It’s my ode to Harriet The Spy—which yes, has been banned, because it allegedly inspires, well, spying, and other miscreant behavior.
In my case, it inspired surviving junior high and, in many ways, my own writing career…
When I was 11-years-old, I happened upon Harriet The Spy, by Louise Fitzhugh.
At the time, I didn’t know that the novel—published in 1964—had already been out for eight years and was (and is) a classic of children’s literature.
What I did know was that if I could meet Harriet, she and I would be (I hoped) fast friends. Oh, we were different, but only in surface ways. (She lived in New York City; I lived in Ohio. She had a nanny; I didn’t know of anyone who had a nanny.) But in many ways that mattered… we were just alike. We both knew we would be writers when we grew up. We both kept notebooks and wrote what we REALLY thought.
So, during my sixth grade year, I read Harriet’s story thirteen times. (I kept track in my own notebooks.)