I was Harriet's age when I read this book and I admired and related to her, although my life looked nothing like hers. I read the book again as an adult and while I still loved Harriet, I had a new admiration and sympathy for Ole Golly, who gave years of her life raising someone else's child and who is taken for granted by the parents and of course (as is natural) by her charge Harriet. I love how un-condescending this book is. The kids in it are independent, capable, funny, and realistic. They have their own complicated and sometimes difficult lives that go on outside the lives of the adults they know. Now that I am a parent, it's a good reminder that kids understand more than they let on and can take more responsibility than we give them credit for. In these days when children have so little freedom to go off on their own, it's a pleasure to re-read about a time when kids could explore more than their own yards and could learn from their own mistakes.