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Harriet the Spy [Paperback]

Louise Fitzhugh
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 7.99
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Book Description

May 8 2001
Harriet M. Welsch is a spy. In her notebook, she writes down everything she knows about everyone, even her classmates and her best friends. Then Harriet loses track of her notebook, and it ends up in the wrong hands. Before she 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?

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Harriet the Spy + From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
Price For Both: CDN$ 17.08

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Product Details

Product Description

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-5-Harriet is determined to become a famous author. In the meantime, she practices by following a regular spy route each day and writing down everything she sees in her secret notebook. Her life is turned upside down when her classmates find her notebook and read it aloud!. By Louise Fitzhugh.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.


A New York Public Library's 100 Great Children's Books 100 Years selection

"This is the book that made me want to be a writer. [Harriet] was the first fictional female character I ever came across who privileged her own truth above the expectations put on her as a little girl."  —Anna Holmes for Bookish.com

“I don’t know of a better novel about the costs and rewards of being a truth teller, nor of any book that made more readers of my generation want to become fiction writers. I love the story of Harriet so much I feel as if I lived it.” —Jonathan Franzen, author of Freedom and The Corrections

"Harriet the Spy bursts with life."—School Library Journal

"The characterizations are marvelously shrewd."—The Bulletin

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There's a girl who leads a life of danger March 21 2004
I have a theory about "Harriet the Spy". I suspect that no adult that read this book once (and only once) as a child remembers it correctly. For example, if you had asked me, prior to rereading it, what the plot of "Harriet the Spy" was, I could have summed it up like so: Harriet the Spy is about a girl who wants to be a spy. She spies on lots of different people and writes in a notebook, but one day all her friends read the notebook and none of them like her anymore. That is the plot of "Harriet the Spy". And I would be half right. Surprising to me, I found I was forgetting much much more.
In truth, "Harriet the Spy" is about class, loss, and being true to one's own self. Harriet M. Welch (the M. was her own invention) is the daughter of rather well-to-do socialites. Raised by her nurse Ole Golly until the ripe old age of eleven, Harriet must come to terms with Ole Golly's eventual abandonment. Ole Golly marries and leaves Harriet to her own devices just as the aforementioned tragedy involving her friends and the notebook occurs. The combination of the nurse's disappearance from Harriet's life (leaving behind such oh-so helpful pieces of advice as, "Don't cry", and the like) and the subsequent hatred directed at Harriet by her former friends makes Harriet into a veritable she-devil. A willful child from the start (punishments are few and far between in the Welch family) Harriet slowly spirals downward until a helpful note from Ole Golly gives her the advice she needs to carry on.
So many things about this book appeal to kids. The realistic nature of peer interactions is one. Harriet randomly despises various kids, even before her notebook is read. After making their lives terrible, she eventually has to experience what they themselves have had to deal with.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Little Spy March 4 2004
By A Customer
If you were to look at Harriet M. Welsh you would see a fairly ordinary girl, but she is not. She is a spy. Every day after school she takes her notebook and goes on a route that takes her through the city. She makes stops on this route and every stop she records everything that she sees, hears, and does in her notebook. She not only does that, but in particular she looks in on people's lives at the certain stops that she makes, in other words spying. She has never been caught. Harriet takes her notebook everywhere with her and records everything. One day Harriet goes to school and discovers that when she looks to find her notebook it is not with her but her best friends. They read everything that she has written in the notebook and some of the things are about them, but many of things aren't very nice. Suddenly she feels that the entire classroom has turned against her, and there is nothing she can do. Will the great spy Harriet M. Welsh somehow find a way to sneak out of this corner? You will have to read this book to find out.
I think that this book is stuffed with great details and descriptions of the world that the characters are living in and of the characters themselves. It had an ending that was unexpected and very unique in its own way. I think that this book overall was wonderful and I highly recommend it to all that are capable of reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A book to read over and over through the years March 9 2003
By Kelly
When I was in fifth grade, Harriet The Spy came into movie theaters. My teacher had posters of the movie in the classroom, and everytime I walked to the restroon, I'd look at it. It looked like it'd be good, so I decided to see it. I LOVED it.
