The Long Secret

The Long Secret Who s been writing those strange notes popping up all over town Notes like How sharper than a serpent s tooth is a rotten parent or You need pull to get a rich man into Heaven than to get a camel thr

  • Title: The Long Secret
  • Author: Louise Fitzhugh
  • ISBN: 9780064403320
  • Page: 369
  • Format: Paperback
  • Who s been writing those strange notes popping up all over town Notes like, How sharper than a serpent s tooth is a rotten parent or You need pull to get a rich man into Heaven than to get a camel through the eye of a needle Harriet the Spy is going to catch the mysterious note leaver if it takes her all summer It sounds like someone religious, she reasons, like TheWho s been writing those strange notes popping up all over town Notes like, How sharper than a serpent s tooth is a rotten parent or You need pull to get a rich man into Heaven than to get a camel through the eye of a needle Harriet the Spy is going to catch the mysterious note leaver if it takes her all summer It sounds like someone religious, she reasons, like The Preacher, or his fanatical sidekick, Jessie Mae, who brings her Bible to the beach.Harriet s friend Beth Ellen is no help at all her mother has just returned from seven years in Europe and is driving Beth Ellen crazy But Harriet s doing fine on her own And the secret she finally uncovers is going to surprise everyone.

    One thought on “The Long Secret”

    1. How can anyone not love a book that starts out with a cashier with "mean eyes" receiving an anonymous note that reads "jesus hates you"?C'mon; seriously--

    2. I enjoyed every bit of Harriet the Spy as a girl, and, while it made me anxious to read (because you knew she was going to get caught!), re-read it many times. But The Long Secret is the book I continue to re-read as a grown woman. It shares the same strengths of great character portraits, plotting, and sense of place that "Harriet" had, but this sequel has a more languid, mysterious, quirky feel, and dares to leave things hanging. Set on the shores of the wealthy New Yorkers' summer beach playg [...]

    3. EVERYONE, screamed Jennifer. YOU must READ this BOOK! In my head, I talk like Harriet the Spy! But as I am wise adult (ha), I try not to inflict that on people. SeriouslyI wonder if my inner voice developed as a result of reading and re-reading and re-reading Harriet the Spy and The Long Secret as a child?! Of course sometimes my inner voice is Harriet (WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU???!!) and sometimes it is Beth Ellen (I don't know who I am and I want to hide).I loved Harriet the Spy and The Long Secre [...]

    4. "Oh great, a first menstruation book."That is about what I thought, rolling my eyes, when I was fairly into the book, but really that kind of exasperation is not only unfair, it does little justice to the substance of The Long Secret. I'll pause to allow indignant people to remind me that it's a great part of the substance of the book, a milestone towards the end of childhood and underlying Beth Ellen's uncertainty about herself, the future, the world, God. The girl has a lot on her plate. Fitzh [...]

    5. First, look at this awful cover from the 1984 paperback edition of this book. It makes Harriet look like the main character (she's not) and Beth Ellen doesn't even have curly hair. The original cover, with Louise Fitzhugh's illustration, is much better. An illustration of Beth Ellen and Harriet at the beach, it tells us many things about the story -- 1) they're at the beach! This book takes place in the beach town of Water Mill, where Beth Ellen and Harriet, mere acquaintances at school in New Y [...]

    6. I loved Harriet the Spy, and was so excited to read this next onebut as a kid I found it much more melancholyI think now that I look back on it, it's because the book actually does capture that melancholy feeling of puberty, of having to leave childhood behind, of being separated out from childhood by what is happening to your body. That is part of what is brilliant about the book. But much more evocative for girls, than boys, I'd think.

    7. Worst cover ever short-list. Why? The author made it perfectly clear what the girls look like with her own interior illustrations. Well, it's an awful book anyway. I suppose it's meant to have some humor in it, but most of the jokes are so mean-spirited, making fun of what people like Mama Jenkins and Wallace look like, for example. I miss Sport; he was the only redeeming feature of the first book imo. The only redeeming feature of this is the mystery. It's worse than Catcher in the Rye, and Har [...]

