Cover Image: Just Harriet

Just Harriet

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Member Reviews

This was the cutest story and definitely reminded me of Ramona which I loved as a kid. Harriet just finished third grade when she finds out that she is going to be stuck all summer with her grandmother on Marble Island where she has an inn that she runs. Harriet’s mom has to be on bed rest until she has the new baby in august and with her Dad at work all day, her mom can’t take care of Harriet. She wasn’t very happy about being gone for the whole summer and Harriet doesn’t always tell the truth which she doesn’t know why she lies but it just happens. So her and her cat matzo ball are at the inn for the summer and she ends up discovering that her dad and mom do miss her and it is an adjustment for them having her gone so long as well and she solves a mystery involving her dad when he was kid. This was just a fun read and I really liked Harriet, her grandmother and the guests that she meets at the inn as well as the residents of the island since he father grew up there as well. 


Thanks to Walden Pond Press and Netgalley for the complimentary copy of this book in e-book form. All opinions in this review are my own.
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Harriet's voice is perfect and her story, on a setting that is its own character, mixed with Arnold's perfect writing style makes for a wonderful early middle grade read!
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This is a very light and fluffy read for young readers that preaches the ol' proverbial lesson, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." I'm giving it two stars because the story is just...how do I put it? Forgettable is a good word. There wasn't anything whimsical or heavy-hitting in this book, nothing like what you'll read in Kate DiCamillo's stories of love, loss and self-discovery. This is just a simple story about a very pampered little girl who must deal with spending a few weeks at her grandmother's adorable B&B on a tranquil little touristy island. Oh the misery! Yes, yes, I know Harriet is very young, so we should give her some space for her temper tantrums, but she's not a lot of fun to be around, and I felt quite sorry for her overly coddling grandmother who was bending herself backward just to keep things pleasant. Sorry, I just couldn't relate to Harriet's plight, but I'm sure modern-day kiddos living in the upper-echelons of society would disagree. 

I don't know...I guess I was just expecting more because there are some truly poignant--magical even--middle grade books that stick with me long after I read them. I was hoping the basset hound and the orange tabby cat would have larger roles in this story, but nah. I suppose this would be a good bedtime story books for parents to read to their restless kiddos. It certainly had me nodding off a time or two. Meh.
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Situation, Not Story

While reading JUST HARRIET, I couldn’t help but thinking of an old writing professor’s constant critique, “you have a situation here, not a story.” A little girl goes to stay with her grandmother on an island for the summer while her mother is sick. A great premise, but it just doesn’t get much farther. Each time a plot appeared to be forming, it would be ended and resolved just a few pages later. It’s hard to invest in a story if there doesn’t seem to be one!
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I felt this is a fabulous book for children both young and old! I loved that there was a point, a lesson for young Harriet to learn, and she finally learned it by the end of the book. I think I wore a smile each time I returned to read more. I’m not even the target audience, and I thoroughly enjoyed this.

This book is perfect for a child about to become an older sibling for the first time, or for a child needing to be away from home for a while. Maybe staying with family for the summer or a holiday. It’s a family-centric book, and that appeals to me very much.

My only negative thought is I think the age group of 6-10-year-olds/ grades 1-5 is a bit young. Not for the lessons learned, but for the vocabulary. I know children need to expand their vocabulary, and I’m all for that, but after a while, most kids will lose interest if the wording is too difficult for them. (That’s to say if they’re to be reading this independently and not having it read chapter by chapter to them.) I’d market to a slightly older audience, or change some of the more difficult words. Not all, but some. Keep kids learning, but don’t have it worded at such a high level that they walk away. Other than that, this would have been 5 stars from me.

Congratulations on your upcoming release! I’m sure it will be quite a hit!
I read an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. I appreciate the opportunity to read this fine book.
It’s slated to be released on February 1, 2022
Walden Pond Press
By Elana K. Arnold
208 pp.
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An adorable, loveable book by Elana K Arnold for fans of her Bat series--a perfect voice for younger readers.
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I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

I really enjoyed this book and my niece, who I read it to, enjoyed it as well!
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Just Harriet
by Elana K. Arnold
Pub Date 01 Feb 2022 
 HarperCollins Children's Books,  Walden Pond Press
 Children's Fiction  |  Middle Grade  |  Mystery & Thrillers 



I am reviewing a copy of Just Harriet through HarperCollins Children’s Books, Walden Pond Press and Netgalley:



There are some things you should know about Harriet Wermer:  She just finished third grade, she has a perfect cat named Matzo Ball.  Harriet doesn’t always tell the truth.  She is very happy to be spending summer vacation away from home and her mom and dad and all the wonderful things she had been planning all year.  Maybe the last part isn’t the full truth.




