Because Choo is awesome and also buys many books she somehow ended up with two copies of Louise Fitzhugh's Harriet the Spy (1964). This means that now I am the proud owner of the extra copy. Yay!
Like many a young girl, I loved this book when I was a kid. And even though I'm a horrible journal writer, it made me attempt to keep one on many many many occasions, and may still be responsible for my lack of control when it comes to buying new notebooks that I then proceed to never write anything in. I know for sure that it inspired game number two in my list of weird games I made up as a kid.
The book is still pretty awesome, although I don't think I picked up on all of Harriet's flaws when I was a kid. And she (and her family, and her neighbors, and her friends) is pretty flawed -- just like people are in reality (except me). I also didn't pick up on some very odd scenes. For example, in the second scene of the book, Ole Golly -- Harriet's nanny -- whisks Harriet and her friend Sport away for an unannounced visit to Ole Golly's mother's house. Harriet's family is rich (that is why they have a nanny), and Ole Golly's mother is poor. But she is also a little touched in the head. And the whole potential lesson of being grateful for what you have and thinking about others is kind of lost in the weirdness of the situation.
Later in the book Harriet's mother asks her if she "went to the bathroom" as she is leaving for school and Harriet yells back "no" and hurries to class. Then she has a day at school where things happen, including her overhearing some other girls talk about her while she is in a bathroom stall. Then she runs home:
First she went to the bathroom because she hadn't in the morning, and when she was sitting there she wrote in her notebook:
I LOVE MYSELF
Okay, Harriet is taking a shit, right? I love that.
[There is a good article about the book here, which also includes a little plot summary and some lovely quotes.]