Jack Gantos

Author Jack 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).

Learn more at JackGantos.com.

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