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The Long Secret (Harriet the Spy) Paperback – March 12, 2002

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Series: Harriet the Spy
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling; Reprint edition (March 12, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440418194
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440418191
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #219,165 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Following up on last fall's reissue of Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh, Delacorte is reissuing two continuing adventures featuring Harriet and her gang. In The Long Secret (1965), Harriet becomes intent on uncovering the identity of the person who is penning anonymous proverb-like notes all over town that betray a keen insight into the addressees. Money isn't everything, as Harriet's best friend learns in Sport (1979). After Sport's grandfather dies, leaving him millions of dollars, greed draws out Sport's mother, who kidnaps him. How can Sport return to life as it was before?

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


?Breezy . . . [yet] sensitive and realistic.? ?School Library Journal
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Louise Fitzhugh was born in Memphis, Tennessee on October 5, 1928. She was the only child of attorney Millsaps Fitzhugh and Louise Perkins. After attending an exclusive girls' school, Miss Hutchison's, she attended three different colleges but never obtained a degree, and traveled in Europe, before finally settling down in New York City to pursue a career as a painter. In the late 1950s she and a friend, Sandra Scoppetone, began work on a beatnik parody of Kay Thompson's Eloise, which was published in 1961 as Suzuki Beane. In 1964 she published her first novel, Harriet the Spy. Although it received mixed reviews from adults at the time, today it is widely regarded as a forerunner to the sort of realistic children's fiction that would dominate the late 1960s and 1970s. Two novels about Harriet's friends followed: The Long Secret in 1965 and Sport, published posthumously in 1979.
Contemporary social issues figured prominently in much of Fitzhugh's work for children: Bang Bang You're Dead was a 1969 picture book with a strong anti-war message and Nobody's Family Is Going to Change (1975) explored both women's rights and children's rights. Ironically, it became the basis of the Broadway musical The Tap Dance Kid with the book's minor male characters taking a lead role, thereby completely overshadowing Emma, the female protagonist. Needless to say, this happened after Fitzhugh's untimely death in 1974 at the age of 46. After her death, three picture books were also published: I Am Three, I Am Four, and I Am Five.

Customer Reviews

Fitzhugh never lost touch with her inner adolescence and created very believable characters.
Published in 1965, it is primarily the story of Beth Ellen Hansen, Harriet's schoolmate and summertime best friend in Water Mill, on Long Island.
John D. Cofield
I can't wait for her to experience the same joy and excitement that I did when reading this book!