There’s nothing Harriet doesn’t like about Marble Island, the small island off the coast of California where her nanu runs a cozy little bed and breakfast. And nobody doesn’t love Moneypenny, Nanu’s old basset hound.  What Harriet doesn’t like is her Father made the decision without even asking her about it.






When Harriet arrives on Marble Island, she discovers it is full of surprise and even a mystery.   One that seems to involve her Dad, back when he was a young boy living on Marble Island.  One that Harriet is absolutely going to solve. And that's the truth.



I give Just Harriet five out of five stars!


Happy Reading!
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Another sweet book by author Elana K. Arnold.  Harriet just finished third grade and is not excited about the change in her summer plans due to her new baby brother's imminent arrival.   However, once at her grandmother's she finds a bit of a mystery to keep her and the readers entertained.  The imperfect Harriet, is a perfectly relatable character for kids.  This should be a popular book for grades 3-6.
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Just Harriet is a wonderful book! Harriet (named after Harriet the Spy) has to live with her Nanu during the summer while her mother is on bedrest at home.  Nanu lives on an island and runs a B & B. Harriet brings along her cat-Matzo Ball, but will she get along with Moneypenny, Nau's dog? Harriet finds a key and goes on an adventure to see what it opens. Harriet also learns more about her dad and her Nanu along the way.

I loved this book and I know that children are going to enjoy it as much! There is adventure, problems to work out and stories to listen to. This book definitely sets itself up for a sequel and I can't wait to read it!
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Ramona was my best friend growing up - I felt like she was just like me. I imagine many kids may feel that way about Harriet - another little girl trying to find her way in the world and how she fits.
Harriet is that precocious little kid you can't help but like, even if she's rough around the edges and not always the most honest. She feels so very real, and her adventures through her summer at her grandmother's are easy to imagine as actually happening. Harriet's "problems" are also very relatable for a little kid - a new sibling, not understanding adults, getting absorbed in your own adventure - it feels just like I did as a kid.
I love Harriet, and I hope the kids who need her will find her and join in on the adventure. And I very much hope there will be more in the future.
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Just Harriet was a delight! It is a great book to lead conversations with children about big feelings and choices. I loved Harriet and the voice Arnold wrote with. Harriet feels like a dear friend, and the B and B feels like somewhere I've been. I can't wait to share this one with students.
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Loved this modern-day homage to Harriet the Spy. I enjoyed seeing Harriet learn about herself as well as her father through her adventure. As with all Arnold's books, this is a wonderful book that the entire family will enjoy reading. The characters and their pets combined with the location make this a fun getaway read that young people will truly enjoy.
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Harriet is sent to stay with her grandmother, Nanu, for the summer while mom is on bed rest while pregnant. She misses her parents, especially dad, but as she learns her way around Nanu’s B & B she begins to have fun. Harriet is told “adventure and mystery are everywhere, if you know where to look.” When she finds a huge key, she starts looking for the treasure that it surely must unlock.
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Fans of Elana K. Arnold’s Bat series are sure to love her newest book, Just Harriet, starring a young girl named Harriet who is spending the summer at her grandmother’s island B&B. Though Harriet is there against her will, she doesn’t let that stop her from exploring the island and the house — and finding some mysteries along the way.

This book is gentle and sweet, with characters that have a lot of potential in future books. Harriet is a fantastic protagonist -- she doesn't always get things right, and she has a bad habit of lying, and she is the kind of character that you want to root for. 

As always, Arnold's animal characters are just as vibrant as her human ones -- Moneypenny and Matzo Ball are adorable, both in their written antics and in the lovingly rendered illustrations.

Parents and kids alike are sure to enjoy Just Harriet and all her island adventures.

Thank you to HarperCollins Children's Books and NetGalley for the ARC!
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I received this book for free for an honest review from netgalley #netgalley 

This story was adorable, and meaningful. The characters were well developed and whimsical.
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