Harriet Off the Beaten Path

harriet at 50 banner Harriet Off the Beaten Path

WHENEVER I GO TO THE MET I SEE THE SAME TWO KIDS THERE, SLINKING AROUND THE MUSEUM. DO THEY LIVE THERE? ALSO I’M PRETTY SURE I SAW THEM STEALING MONEY FROM THE FOUNTAIN. KEEP AN EYE ON THEM.

THAT ELOISE, SHE IS SUCH A PILL. WHO WOULD WANT TO LIVE IN A HOTEL? ESPECIALLY A HOTEL WHERE ELOISE LIVED.

EVER SINCE PERCY JACKSON CAME BACK FROM THAT FANCY SUMMER CAMP HE WALKS AROUND LIKE HE’S A GOD. MY MOTHER SAYS HIS PROBLEM IS WITH HIS FATHER. I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW HE HAD A FATHER. THINK ABOUT THIS.

LITTLE KIDS ARE JUST BANANAS. YESTERDAY I SAW A KID MAKING A BIG FUSS OUTSIDE THE LAUNDROMAT AND HER DAD HAD NO IDEA WHAT SHE WAS GOING ON ABOUT. IT TURNS OUT IT WAS JUST A STUPID STUFFED BUNNY. I WILL NEVER HAVE CHILDREN.

THERE IS SOME REALLY WEIRD STUFF GOING ON OVER ON AMSTERDAM AVE. THERE’S ALWAYS A MAN ON THE CORNER, KICKING HIS FOOT AND LAUGHING, AND SHAKING HIS FIST AT THE SKY. A GIRL WHO LIVES ON THE STREET HAS RECENTLY STARTED TO GET MYSTERIOUS NOTES. BETTER ADD THIS PLACE TO MY SPY ROUTE.

Kathleen T. Horning, a self-described obsessive Harriet the Spy fan, is the director of the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, a library of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Read her classic Horn Book article about Harriet: “On Spies and Purple Socks and Such.”

From the May/June 2014 issue of The Horn Book Magazine. Part of a special section commemorating the 50th anniversary of Harriet the Spy.

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Kathleen T. Horning About Kathleen T. Horning

Kathleen T. Horning is the director of the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, a library of the School of Education, University of Wisconsin–Madison. She is the author of From Cover to Cover: Evaluating and Reviewing Children’s Books and teaches a popular online course for ALSC on the history of the Newbery and Caldecott medals.

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