Harriet was just the girl I needed to find when I discovered Louise Fitzhugh’s classic novel Harriet the Spy (1964).
Because I wasn’t enough of a tomboy to climb trees. (When I was old enough to have my first pair of high heels, I wore them with everything: my skinny-jeans with the zippers at the ankles and the turquoise fleece pants that I sewed in home economics class.)
But I was enough of a tomboy to climb a tree high enough to see over the fence to the house next door. (Not the house I lived in – which was a second-floor apartment, with a view of the house next door’s yard – but the house of an older family member.)
The residents of that house next door were older. Not as old as Mrs. Plumber (and not as wealthy either, which is why I did not have the option of squeezing into their dumb-waiter, like Harriet) but maybe as old as Mrs and Mr Robinson, and certainly they lived lives just as exciting as the Robinsons did (which is to say, not at all exciting).