Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh book summary, review and plot. Character analysis and book summary of Harriet the Spy
Harriet the Spy
Harriet the Spy is a children’s novel written by Louise Fitzhugh. It was first published in 1964 and has since become a classic of children’s literature.
The story follows the adventures of a young girl named Harriet M. Welsch, who is an aspiring writer and detective. She lives in New York City with her family and attends a prestigious private school. Despite being a top student, Harriet often feels out of place at school and turns to writing as a way to express herself.
In Harriet the Spy, the main character, Harriet M. Welsch, is an 11-year-old girl who lives in New York City with her family. She is a top student at a prestigious private school and aspires to be a writer. Despite her academic success, Harriet often feels out of place at school and turns to writing as a way to express herself.
One day, Harriet decides to start a spy diary in which she writes down her observations and thoughts about the people around her. She writes down everything she sees and hears, including her classmates, teachers, and neighbors. As she writes, she becomes more and more critical and judgmental of the people she encounters.
Despite her initial enthusiasm for her spy diary, things start to go wrong when her classmates find out about it. They are hurt and offended by the things Harriet has written about them and confront her, demanding to see the diary. When they read it, they are even more upset and ostracize her.
Feeling alone and misunderstood, Harriet turns to her nanny, Ole Golly, for guidance. Ole Golly helps her understand the importance of being honest and kind, and encourages her to apologize to her classmates for the hurtful things she wrote about them.
In the end, Harriet decides to destroy her spy diary and start a new one, this time focusing on her own thoughts and feelings rather than those of others. She apologizes to her classmates and they forgive her, and she learns to be more understanding and empathetic towards others. The novel ends with Harriet looking forward to the new adventures and opportunities that await her as she continues to grow and learn.
In the novel Harriet the Spy, some of the main characters include:
- Harriet M. Welsch: The main character of the story, Harriet is an 11-year-old girl who aspires to be a writer. She is intelligent and hardworking, but sometimes struggles to fit in at her private school. She starts a spy diary in which she writes down her observations and thoughts about the people around her, but her classmates are hurt and offended by the things she writes about them.
- Ole Golly: Harriet’s nanny, Ole Golly is a wise and nurturing figure who helps guide Harriet through her challenges. She is a former actress who has a lot of life experience and helps Harriet understand the importance of honesty and kindness.
- Janie Gibbs: A classmate of Harriet’s, Janie is one of the first people to find out about her spy diary. She is hurt by the things Harriet has written about her and confronts her, demanding to see the diary.
- Sport Rocque: Another classmate of Harriet’s, Sport is one of the most popular and athletic boys in their grade. He is also one of the people who confronts Harriet about her spy diary and is upset by the things she has written about him.
- Simon Rocque: Sport’s younger brother, Simon is a kind and sensitive boy who becomes a good friend to Harriet. He helps her understand the impact her words can have on others and encourages her to apologize to her classmates.
Louise Fitzhugh was an American author and illustrator best known for her children’s novel Harriet the Spy, which was published in 1964. She was born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1928 and grew up in a wealthy and privileged family. She attended prestigious schools and traveled extensively, and later attended Bard College in New York.
Fitzhugh began her career as an artist, working as a painter and illustrator. She also worked in the advertising industry before turning her attention to writing. In addition to Harriet the Spy, she also wrote and illustrated several other children’s books, including The Long Secret and The Great Brain.
Fitzhugh was known for her engaging and relatable characters and her ability to address important themes in a way that was accessible to young readers. Her work has been widely praised and has had a lasting impact on children’s literature. Louise Fitzhugh passed away in 1974 at the age of 46.