Almost immeadielty I bought the book, and loved it even more. What I loved most about the book and movie was that Harriet was so sly, yet determinted to know everything, everything and work on her long-term goal to become a writer.
I loved watching and reading about her observations recorded in her little compostion notebooks. I became so obessed with Harriet The Spy that I myself became an eleven-year-old spy. I got a notebook that was the same as the one in the movie (which was not easy, those flexible comp notebooks are HARD to find), wrote PRIVATE on the front cover, and created my own spy route. I'd spy on neighbors, family, even friends! And best of all I NEVER got caught! The best part was writing in my notebook and proudly stating no else could read it.
I've always wanted to become a writer, so being a spy in 5th-6th grades was so much fun. I even had the whole spy getup on, the belt with all the tools I'd need. The only thing I didn't like about the belt was the fact that running with the notebook under it was very uncomfortable, and it dug into my stomach, lol! Poor Michelle (Harriet) must have been in such pain whenever they did takes with the book under her belt!
Anyway, both the book and movie have inspired me to become a writer. I highly doubt I would have taken a more serious interest in writing if it were not for this movie/book. Of course now I no longer spy, (I stopped after sixth grade because it apparently caused some controversy with family and friends) but I still keep notebooks/journals/diaries whatever you want to call them, and I LOVE to write stories and poems. No matter how old I get, I'll ALWAYS, AWLAYS love Harriet The Spy. :0)
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5.0 out of 5 stars My Adventures Inside the Book "Harriet the Spy". Jan. 6 2003
By debber
When I first read the book "Harriet the Spy", I really liked it. I have been reading it ever since.
I have always been obsessed with writing, I still am (I am working on my 9th diary currently), but this book encouraged me even more. I also have been wanting to be a spy all my life...well, actually, for about a year. I officially claimed to be an official spy on the day of my 13th birthday (I am 14 now). But I don't just keep a "notebook" or call it one at that, I keep all sorts of diaries, and I call them diaries too. But I think that I am going to write in a lot of "notebooks" and call them diaries, thanks to Harriet. She's my heroine!! By the way, just because a book has "unacceptable" things in it, doesn't mean that it's not acceptable to someone else. ; > *Freakout.* OH MY GOSH! A BOOK HAS SOMETHING I DON'T LIKE IN IT! THAT'S NOT RIGHT! AHHH!! (The capital letters are not true for me by the way.)
Harriet the Spy is a really good book. EVERYONE should read it!!!!!!!!!!! : )
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Memories from childhood.
I read this book over and over again as a child, and now have revisited and still love it as an adult!!
Published 7 months ago by Donna Holland
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fabulous Book
(...) I have read the whole book of Harriet the Spy and as long as long as I live, I will love this book. Read more
Published on June 7 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Harriet the Spy sparkles
I first knew about Harriet the Spy in 5th grade when the movie came out. I was entranced, enthralled and totally taken with such a moving film (no wonder it's called "One of the... Read more
Published on April 30 2004 by C. Eberlein
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest book of all !!
Harriet the Spy is an 11 year old girl who keeps painful but true notes in her notebook. Soon her notebook falls into the wrong hands and everyone in her class, even her two best... Read more
Published on March 4 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This book reminds me of the days when I used to work for good old fidel, destabilizing governments, and being an all around bad guy. Read more
Published on Feb. 4 2004 by Che Guevara
5.0 out of 5 stars a definite best-seller
ok, i must say that this book is possibly the best book i've ever read. i have definitly recommended this story to essentially everyone i know, and most that have read it have told... Read more
Published on Dec 23 2003
3.0 out of 5 stars Quite good
This book is an excellent read for children, the story of Harriet is not one to be missed. She, as a determined spy set for a career in writing, finds herself going through her spy... Read more
Published on Dec 4 2003 by Nikki
1.0 out of 5 stars Serious worldview problems amidst good writing
I just finished listening to this book with our two sons age 8 and 9. The writing style was very descriptive and well developed (with the exception of the conclusion), however the... Read more
Published on Dec 2 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars a life-changing, must-read!
this book blew me away! i read it for the first time at 8 years old. i saw the movie. from then on, i kept a journal in a speckled, black and white composition book! Read more
Published on July 31 2003 by "carly_star"
5.0 out of 5 stars First read it at 12, still love it at 42
Harriet the Spy is an old friend who I come back to even now, so many years later. Harriet helped shape my world. Read more
Published on June 19 2003 by Yasmine F. Galenorn
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