Louise Fitzhugh •
Harriet the Spy •
Harriet M. Welsch is not a nice kid. She’s loud, she’s obnoxious, she’s rude. She writes unflattering things about her schoolmates, refuses to eat anything but tomato sandwiches for lunch, and regularly spies on her neighbors—going so far as to conceal herself in a dumbwaiter inside someone’s house, with disastrous results.
Her companions are two other misfits: Janie, who plans to blow up her family as soon as she gets a better chemistry set; and Sport, who struggles to take care of his father, a hopelessly impractical writer.
The only adult who holds any sway over Harriet is her nanny. Ole Golly, as Harriet calls her, manages the miracle of persuading this stubborn brat to attend dancing class by pointing out that even Mata Hari needed skills like dancing in the exercise of her profession.
When Miss Golly announces she’s leaving to get married, the center falls out of Harriet’s world . . . and everyone around her suffers the consequences.
Harriet the Spy has remained a favorite with children over six decades for one simple reason: Kids are allergic to stories about goody-goodies. They—like you—would much rather read about people who feel real.
Oh, and there’s no M in Harriet’s name. She made it up.