cavachon added a book review.
If you've always wanted to be mischievous but was afraid to get in trouble, you can read about Harriet the Spy's own adventures and live through her! Harriet is an 11 year old girl who spies on different people in her neighborhood -- classmates, neighbors, her family, her nanny -- and scribbles down her brutally honest feelings and observations in a secret notebook. She'll even sneak into this one woman's house and hide in there while she spies on her! The people she spies on are funny characters, each one quirky, dramatic, and fascinating. Harriet herself is quite funny and intelligent. Through spying on all these people, she asks herself a lot of questions about life in general and how these peoples' lives differ from each other.
She writes down anything and everything she feels in her secret notebook, including what she REALLY thinks about people she knows. But to Harriet's dismay, her classmates find her secret notebook one day and reads everything out loud, making everyone furious with her. Her friends turn on her and Harriet becomes an outcast for a while. In the end, after some self-reflection and some wise advice from an adult whom she really respects, she learns to be more thoughtful and considerate of other people's feelings. She learns a lot about herself as well through it all.
This is a wonderfully entertaining and thought-provoking book that I've read many, many times. And it is also easy to read. Louise Fitzhugh, the author, drew the pictures in the book herself and they're delightful and full of life. I really recommend that you read this; it will be a permanent collection on your bookshelf for years.