5.0 out of 5 stars I'VE LOVED THIS SINCE I WAS EIGHT -- SPY ON THIS BOOK!
This wonderful book had a strong, female protagonist who was clearly intelligent and eloquent. Harriet eavesdrops, peers through windows and skylights and records her impressions in a notebook. She has regular "spying" stops in the Upper East Side Manhattan neighborhood where she lives. She knows quite a bit about the people in her neighborhood, thanks to her...
Published on Dec 13 2000 by BeatleBangs1964
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Almost there...
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...
Published on Oct 30 2000 by erniebear
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Almost there...,
This review is from: Harriet the Spy (Paperback)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.
5.0 out of 5 stars I'VE LOVED THIS SINCE I WAS EIGHT -- SPY ON THIS BOOK!,
This review is from: Harriet the Spy (Paperback)This wonderful book had a strong, female protagonist who was clearly intelligent and eloquent. Harriet eavesdrops, peers through windows and skylights and records her impressions in a notebook. She has regular "spying" stops in the Upper East Side Manhattan neighborhood where she lives. She knows quite a bit about the people in her neighborhood, thanks to her observant nature.
Harriet is a student at the prestigious Gregory School, where she has an assortment of friends -- scientific, aggressive Janie, meek, retiring Beth-Ellen and a fun loving boy called Sport.
When Harriet's notebook falls into the hands of her classmates, problems arise big time. Harriet has a baptism in fire trying to redeem herself in their eyes. Meanwhile, Harriet's nanny is leaving to get married, her formerly disinterested parents are pushing more into her life and lastly, Harriet herself is maturing.
I loved this book so much as a child and do today. This book even inspired me and countless others to keep a notebook. It was a book about the empowerment of a strong female character.
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,
This review is from: Harriet the Spy (Paperback)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. Author Louise Fitzhugh is such a good writer, though, that even as you disapprove of Harriet's more nasty tendencies you sympathize with her. Honestly, who would want ink dumped down their back? As Harriet observes various people on her spy route, she writes her observations about them as well as about life itself. She hasn't quite figured out the differences between her life and the life of her best friend Sport (the son of an impoverished irresponsible writer) though she does briefly ponder if she herself is rich (the fact that she has her own private bath, nurse, and family cook never quite occurs to her). On the whole, the book contains a multitude of wonderful characters. Harriet's parents are both amusing and annoying, completely dedicated to their daughter and completely clueless about her needs. I was especially shocked by a section of the book in which Harriet asks her mother if she'll be allowed to eat dinner with her parents that night. Gaah!
Accompanying the text are Fitzhugh's own meticulous line drawings. They're fantastic and eerie. Combined with this timeless story (timeless in all the good ways) the book deserves its status as one of the best books for children. Read it again to remember. You'll find a whole lot more than you bargained for.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fabulous Book,
By A Customer
This review is from: Harriet the Spy (Paperback)(...) I have read the whole book of Harriet the Spy and as long as long as I live, I will love this book. This is the best book I have ever read, because it has very vivid writing and you can almost hear Harriet thinking and see what Harriet is doing (what everybody is doing). Harriet learns two things: First, sometimes you need to lie to your friends in order to keep them your friends. Second, friends are very important. I could read this book a thousand times more and not get bored with it. I would recommend over 70 people reading this book a month.
5.0 out of 5 stars Harriet the Spy sparkles,
This review is from: Harriet the Spy (Paperback)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 best children's movies ever!"), and I bought the book later that week - along with Fitzhugh's sequel The Long Secret. I became a "child spy" like Harriet because I found her lifestyle amazing, and Louise Fitzhugh is an excellent writer. Harriet the Spy sparkles as one of literature's best children's novels!
4.0 out of 5 stars The Little Spy,
By A Customer
This review is from: Harriet the Spy (Paperback)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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest book of all !!,
By A Customer
This review is from: Harriet the Spy (Paperback)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 friends, are against her. Then she must pay them back, but is revenge the answer? Or will she give up her notebook? And will put her life right side up?
Harriet the Spy is a great book with adventure, comedy and friendship. This is a book you can't put down, you have to keep on reading. But this book also shows you that revenge only causes more trouble.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent,
This review is from: Harriet the Spy (Paperback)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.
Great book, I know that Trotsky and Lenin are also big fans of this highly intellectual and insightful book.
5.0 out of 5 stars a definite best-seller,
By A Customer
This review is from: Harriet the Spy (Paperback)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 me how much they love it. this book has inspired me in many differant areas many times in life. i know many people find the characters unrelatable or mean-spirited, but that adds to the books greatness. the fact that this childrens-book doesnt sugar coat the truth (like the modern-day spy-stories such as "Spy Kids") is such a refresher! this book is like a window into the world of children where most adults dare not venture.
3.0 out of 5 stars Quite good,
This review is from: Harriet the Spy (Paperback)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 route daily, and keeping her notebook jam-packed with personal notes about everything and everyone. Her life turns upside down however, when one day her classmates find her private notebook, and start to read all of her notes inside - about them! Harriet's never-around mother and father are not a lot of help as the situation gets out of hand for Harriet, and even her best friends Janie and Simon are against her.
Though I loved this book when I was younger, re-reading it made me see the quite flat perspective and the almost completely camera angle made this book not quite as enjoyable as it had been when I was younger. However, still a very refreshing read for all!
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Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh (Paperback - May 8 2001)
CDN$ 7.99 CDN$ 7.59