I am an avid reader of Entertainment Weekly and was happy to see one of my favorite books I read as a child get a full page treatment in the Feb. 28 issue. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh was one of my all time favorite books as a kid because it featured a strong female lead who enjoys to write and who EW writer Hilary Busis describes as “a jerk–but a smart, perceptive, lovable jerk, one who’s wholly relatable whether you’re 11 or several times that age.” This is the perfect definition for a character who has withstood the last 50 years in the literary world, and who in my opinion paved the way for characters like Katniss Everdeen, Tris Prior, and Hazel Lancaster. These are characters that don’t apologize for being strong willed and fierce.
So as a sit here an fangirl out over the classic tale, I realized that the story was getting this special treatment because it was turning 50. I could not believe it that a book I loved so much was so old, I don’t say that to sound mean, what I mean is the characters don’t seem to age in my mind. They are still totally relatable to young readers today. And as a librarian I am thrilled with this. My students always ask me for recommendations and I give them the classics as much as I give them new ones.
But Harriet is not the only literary character turning 50. Check out some of the other future AARP members:
Bread and Jame for Frances by Russel Hoben
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming
Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
Happy 50th to these classic stories and memorable characters.