When Harriet Welsch grows up, she wants to be an author. So, she figures it's a good way to practice for her future vocation by writing down everything she sees on her spy route in a secret notebook. You can imagine her horror when the secret notebook is confiscated by her classmates and read aloud! Now Harriet's knee-deep in trouble as the tables are turned on her.
©1964 Louise Fitzhugh;©1992 Lois Anne Morhead; (P)2000 Listening Library, Inc.
"A tour de force, Harriet the Spy bursts with life." (School Library Journal)
"A brilliantly written, unsparingly realistic story, a superb portrait of an extraordinary child." (Chicago Tribune)
I read Harriet the Spy when I was a girl, and I loved it, but I was worried whether my two active and ALL-boy sons (ages 7 and 8) would enjoy hearing a story with a female protagonist. I shouldn't have worried. They have been mesmerized by Harriet's exploits, and we've had lots of discussions about how Harriet got into the mess she's in, and how she should get out. The narrator is excellent, bringing the vast array of characters to life. I highly recommend this for boys and girls alike!
Before purchasing, be sure you listen to a sample. The narrator is very enthusiastic, something that no doubt helps engage child listeners, but may be grating after only a few minutes for the adult reader. If you don't like her intonation in the sample, you'd do better to read the book because she never loses enthusiasm.
The novel itself is a classic, and though Harriet can be spoiled and disagreeable, it's a must-read for any child interested in the arts, journalism, spying, or secrets (and what child isn't interested in at least the last two?). For any adult who used to be such a child, it will bring back memories, and for those who have precocious and observant children, it may bring understanding.
This is a book people either love or hate, but even those who hate it can gain something from Harriet's observations about friendship and growing up.
The narrator did a great job being a kid with all the angst and drama that comes with the age.
The most memorable moment was when Harriet's notebook is discovered and her friends hear what Harriet really thinks of them.
She really enhanced the dramatic nature of this character.
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