Great Reads Spotlight: Jack Gantos

Jack GantosWhat GREAT READ does author JACK GANTOS recommend for young people?

Gantos recommends Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. “I chose Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh because when I read her book I wanted to be Harriet’s friend. But because she was a fictional character I began to practice her way of writing: she spied on people and wrote it down in a journal. Instantly, I did too. I drew spy maps of my house and neighborhood and school. I overhead other people’s conversations and wrote them down. Before long I realized that the world around me was filled with stories and all I had to do was sneak up on them—and I became an excellent sneak!”

Harriet the Spy (Harper & Row, 1964) is recommended for ages 8-12.

Be sure to check out Gantos’ books: The Key That Swallowed Joey Pigza, which is the final book in the Joey Pigza series (Farrar, Straus Giroux, 2014); The Trouble in Me (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015); and the 2012 Newbery Award winner Dead End in Norvelt (Farrar Straus Giroux, 2011).

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And be sure to check out the NCBLA’s complete list of GREAT READS recommendations here.

Also, have fun scrolling through our author and illustrator photo gallery on the home page. Simply click the left and right arrows to scroll through. When a particular author, illustrator, or book catches your eye, just click the photo to read why that book is recommended and to learn more about that author or illustrator.