Whether some adults will find this morally unregenerative, still it's a thoroughly realistic story with lost of very funny...

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HARRIET THE SPY

Harriet is an 11-year-old snub-nosed gamin with an elephant child curiosity and, let's face it, a noticing eye that runs to nastiness.

She lives in the city with her parents, generally not around, Miss Golly the nursemaid she had almost outgrown, and she spends all her time annotating what she sees since she wants to be a writer and a ""spy and know everything."" In any case, she often knows too much and this Junior Miss Pinkerton is seen inserting herself everywhere- even in dumbwaiters. After Miss Golly leaves to get married, things go very poorly; Harriet's journal is found by her classmates who pillory her when they read what she has said about them. Her thoughts get meaner and meaner. She does no work in school. There's a (nicely handled) visit to a psychiatrist and then a letter from Miss Golly who gives her some pragmatic advice—"sometimes you have to lie" or apologize...

Whether some adults will find this morally unregenerative, still it's a thoroughly realistic story with lost of very funny scenes and commentaries, and it features one of the hardest to handle, easiest to like heroines in a long time. Illustrations by the author not seen.

Pub Date: Oct. 21, 1964

ISBN: 978-0-385-32783-1

Page Count: 324

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: Oct. 1, 1964

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1964

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Ordinary kids in an extraordinary setting: still a recipe for bright achievements and belly laughs.

WAYSIDE SCHOOL BENEATH THE CLOUD OF DOOM

Rejoice! 25 years later, Wayside School is still in session, and the children in Mrs. Jewls’ 30th-floor classroom haven’t changed a bit.

The surreal yet oddly educational nature of their misadventures hasn’t either. There are out-and-out rib ticklers, such as a spelling lesson featuring made-up words and a determined class effort to collect 1 million nail clippings. Additionally, mean queen Kathy steps through a mirror that turns her weirdly nice and she discovers that she likes it, a four-way friendship survives a dumpster dive after lost homework, and Mrs. Jewls makes sure that a long-threatened “Ultimate Test” allows every student to show off a special talent. Episodic though the 30 new chapters are, there are continuing elements that bind them—even to previous outings, such as the note to an elusive teacher Calvin has been carrying since Sideways Stories From Wayside School (1978) and finally delivers. Add to that plenty of deadpan dialogue (“Arithmetic makes my brain numb,” complains Dameon. “That’s why they’re called ‘numb-ers,’ ” explains D.J.) and a wild storm from the titular cloud that shuffles the school’s contents “like a deck of cards,” and Sachar once again dishes up a confection as scrambled and delicious as lunch lady Miss Mush’s improvised “Rainbow Stew.” Diversity is primarily conveyed in the illustrations.

Ordinary kids in an extraordinary setting: still a recipe for bright achievements and belly laughs. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-296538-7

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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Pippi is an inspired creation knit from daydreams.

PIPPI LONGSTOCKING

A fresh delicious fantasy that children will love.

In the character of 9-year-old Pippi Longstocking, who was lucky to have no parents to tell her what to do, is a juvenile Robin Hood with the authority of Mammy Yokum and a Mighty Mouse. Pippi- red headed, in longstockings (one black and one brown), and the strongest girl in the world was the friend of Tommy and Annika. Calmly and ingeniously she put down the enemy forces of the adult world — with a serene efficiency. The teacher was baffled by her logic in pointing out the futility of learning arithmetic; bullies she hoisted on trees; at the circus Pippi rode bareback, walked the tightrope, and wrestled the wrestling champ; cream and sugar flowed (on the floor) when Pippi attended a ladies' coffee party where she revealed "horrid things" with the complacency of Eliza Doolittle. Champion of fun, freedom and fantasy and long happy thoughts,

Pippi is an inspired creation knit from daydreams.

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 1950

ISBN: 978-0-14-030957-7

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1950

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