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Happy 50th Anniversary, Harriet the Spy!

Post by NoveList
Posted February 25, 2014 in Kids & Book News, Readers' Advisory News, Special Announcements

NoveList staff with their spy notebooks

NoveList staff with their "spy" notebooks

Harriet the Spy was a favorite book from many a childhood past, and it's still a great book for young readers. In honor of this classic's 50th anniversary, we put together a short list of '5 hooks and 5 books' -- 5 hooks to get kids interested in reading about Harriet and her adventures, and 5 additional books to suggest once they've read it and loved it!

Five Timeless Hooks for Getting Today's Kids to Read Harriet the Spy:

  1. Young readers get a vivid sense of place and a taste of independence as Harriet navigates New York City on her solo spy route.
  2. Everyone messes up sometimes; kids can relate to Harriet's feelings of confusion about other people's feelings, and her difficulties with owning her mistakes.
  3. Kids may also find reassurance in the way Harriet and her friends eventually get over their fight and redefine their friendships.
  4. Ole Golly's departure honestly depicts the pain of losing someone you care about; Harriet isn't judged for getting help during such a hard time.
  5. Harriet's discovery of her voice as a writer will appeal to readers who are experimenting with their own methods of self-expression.

Five Books to grow Harriet the Spy fans:

Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead

Seventh-grader Georges adjusts to moving from a house to an apartment, his father's efforts to start a new business, his mother's extra shifts as a nurse, being picked on at school, and Safer, a boy who wants his help spying on another resident of their building.

Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator by Allison Jennifer

During the summer before ninth grade, intrepid Gilda Joyce invites herself to the San Francisco mansion of distant cousin Lester Splinter and his thirteen-year-old daughter, where she uses her purported psychic abilities and detective skills to solve the mystery of the mansion's boarded-up tower.

Lucy Rose, Busy Like You Can't Believe by Kelly Katy

Now in fourth grade, palindrome-enthusiast Lucy Rose learns about the perils of eavesdropping while also confiding in her diary her worries that her recently divorced mother is beginning to date.

Dirt Diary by Anna Staniszewski

After her parents' divorce, eighth-grader Rachel Lee joins her mother's new housecleaning business, which has her scrubbing bathrooms in her more popular classmates' homes and learning useful secrets.

Sahara Special by Esme Raji Codell

Struggling with school and her feelings since her father left, Sahara gets a fresh start with a new and unique teacher who supports her writing talents and the individuality of each of her classmates.


Happy reading, spy fans!