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By BeatleBangs1964 TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 13, 2000
Format: Library Binding
I got this book when I was a child and I thought it was a scream! I actually laughed so hard it hurt!
Beth-Ellen, Harriet's shy and retiring friend is the perfect foil to the outspoken, brash, wonderfully assertive Harriet of Harriet the Spy fame. Both girls have summer homes in Water Mill, Long Island, their families' retreat from Manhattan when school gets out. Beth-Ellen lives with her kindly grandmother, who has some rather neanderthal ideas about imparting information concerning puberty, but who is a nice sort after all.
Harriet has not put down her pen and notebook. Seems that somebody else has taken up writing that summer. Quotes from the Bible and parodies of Scripture are seen throughout the Water Mill community. Naturally suspicion turns to a summer girl named Jessie who aspires to be a preacher when she grows up. Chock full of Biblical knowledge, Jessie has a morbidly obese mother and twin brother and a cute preschool sister. There is no mention of a father.
Beth-Ellen, on the other hand becomes reacquainted with her mother. Seems that Beth-Ellen's mother was a society lady, preferring parties and travel to raising a child. Beth-Ellen's natural father left some years earlier.
The reunion is a bust. Beth-Ellen's mother, Zeeney, is just as flighty and superficial as ever. Her stepfather just says "hup" and loves martinis. They try to make Beth-Ellen over, straightening her hair and choosing her clothes and insisting that she leave her grandmother and come with them. Beth-Ellen refuses, wins her case and Harriet cracks THE case -- the identity of the Secret Writer!
This book is a riot!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By *Abby Lyon* on March 19, 2001
Format: Library Binding
In third grade my third grade teacher decided to read us the beginning of "Harriet the Spy." While she got as far as when Janie tells Harriet about dancing school, she had the sequel, "The Long Secret", in the book corner of our classroom, and only one person knew about it: me. Since that day in third grade when I noticed the copy, I've read it a hundred times if not more. Who can't resist the rough and tumble Jenkins family or Zeeney or Wallace ("Hup!"). Or Bunny or Agatha or Harriet or Beth Ellen? Your life will be changed after reading it. Trust me.
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31 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Ben Culture on March 22, 2002
Format: Hardcover
If you want to keep your kids dumb, silly, sticky-faced, and ready to swallow everything our current corporate-media society is ready to throw down their throats for the rest of their lives, don't let them read this book -- get them Helen Ericson's soulless Harriet Spies Again instead.
Would you let your children read Shakespeare? Would you let them read Dickens? Hubert Selby? Charles Bukowski? Would you let them listen to Lennon or Lou Reed or Dylan or Pink Floyd? Would you let them eat organic brussels sprouts? Would you take them to Bryce Canyon? Would you give them a camera? Would you let them close the bedroom door? Would you let them cry without giving them "something to really cry about"? Would you turn off the TV? Do I sound like a pseudointellectual yet?
It's a seriously great book. I'm a cranky thirty-year-old guy who cries as I root for Beth Ellen Hansen to find herself. I find Harriet M. Welsch even funnier as a supporting character than I did in her starring role. I long for a wise Rodger Welsch to set me straight without spoiling my innocence, and I gape in awe at Mrs. Welsch's wit in the face of the appalling Zeeney. Thank you, Grandmother, for not making me go to Paris. Thank you, Janie, for dispelling my superstitions. And thank you, Harriet, for busting me!
Thank you, LOUISE! Rest in peace -- since ghosts evidently do not have the power to possess living writers.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "jesswrites" on March 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
I am a creative writing major in college and I reread Louise Fitzhugh's Harriet The Spy, Sport and especially The Long Secret over and over again. Her writing is unflinching, honest, observant and doesn't make young adults "childlike". Her characters are so very real, they express the good, the bad, and the funny of being human.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Imperial Topaz on August 19, 2001
Format: Library Binding
I think if a child is going to read this book, that the parent shoud read it either first, or along with the child, and discuss it with the child. I LOVED Harriet the Spy, both as a child, as an adult. When I bought Harriet the Spy for my dauughter, I saw this book, and bought it, too, sight unseen. I have just read it, and am quite surprised that the topics discussed in this book could have been published in 1965, when society was more conservative today. I did not like the chapter on Janie having her period. Not that I object to the subject being discussed--I just didn't like the presentation of it in this book. I think what I found disturbing about this book are the particular identity issues it brings up. Maybe it touched too closely on some things I found disturbing as a child. I was shocked with the actions and behavior of some of the adult characters in the book--I didn't like it at all. However, I will concede that by the end of the book, the behavior of the characters I didn't like was completely discredited, and Beth Ellen REALLY ends up growing as a person in this book--that's what this book is all about. I was VERY surprised how the mystery of the notes ended--I didn't expect it, and that was excellent. I think Louise Fitzhugh tied up all the ends very well, and makes some excellent moral points for kids to think about. Another issue in this book is the extreme rudeness of Harriet's behavior--her behavior in the first book didn't bother me at all--but in this book it did. At least her extreme rudeness is pointed out to kids for them to think about (I'm not talking about her spying on people--I'm talking about the way she SPEAKS to people, and the way she treats her FRIENDS). Even though the book disturbed me, I felt it WAS well-written, and had some important points to make. I would recommend it, but would suggest parents read it, too, and discuss it with their children.
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