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Harriet the Spy

Harriet the Spy

Author(s): Louise Fitzhugh

Location(s): New York City (NYC)

Genre(s): Children

Era(s): Mid 20th Centu

Location

Content

First published by HarperCollinsUS in 1964, this classic children’s novel has sold over 4 million copies and was awarded the New York Times Outstanding Book Award.

Sixth-grader Harriet attends school on the New York’s Upper East Side along with her two best pals, Sport, the jock, and Janie, the mad scientist. After school every day, she takes her notebook and proceeds through her spy route. Climbing on milk crates and hoisting herself up dumbwaiters, Harriet observes the rich lady who never gets out of bed; the man with twenty-five cats and the Italian family who runs a grocery store. She writes brutally warts-and-all notes on them all. Harriet’s downfall is that she also writes down her thoughts about people she actually knows. After a game in the park when her notebook is knocked out of her hands and read by her classmates, Harriet’s deepest thoughts are revealed and she is quickly ostracised by all her classmates – even the boy with the Purple Socks – who form the Spycatcher’s Club to punish her. After her parents find out what’s happened, Harriet receives a final, crushing blow. She is no longer allowed to take notes – her parents, her teacher and even the cook search her every day for a contraband notebook. Harriet’s only consolation is the love and the wise advice of her nanny who manages to get her through this difficult period in her life.

A classic in the US where it was first published and a major motion film from Paramount, Harriet the Spy is a beloved book throughout the world.

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Lead Review

A plucky 11 year old observes and writes what she experiences in her notebook. New York is alive with adventure, a vibrant city seen through they eyes of this child as she rumbles though...

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