I'm going against the grain by not saying I am completely thrilled by this book. I think the real problems lies in the fact that I read this book as an adult and not a child. Don't get me wrong... Harriet is a great young female character, especially considering the era she was first written in. She's unabashedly smart, clever, creative, independent, goal-oriented, and realistically complex. Her story is believable, and I am sure these are reasons why the book appeals to people. This book is also humorous and very well written.
I guess the only reason this book leaves a slightly bad taste, for me, is that it is lacking in compassion, in real heart. Harriet hurts people through her actions and really does not seem to learn a lesson in the long run. The dangerous lesson I feel I got from this novel isn't about how to treat people, but rather to tell people what they want to hear and to do what you will, just don't get caught.
This story really is worth reading, especially for girls, but I warn that maybe a little supervision is needed to add a little kindness to an otherwise worthy story.