Just Harriet by Elana K. Arnold


Just Harriet
Author: Elana K. Arnold
Illustrator: Dung Ho
Published February 1st, 2022 by Walden Pond Press

Summary: From the award-winning author of A Boy Called Bat comes a new young middle grade series in the tradition of Ramona and Clementine, starring an unforgettable girl named Harriet.

There are a few things you should know about Harriet Wermer:

– She just finished third grade.

– She has a perfect cat named Matzo Ball.

– She 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.

Okay, maybe that last one isn’t entirely the truth.

Of course, 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. But Harriet doesn’t like the fact that Dad made this decision without even asking her.

When Harriet arrives on Marble Island, however, she discovers that it’s full of surprises, 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.


“An engaging series opener about the power of truth to moor and free even the sulkiest of souls.” -Kirkus Reviews

“This series opener is a winner.” Publishers Weekly

“A gentle, slow-moving summer adventure that’s big on character growth.” -School Library Journal

An appealing chapter book for young readers.” -Booklist

About the Author: Elana K. Arnold is the author of critically acclaimed and award-winning young adult novels and children’s books, including the Printz Honor winner Damsel and the National Book Award finalist What Girls Are Made Of. Several of her books are Junior Library Guild selections and have appeared on many best book lists, including the Amelia Bloomer Project, a catalog of feminist titles for young readers. Elana teaches in Hamline University’s MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults program and lives in Southern California with her family and menagerie of pets. You can visit her online at www.elanakarnold.com.

Review: When I first read the Bat books by Elana K. Arnold, I was so happy with the new edition to the reading ladder between early chapter books and solid middle grade, and Just Harriet fits solidly in there as well. Harriet is going to be loved the way that Ramona was loved by readers of the past (like me!). She is a bit sassy, super smart, quick witted, and full of curiosity. And her supporting cast of characters fill the background with joy -from her grandma, Nanu, to the owners of the ice cream parlor, Hans & Gretchen. Then add in the very special setting of Marble Island, and you have a special book that is going to find a bunch of happy readers! I can’t wait for more Harriet in the future.

 Teachers’ Tools for Navigation and Discussion Questions: Walden Pond Press has a Chapter-By-Chapter Guiding Questions and Discussion Points guide available!

Flagged Passages: 

Read This If You Love: Ramona Quimby by Beverly Cleary, Bat series by Elana K. Arnold, Aven Green series by Dusti Bowling, Bink and Gollie series by Kate DiCamillo

Recommended For: 



**Thank you to Walden Pond Press for providing a copy for review!**

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