Harriet the Spy

Harriet the Spy

by Louise Fitzhugh


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Harriet M. Welsch is a spy. In her notebook, she writes down everything she knows about everyone, even her classmates and her best friends. Then Harriet loses track of her notebook, and it ends up in the wrong hands. Before she can stop them, her friends have read the always truthful, sometimes awful things she’s written about each of them. Will Harriet find a way to put her life and her friendships back together?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780440416791
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 05/28/2001
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 31,931
Product dimensions: 5.19(w) x 7.69(h) x 0.75(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Louise Fitzhugh (1928–1974) was born in Memphis, Tennessee. She attended Bard College, studied art in Italy and France, and continued her studies in New York at the Art Students League and at Cooper Union. Her books Harriet the Spy, The Long Secret, and Sport have been acclaimed as milestones of children’s literature. These classics delight readers year after year.

Read an Excerpt


Excerpted from "Harriet the Spy"
by .
Copyright © 2001 Louise Fitzhugh.
Excerpted by permission of Random House Children's Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Harriet the Spy 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 140 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this book is one of the most interesting books I have ever read in my entire life! I reccomend it to anyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I remember reading this when I was in elementary school. I hated reading then and I was neevr good at it. But my mother made me read a book and I picked this book. Even though it was really thick the cover made me want to crack it open. When I was little this made me want to read more.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Keeping notes of everyone in her diary, Harriet's notions of her friends become known and they dislike her. She then tries to do good so they'll like her once more. Shows children that great ambitions at the cost of others isn't the way to go.
Nicole Valli More than 1 year ago
This book is awesome!!!!!! I l-o-v-e-d it! Plus if u like it theres a sequel call harriett spies again and then theres another sequel after that called harriett the spy, double agent. I own all three. I luv her.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book is great because it makes you feel like a spy. It deserves 3 stars. Also you would wish that you were Harriet. It is the perfect children's book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book for the forst time when i was 8 an have read it sveral times since it is definitely one of my top ten. The auther really makes you see through harriets eyes . A real classic recomend to anyone if yor worried dont be it is a clean well written book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read the hardcover. Best book ever!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As an itp patient i really feel this gives me a boost u c sitting in the hospital for hrs on end getting treatment can wear me out but this is the best ever(aside of dr bussel) i LOVE IT
francescadefreitas on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I barely remember reading this book when I was little, but on rereading it, I realised how large an impact it must have made. Several ideas I hold dearly come almost directly from the main character.As well as going to school and hanging out with her friends, Harriet practices being a spy, writing down all of her observations. This leads to a conflict as she struggles with being completely honest, but still keeping her friends. Harriet is a wonderfully real eleven year old girl, with sweetness and a mean streak, with the need to slam doors and yell.The thing that made the book wonderful to me now is how easily it transported me back those days of my childhood, when afternoon lasted for ever, and there was always something interesting happening.
ltjennysbooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What a good book this is! Harriet is an eleven-year-old girl who wants to be a spy, and she goes around spying on people and writing down everything she sees, and trying to figure out grown-ups.I identified so strongly with Harriet when I was a kid. I once got into huge trouble for writing a mean note to this girl in my class (she was called Jenny also, which may have contributed to my irritation with her), and after my principal fussed at me for an hour and said my note was chilling and made me cry, I got home and my mother said ¿So what we¿ve learned is ¿ never put anything in writing.¿ A lesson I took much to heart. I completely stopped writing my stories down on paper and took to writing everything on the computer, in documents with long complicated passwords; and when I reread Harriet the Spy not long after, I felt superior to Harriet. Silly, silly Harriet, I remember thinking, putting things in writing when she clearly should not.One thing Ms. Fitzhugh does terribly well is to convey how confusing adults are. The adults in this book are completely incomprehensible, which is so true about being a kid, that thing of often not having any idea at all what all the grownups are on about. And asking questions was so frustrating because they didn¿t understand what you were really asking. That comes through nicely in this book. If you¿ve never read it (which hardly seems possible), you should read it. It cemented the nothing-in-writing lesson for me, and as well taught me about Dostoevsky at a very young age. Harriet the Spy. Check it out. The Long Secret is also quite good, but I didn¿t like the book about Sport. Whatever it was called.
desislc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A word of warning to all who read this book (especially those still in school): DO NOT follow Harriet's example by keeping a notebook such as hers and leaving it where anyone can find it. Reading this book led me to do such a thing in 6th grade and what happened to me was similar to what happened to Harriet. It's embarrassing- really!I recently reread parts of this book and it struck me how adult it is for a children's book. There are things that I understand now that confused me as a kid (ex. the psychologist, Harriet and Sport's class/wealth differences, Harriet's school). I still did like it when I first read it, though it never was one of my absolute favorites.
cay250 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Harriet M. Welsch is a spy. In her notebook, she writes down everything she knows about everyone, even her classmates and her best friends. Then Harriet loses track of her notebook, and it ends up in the wrong hands. Before she can stop them, her friends have read the always truthful, sometimes awful things she¿s written about each of them. Will Harriet find a way to put her life and her friendships back together? Wonderful, coming of age book that reads true to the pains and discoveries of growing up!
