Harriet the Spy

Louise Fitzhugh (1928-1974)
Harriet the Spy
New York: Delacorte Press, 2000

I grew up in a small Southern town, so when I was a
child Harriet’s life in the big city was as fascinating and
foreign to me as that of Pippi Longstocking or Laura
Ingalls Wilder. As an adult, I have come to appreciate
the depth and nuance of this coming-of-age novel. It
resonates with me still and it is a book I go back to when
I need the comfort of an old friend.

With a Manhattan-dwelling school-age daughter of my
own, I also connect with it on new levels now—for
example, the scene when Harriet says goodbye to Ole
Golly, her beloved nanny, is all the more heartbreaking
since I’ve seen firsthand the bond between my city
child and her first caregiver. The book was quietly
revolutionary in its time and is relevant and meaningful
still. I can’t wait to share it with my daughter.

Meredith L. Strauss (member)
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