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[[ Read E-pub ]] ñ Harriet the Spy ì Harriet M Welsch Is A Spy She S Staked Out A Spy Route, And She Writes Down Everything About Everyone She Sees Including Her Classmates And Her Best Friends In Her Notebook I Bet The Lady With The Cross Eye Looks In The Mirror And Feels Just TerriblePinky Whitehead Will Never Change Does His Mother Hate Him If I Had Him I D Hate HimThen Harriet Loses Track Of Her Notebook, And It Ends Up In The Wrong Hands Before Harriet Can Stop Them, Her Friends Have Read The Always Truthful, Sometimes Awful Things She S Written About Each Of Them Will Harriet Find A Way To Put Her Life And Her Friendships Back Together Back Cover I genuinely don t like giving a book a bad review, but if it weren t that I have an obsessive need to finish a book once I start it, I would have put this one down the first time Harriet started screaming like a toddler A large part of the reason I was so put off by this book, is that I had set my expectations that I was reading a beloved and light hearted childhood book about a girl who learns some life lessons after she is caught spying on some friends and neighbors.These expectations were way off.For one, I never read this book as a child I had it on my childhood bookshelf, and I think I had read enough of the first few pages to have learned how to play Town when I was 7 or 8, but I never read this entire book like I thought I had After the first few pages, everything was unfamiliar, so I really had no nostalgic feelings to help me appreciate the book as an adult.Secondly, this book is not light hearted it slike social commentary on the lonely lives of priveleged NYC children I find this book depressing on so many levels Harriet is so completely neglected by her parents and misunderstood by her friends and peers, and she shows her classmates very little understanding either.Finally, Harriet doesn t appear to grow at all through this very tedious story through very little fault of her own, as the adults she looks up to are such poor role models and I NEED my characters to grow Even after all she endures when her notebook is confiscated, she still continues to make superficial and mean spirited notes largely about the people she spies upon being fat or ugly Come on, Harriet, learn something Even Ole Golly disappointed me, with her culminating letter to Harriet that came with the brilliant life lesson that sometimes it is just best to lie, with nothing further to help Harriet grasp the concepts of empathy or tact.My heart breaks for Harriet, who has clearly been permanately scarred by her parents emotional abandonment, but at the same time, I just completely disliked her and her tantrums and cruel observations Perhaps I m being a bit hard on an eleven year old protagonist, but then I look at other admirable literary child characters, like Tree ear in A Single Shard or Annemarie in Number the Stars and I just don t think a little growth is too much to expect at Harriet s age I have a hard time believing that today s middle school children would find her very easy to relate to either, and I like my classics to be timeless.Sorry, I wish I could be, but I m just not a fan Harriet as an onion was pretty priceless though If only the entire book had beenlike that scene The other day my girlfriend said something about her love of tomato and mayonnaise sandwiches, to which I naturally replied Yeah Do you like to roll around and pretend you re an onion, too And she had no idea what I meant.How do you not know Harriet the Spy She has to rank competitively with the greatest literary characters of all time so spunky, so misunderstood, so maligned by her peers toward the end There was even some kind of high budget film that got made a few years ago Frankly, it makes me sad to imagine a life without Harriet the Spy ratfink Schadenfreude That s what this book is about and it s all Harriet thinks about the misfortune of others and how she can find joy in it While that can have its place like in The Hunger Games , it is just disturbing where this book is concerned.This is one of those rare times where, twenty years later, I reread a book from childhood that I adored, and my opinion of it completely changes as an adult I kept my original copy from childhood, but now I m not sure I will keep it still because I can t imagine ever reading this again It was painful I did not enjoy it It was not charming I thought it was funny for maybe the first couple chapters, but it quickly becomes caustic.Harriet wants to be a writer Fair enough But there are two very disturbing revelations associated with this 1 Harriet somehow gets the idea that the best way to practice being a writer is not to, like, practice writing short stories and use her imagination Instead, she takes write what you know to a whole new level, keeping a notebook where she spies on everyone in the neighborhood and then documents every cruel thought she has ever had about them, including her best friends, then somehow justifies this as a way to learn to write better anddescriptively.2 Harriest does not want to be a writer to improve the world, become famous, or inspire people Allow me, as I quote WHEN I GROW UP I M GOING TO FIND OUT EVERYTHING ABOUT EVERYBODY AND PUT IT ALL IN A BOOK THE BOOK IS GOING TO BE CALLED SECRETS BY HARRIET M WELSCH I WILL ALSO HAVE PHOTOGRAPHS IN IT AND MAYBE SOME MEDICAL CHARTS IF I CAN GET THEM I just WHAT Still, I kept giving the book the benefit of the doubt For one thing, it is intriguing because we all think things about other people although I quickly grew tired of that Most importantly, though, there was still a chance that Harriet might learn some good lessons from all this Nope.Harriet s parents are so pleased that Ole Golly can handle Harriet so well, but they seem blind to the fact that none of them the parents or Ole Golly seemed to have instilled any values, a sense of privacy and boundaries parameters, or common decency in Harriet Harriet is petultant, selfish, disrespectful, shallow, beyond nosy, self involved, and just plain mean She has no redeeming qualities None She has no social skills, cannot relate to her peers, is stunted psychologically, has a truly alarming lack of empathy for other people, and spends her days involving herself in everyone else s business and truly and wholeheartedly thinks it s her business to know these things about others, whereas how DARE they think to look in her SOOPER SEKRIT notebook Harriet is eleven, but she talks and spends her days like a middle aged sociopath relishing the choice of his next victim I kept waiting for her to learn a lesson, to gain some insight, to understand how her actions hurt other people, to understand what she was doing was not just wrong but also sick nothing She doesn t learn anything, not even when she goes to a psychologist, not even when she gets caught breaking and entering, not even when all her friends find her notebook and shut her out, not even when the adults closest to her realize what she s been doing, not even when the teachers see what this does to her classmates.I am really not sure what Fitzhugh was trying to accomplish with this book Harriet learned no lessons Her friends magically forgive her after her superficial apology which involvedspying and telling secrets in the school newspaper, whereas, were I her friend, I would never be able to trust her again She doesn t get into any actual trouble for what she does If I had children, I m not even sure I would allow them to read this. If you ve ever spent any time wondering how fictional characters like Olive Kitteridge, Eleanor Oliphant or Don Tillman got to be who they are, you need look no further than Harriet the Spy.It s all here, in this book.Harriet is a lot like these adult characters, but she s a child, an 11 year old girl And, we learn quickly, she never suffered abuse or neglect Neither parent committed suicide She wasn t sexually molested by a neighbor, either.She s just freaking quirky.Is she somewhere on the spectrum Does she have a personality disorder Is she a sociopath It s hard to say Or, I can t say.But, damn it, she is fascinating.My 11 year old and I couldn t even read this book without taking breaks We literally had moments where we had to shut the book, put it down on the coffee table, and stare at one another The fragments of our bewilderment went a little like this She broke into the neighbor s house She spied at them, through a peek hole She doesn t understand that they are talking about her There was one point in the story that was so incredible not unbelievable for Harriet s character, but incredible , my daughter, who is NOT allowed to use profanity, uttered, What the hell I gave her a free pass in that moment, because, honestly, I was thinking the same thing.I have never encountered a book like this before Or, I certainly haven t encountered a book like this that was written for the middle grades I don t even know if the author, Louise Fitzhugh, was a creative mastermind or a quirky lady herself, whose mind just worked this way.This is one of those books that no writer should ignore Something happened here that was equal parts brilliant, hilarious and disturbing.This bizarre book, written in 1964, is from a time capsule of no particular era Writing like this can punch you square in the face at any time.