amygatt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love this book - it was one of my mom's favorites when she a young reader, and when she recommended it to me when I was in middle school, it became one of my favorites. Harriet writes down a lot of the things that many people will often think but not say, which is shocking at first! One of the things that is so special about this book is its honesty - Harriet is extremely honest and the author is honest about what happens when people find out. Harriet writes some terrible things in her notebooks, but she is also treated very badly by her peers when they find out what she has been writing in her spy notebook, and I think a lot of young adult readers can relate to her feelings of being outcast. This book is controversial because it deals with some hard topics - for example, Harriet's friend Sport is 11 years old and has to do the cleaning and cooking for his father, because his mother left them and they have no money. Its honesty is also a little harsh at times - One of Harriet's first entries included in the book is, "I bet that lady with the cross-eyes looks in the mirror and just feels terrible." Harriet always tells the truth and it is sometimes hard to swallow, but this is an excellent read. Harriet is very relatable and intelligent and this book gives young readers a lot of credit. I would recommend it to middle school and early high school readers.
Sassy_Seshat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Harriet in print is almost as wonderful as the Nickelodeon film, the book is a little less happy and fun, but easy to see why it is a classic.
jnleonard on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It was an mysterious book with an unexpected ending. You would expect her life to go on well untill her friends turn against her in the notebook incident. She suddenly fells to get revenge. When she tries to apoligize it doesn't work out so well.
clshelkoff on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is about a girl named Harriet that writes down everything that she thinks and sees. Her thoughts can be considerd hurtful to others. Her classmates find her journal and read it to the class. Harriet now has no friends. Her classmates are constantly making fun of her and whispering. Read this book to find out if Harriet can resolve the conflict with her classmates.
DanaJean on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is one of my all-time favorites. As a child, I wanted to be just like Harriet, so I walked my neighborhood and observed. Although I never had the balls to actually hide in someone's dumbwaiter. Of course, I knew no one who even had a dumbwaiter, so I guess that's a mute point. Anyway, I then went home and wrote down my findings on index cards for my trusty card catalog. It was important that I be able to find, at a moments notice, exactly what I thought of the strange woman at the end of the street who was afraid of children and would come unglued if we touched her yard. It also inspired me to write my own How-to pamphlet titled: How to be a Spy. Yeah. That's right. I'm soooo original. Really a very lonely story that taught me to look outside myself and really see other people in a more compassionate way. Just a great book for children and adults alike.
angharad_reads on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Classic story of the eleven-year-old writer who constantly observes people ¿even when they don't know it¿ and is perpetually jotting down facts and all her impressions.I started reading this book because I wanted to read about Harriet: a bold, unapologetic pre-teen. I was amused by how blogger-like all her journalling seemed, and charmed by her distinctive friends and acquaintances. Because of its realism, I wouldn't have expected to like this novel (I suspect that's why I never finished reading it when I was Harriet's age), and yet that very realism blew me away.
Chuck37 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Every kid in my class wanted to be a spy after reading this, and most of us started carrying around notebooks of our own. Harriet is another one of those characters who you don't often come across, as well as her friends. A bit slow in parts, but overall a wonderful experience. Every 10-year-old should read this.
kimmclean on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is about a girl who gets in trouble with friends because she writes bad things about them in her diary and her friend find the diary and read the bad things she wrote about them. Harriet also has a nanny who takes care of her who gets married and moves away which makes Harriet sad. Harriet is always getting into trouble at home and at school. She is critical of others and ends up without friends. After a while though she realizes that she wants friends and misses them so makes up with them by apologizing (even if she has to lie to do it). . I would say that the age groups for this book would be 9-12 years old. I disliked this book because it lacks action. Also i dis like it because it lacks suspense and I enjoy a book that has suspense in it.
ababe92 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I definately will read this book in my class because it talks about alot of things that children go through and how to handle them. And it will plant the seed into their minds about maybe they should start writing in a journal. I recommend this book to every child and teacher.
MissMarch on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I completely agree with book58lover: the problem with this book for me is that Harriet does NOT learn her lesson. At the end of the book she's still doing exactly what she wants and she is still writing equally horrible things about the people around her in her notebook, true or not. She may understand that she hurt people but for me she just ended up looking like a brat, which I was very disappointed by as I liked her at first. There were flashes of brilliant insight by Louise Fitzhugh into the mind of a child and how they see the world, and I did like the idea of the spy route as well as the character of Ole Golly very much (and did feel sorry for Harriet when she left), but I really feel that Harriet did not redeem herself by the end of the book. I know a lot of people love this book and all I can say is, perhaps I would have liked it better if I had read it as a child.
mrsarey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A classic young adult novel- this is the story of Harriet, who spies on friends and neighbors in order to make sense of the world around her. Trouble begins when she gets caught!
ReadHanded on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was practically obsessed with this book as a child. I even started carrying around a notebook with me to jot down notes about the people around me. Harriet the Spy is a delightful book about a young girl who must learn about friendship, privacy, and fending for herself.
t1bclasslibrary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Harriet writes everything down in her notebook, but, as a sixth grader she has plenty of insight into the faults of others, but little common sense socially. She writes down everyone¿s faults in great length, and then they finally read the notebook and she what she¿s written and attack her until Harriet lashes out at them. Her teacher finally gives a chance for her to use her writing for good (sort of), and she finally gets her friends back.