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Gina

Show and Tale: Harriet the Spy

Posted by Gina on September 29, 2009 at 8:45 AM in ClassicsShow and Tale
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For a book that was originally published in 1964, Harriet the Spy, written by Louise Fitzhugh, remains remarkably relevant and readable. Nate Eagle, a designer for PBS KIDS Interactive and unabashed book (and movie and philosophy) aficionado, says this about his favorite children's book:

harriet_the_spy.JPGHarriet is one of the greatest characters in young fiction. She's a spy: insatiably curious and brutally honest. And she writes down everything she sees and thinks. When her notebook gets discovered by classmates, they banish her. Harriet has to wrestle with how and when to be honest, and how and when to compromise that honesty for the sake of friendship. Seeing Harriet pass through this gauntlet is heartbreaking in many ways -- the compromises of relationships are frequently painful -- but it's also movingly human. Above all, the story's a reminder of what tremendously complicated, fascinating inner lives all children lead, inner lives that adults sometimes forget or dismiss.

What is your favorite character from children's books? Or does Harriet take the cake?

1 Comments

Amanda writes...

I'm going to have to go with Pippi Longstocking as my favorite heroine. I related better to the characters I wanted to be, like Pippi or Roald Dahl's Matilda, than to more realistic characters like Harriet.

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