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Title: Harriet The Spy

Writer: Louise Fitzhugh

Publisher: Yearling (2001, first published in 1964)

Pages: 300 p

Bought at:Kinokuniya Ngee Ann City (SGD 10,81)

Harriet is not an average girl. She’s eleven years old (well, almost twelve to be exact), and she’s a good spy. She likes to know everything about everybody, and she even has her special route. She knows sp much about each family member of the Dei Santis’, about how many cats Harrison Withers has, and what new things Mr. and Mrs. Robinson buys. She writes every little thing down in her notebook. The notebook that nobody could ever see, including her trusted nanny, Ole Golly.

No one understands about Harriet’s strange hobby, not her parents, and not her bestfriends, Sport and Jannie. The only person who seems to understand Harriet really well is Ole Golly. But one day, Ole Golly too has to go, leaving Harriet alone in her own little world.

The trouble begins when her little notebook is missing, and unfortunately, being read by her friends, the subjects of her spying activity. The thing about Harriet notes: even when they are true, they are harsh. And that’s why nobody’s happy when reading the notes about themselves in that book. Harriet was losing her friends, and she begins to question herself: does she really want to be a spy?

This book is a classic, full with great characters, lots of lessons about friendship and integrity. Sometimes I feel really bad for Harriet, but there are times when she becomes very annoying. Louise Fitzhugh is a master of children story, and I am glad I read this book as part of Twent Ten Challenge, for Older Than You category.

Title: Harriet The Spy: Pesan Misterius di Water Mill

Writer: Louise Fitzhugh

Publisher: Little K, Mizan Pustaka (2006)

Pages: 345 p

Bought at:Jakarta Book Fair 2009 (Rp 25000)

I bought this book first before buying the previous volume (Harriet The Spy). This is a translated version from Mizan. But actually, this book is not a direct sequel of the first book. This is a translation of The Long Secret, while the sequel of Harriet The Spy is Harriet Spies Again.

Anyway, in this book, we were taken with Harriet to Water Mill, a beach village near New York, to spend the summer there. Even in this quite village, Harriet found interesting people to be spied on. And she’s not alone, because her friend Beth Ellen is also spending her summer here, and becomingHarriet’s compatriot.

A mystery happens, when suddenly there are strange messages sent to every person in Water Mill. That messages fit the recipients very well. And of course Harriet can’t help but investigate who the mysterious sender is. Jessie Mae the religious girl? The village’s priest? Agatha Plumber the hotel owner? Or even her own parents?

Lots of questions being asked by Harriet, including about religion and God. A quite serious topic for a young adult book, but gladly written in a really nice way by Fitzhugh. Another good Harriet book. And I think I will try to find the rest of the series!