her notebooks. Once her friends and classmates take her notebook and see the terrible things she's written about them, they're understandably pissed and isolate Harriet. I know there's a lesson here - obviously, Harriet has to face the consequences for her actions. But I didn't get the impression that Harriet learned much. She's a bit of a jerk and rather than admitting to herself that some of what she wrote was unnecessarily mean, she considers everything to be facts. I also think she could have used more than one therapy session and parents who were more involved in her life. I know that Harriet's situation is a reality for some kids, but I just didn't get what the point of this book was. It think I remember more from the movie than from this book, because my expectations were different. It all felt a little pointless. Maybe I'm missing something, but usually middle-grade that deals with tough lessons really appeals to me. It's not one I'll be picking up again, sadly. ( )
  MillieHennessy | Oct 31, 2020 |
I have taken up the habit of periodically of reading children's books or something aimed at a pre-teen audience. Sometimes it is something I read growing up, or that I might have read, but don't remember reading. I focus on the classics to see what I might have missed as a kid whose reputations have survived the years. I rarely find I dislike anything of this type that I read, and some of them I love. Harriet the Spy falls into the latter category. I had never heard of Harriet the Spy until reading Julie's, a GR friend, review.

Harriet is quite intelligent. Like many intelligent people, she struggles to interact socially with others not so gifted. She sees a lot in the world around her that she considers "dumb" and meets a lot of people in that world that she views as "dumb". While this perspective can come across as very negative and hurtful, this is not Harriet's intention, but she has to deal with the consequences. I wish I had read this at eleven years of age. The insights provided by the story would have been very valuable for me at that age, but even today are not wasted on me.

I always enjoy learning about any new author I come across. Louise Fitzhugh died at 46. I am sad that her years were so short, but I am happy she left us such a gift.



( )
  afkendrick | Oct 24, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 117 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Fitzhugh, LouiseAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fitzhugh, Louisemain authorall editionsconfirmed
Artl, Inge M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Artl, Inge M.Übersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Original title
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People/Characters
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Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Harriet was trying to explain to Sport how to play town.
Quotations
[Harriet] hated math. She hated math with every bone in her body. She spent so much time hating it that she never had time to do it.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is the book, not the movie.
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Eleven-year-old Harriet keeps notes on her classmates and neighbors in a secret notebook, but when some of the students read the notebook, they seek revenge.

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Book description
Harrriet M Welsch is a spy. She's staked out a spy route, and she writes down everything about everyone she sees, including her classmates and even her best friends. From Harriet's notebooks: I bet the lady with the crosks-eye looks in the mirror and feels just terrible. Pinky Whitehead will never change, does his mother hate him? If I had him, I'd hate him. If Marion Hawthorne doesn't watch out she's going to grow up into a lady Hitler. Then Harriet loses track of her notebook, and it ends up in the wrong hands. Before Harriet can stop them, her friends have read the always truthful, sometimes awful things she's written about each of them. Will Harriet find a way to put her life and her friendships back together? (0-440-41679-5)
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