Harriet the Spy

Fitzhugh, L. (1992). Harriet the spy. New York, NY: Delacorte Press.

Harriet the Spy keeps detective notes on EVERYONE, even her friends! When Harriet loses track of her notebook and it ends up within the grasp of those she writes about, she must find away to piece her friendships, and her life, back together!

Genre: Mystery novel

Grade level:3rd-5th

Readers who would like this: Children who keep a journal, children who enjoy mysteries, children who are enduring life hardships.

Rating and response:5; Although this book is old, I had never read it and had heard some pretty harsh criticisms about it. After finally deciding to read it, I must say I loved the book and think that it involves MUCH more than most give it credit for. This book is not simply about a girl who writes bad things in a notebook about her friends and then when her friends find it and read it, tragedy ensues. This may be the most superficial reading of the book, but deep down this novel involves the tragedies of loss, the hardships that come with class, and the struggle of staying true to one’s own personal beliefs and characteristics. In a way this book is a sort of contemporary realistic fiction; the realistic peer interactions in the book especially led me to discover this. I think children of all backgrounds would be able to relate to and would love to read this book.

Question: How does it feel to be isolated from a friend group? what are some ways in which we can avoid isolating others who we are friends with?

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