Flashback Friday: Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh


I haven’t read Harriet the Spy in many years. It’s probably on that shelf of books at my parents’ house—the one they’ve been bugging me to sort through. My mind’s a little fuzzy on the details of the story. But here’s what I do remember:

  • I carried a notebook and pencil around the neighborhood for quite some time after I read it. I didn’t live in the city like Harriet, so my notes were restricted to noting things like what the garbage men did. I didn’t bother to note the squirrels’ activities, though it would have filled up the book faster.
  • The story was full of characters. They were weird and I could picture them, hear them, and even see what they looked like and where they were simply from the descriptions.
  • It packed an emotional punch. Man did Harriet do herself in! Stomachache city for this sensitive reader, but I still loved it, which is saying something. I won’t say more in case you haven’t read it.

I may no longer be clear on the details of the story, but my memories of reading it are still strong. The story sparked emotion, visualization, and imaginary play. This is definitely a book I need to revisit soon.


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