Happy Thursday! Are you an eavesdropper or a bit of a gossip? Then you’ll love this week’s #TBT!
Title: Harriet the Spy // Louise Fitzhugh, published 1964
Memories: I have to be honest. Harriet the Spy came into my life as the 1996 movie with Michelle Tratchenburg and Rosie O’Donnell. But after seeing the movie (which I loved), I read the book and loved it just as much. The movie is actually pretty true to the book, so it is unsurprising that I enjoyed both. I remember thinking Harriet was nosy but also awesome and I relished in her adventures going up and down the dumbwaiter or watching Harrison and his cats. And, of course, I thought Marion Hawthorne was terrible and Sport and Janie were fantastic, as you all should.
Thoughts as an adult: It certainly brought me right back to my childhood and my memories of the movie, and I really enjoyed reading it. Louise Fitzhugh does a marvelous job of writing for young readers without oversimplifying it and she handles some weighty topics. Reading it as an adult I realize how complicated Harriet really is and I love that about the story.
Does it hold up? I think so. It was certainly a fun experience for me, as I dwell in the memories associated with it, and I can definitely see the totally unrealistic aspects of the story. It has a lot of plot holes and “super” moments where Harriet should totally get caught or there’s no way kids would do that. But overall it isn’t an overly simple children’s book and Louise Fitzhugh really plays with the messy nature of life and learning.
Until next time, happy reading!