Tuesday, December 02, 2008

BBBT-Harriet the Spy Edition!

I don't think I ever read Harriet the Spy as a kid. I enjoyed the book and even read one of the followup books to it. My library doesn't have all of them so I will have to read Sport later but I did read The Long Secret after I finished the first book. I can see why it has been considered a classic and why it was considered groundbreaking for the genre.

If you haven't read it... I recommend picking it up. If you have but it has been awhile... what are you waiting for?


Would Harriet have been a blog writer or just a blog reader? Do you think she would have ever commented on other people's blogs? If she did write her own blog, do you think she would have written about her own life or do you think she would have replicated her spy notebooks and only written about other people?

I think Harriet would have a gossip blog. She would most likely comment on others blogs but she would be that person that asks the difficult questions when everyone else is thinking the same thing. I doubt she would actually talk much about herself except to detail her adventures and share her thoughts of what was going on with others.

Obviously, this book brings up many questions on privacy and journaling. At one point, Harriet journals all day at school instead of doing her work. Has anyone worked on their journal/blog at work? And been caught? When do you blog/journal? Do you do it when you should be doing something else?

I work from home and don't have to worry about others monitoring my Internet access except for my husband. He only cares if I am wasting too much time instead of working when he wants to go and do something else. I tend to blog when I think of things and won't deny that sometimes I blog simply to avoid working.

In the beginning of the book, Harriet is explaining the game Town to Sport. She goes thru a list of typical town places from the 1960's. What places/professions do you think a savvy Harriet in 2008 would have in her town?

This was one of my questions... so I will take a shot. I think that there were definitely be some type of beverage drive thru place such as Lavaaza, Starbucks, or Jamba Juice. There would also be a Warehouse club store. I think she would have the computer repair person and maybe a computer repair shop because there are still some small ones around and opening up these days. Hmmm... she might even have a yoga studio.

When Ole Golly leaves after her engagement, Harriet notes that things feel the same but she seems to have a little hole in her heart. When was the first time you remember feeling a similar loss and does it still remain with you today?

For me this there have been several but the first time was when we moved across the country away from my grandparents. They moved to Florida shortly after so even if we hadn't moved it wouldn't have made a difference. I missed them greatly because we used to go over there on weekends and do little things like make applesauce and collect golf balls (they lived on the edge of a golf course). It has remained with me as we have not been close since then. I have only seen my Grandma three times since we moved and I saw my Grandfather twice before he died. I feel like I missed out on a lot because they were only penpals for so long.

How much of Harriet's behavior in the latter half of the book do you think was a direct result of Ole Golly's leaving? Would she have gotten so out of control if Ole Golly was there for her to talk to about the lost notebook?

I think that she was deeply effected by Ole Golly leaving and that much of her behavior was influenced. I think that Ole Golly would have talked with her on how to handle the lost notebook but I don't know that all of her reactions would have been different.

How do you think Harriet would have upgraded for the new tech? Would she be blackberrying instead of the notebook?

I am betting that she would have nightvision goggles, a laptop or pocket pc, and a digital camera to take photos of her adventures or a combined gadget to let her record her thoughts in text and photos.

ETA--I am sure that she would want to use nanny cameras and other similar items if she could figure out how to plant them.

Why do you think the author painted the home lives of Harriet and Sport the way that she did?

I think that the author was trying to express that not everyone has the perfect nuclear family or a family with multiple children. I think that most likely she wanted to paint a clearer picture of other possibilities for the kids reading her book. I liked the idea that Sport was the one that had to stay home and take care of the house and not one of the girls. The idea of it probably shocked many people when the book first came out.

Hop along to another stop on this blog tour by visiting the main list at Stirrup Queens (http://stirrup-queens.blogspot.com/). You can also sign up for the next book on this online book club: An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination by Elizabeth McCracken


Delenn said...

Your comment made me chuckle--to think of Harriet with night vision googles, etc. So true!

Kristin said...

You are so right...Harriet would have had all those high tech gadgets. I bet she would have even had a mini camera in her fake glasses.

Lollipop Goldstein said...

I'm picturing her blog as a smart Perez Hilton now :-) Sassy...smart...tongue-in-cheek...and spot on but also mildly offensive and gawkerish.

You hit it right on the nail.

Queenie. . . said...

I sort of thought that Louise Fitzhugh must've had either a tough childhood, or knew some children who were close to her that had tough childhoods, because Sport and Harriet seemed like such lonely, abandoned children to me. She could've made Harriet someone with involved parents, to whom she was constantly giving the slip, but the fact that she didn't made me think she had some inner angst of her own.

Cassandra said...

I also had grandparents who were mostly pen pals. I saw them less than once a year, exchanged just a few letters per year, and only talked on the phone on birthdays and big holidays. It's hard to imagine how it might have been different in this age of cheap/unlimited long-distance phone calls, not to mention email, blogs, IM... The parents of friend of mine have been doing webcam conversations with their grandchildren starting in infancy!