    8. What I love about this book is the touching sense of the desperate boredom of adolescence that Louise Fitzhugh evokes without ever directly addressing the issue. And Harriet M. Welsch has always been a hero to me.

    9. Like 'Harriet the Spy' and 'Sport,' a groundbreaking work of children's literature. I don't know if Judy Blume read this before writing 'Are You There, God?' (published in 1970, five years after 'The Long Secret') but two of the central themes are similar--puberty and religion--so there's little doubt that Fitzhugh opened the door for clear-eyed frankness on such subject matter. Like Margaret, Harriet and her intermittent friend (and the real star of 'Secret') Beth Ann occupy a lofty socioeconom [...]

    10. I loved it but I have so many questions.The main story in this book is really about Harriet's friend Beth Ellen. She is so quiet and mousy but she goes through a lot during the course of this book. At one point, I almost fell out of my chair laughing, and by the end, I doubted that I had understood anything. I was happy for Beth Ellen, but like Harriet, I didn't understand her either.There were some other characters and things that happened in the book that I would give anything to ask Fitzhugh [...]

    11. 1.5/5 stars. What happened? Harriet the Spy has been a favorite book of mine throughout my life, and I loved it just as much when I reread it recently. For me, it's one of those books that just makes me feelzy, probably because it was a consistent part of my childhood. I could understand and enjoy it more now that I am older, which also enhanced my reading experience. Plus, Harriet has always been such a relatable book character for me--she loves reading and writing, and she's observant and quir [...]

    12. Lucy Longstocking review wclt/blogs/kids/indLots of people have read Harriet the Spy and loved it, but not so many know about the two follow up books. Harriet returns in The Long Secret, which is a wonderful summer holiday story. The long Secret begins with a nasty (but sort-of funny) secret note and Harriet’s burning desire to find out who sent it. She enlists her mousy friend Beth Allen to reluctantly help her, and they have lots of odd encounters along the way. I like the peculiar character [...]

    13. I remember reading this book as a kid and not being too nuts about it, but after rereading it, I just love it. One of my favorite things about Fitzhugh's writing is that she makes most of the adults in her books out to be complete idiots. That scene in the Shark's Tooth Inn-classic. I think this book may just be too much for all but the most sophisticated of kid readers. Who of them are going to see Agatha Plummer as a total cougar, and Wallace ("HUP!" love that), as a money grubbing gigolo. The [...]

    14. When I first read this, I was disappointed by the new angle on Harriet. I'd built her up as rather a hero and had overlooked her more grating aspects. Too, I think the book made me uncomfortable because though Harriet impressed me, Beth Ellen is probably more who I am, too.Age brings perspective. This really was quite the book.

    15. The Long Secret is a follow-up book to the classic children's novel Harriet the Spy, and while Harriet is a prominent main character, the main story is essentially her friend Beth Ellen's coming of age story. This novel takes place over the summer, when Beth Ellen and Harriet live at their summer homes away from their usual friends. They tend to be little more than acquaintances during the school year, but out of necessity are closer friends during the summer. There is a main mystery plot to the [...]

    16. The general consensus is that the Harriet the Spy sequels are not worth reading. While they're better than a lot of books and I'm glad I read them, I have to agree that they are not up to the caliber of Harriet.It turns out that what makes Harriet the Spy so great is Harriet herself--lively, cynical, nosy, adventurous Harriet. In a conversation once, I realized that one of the character types I most like to read and watch in stories is the type who would unselfconsciously say "I'm awesome." Ther [...]

    17. It took me inordinately long to read this book considering it's length, but there was just so much to unpack. AND I was surprised by the ending.

    18. While it doesn't quite live up to its classic predecessor ('Harriet the Spy'), it's still fun to revisit some familiar characters. Apparently intended to be a more serious book than 'Harriet,' 'The Long Secret' takes up some more sensitive themes (menstruation, parental neglect, religious belief) with mixed results. Controversial at the time, the conversation about menstruation (between two twelve year old girls who have experienced it, and Harriet, who hasn't) is sensitive and laugh out loud fu [...]

    19. I just love Fitzhugh's realism. I was prepared for this sequel to HARRIET THE SPY (still need to read SPORT) to disappoint. It didn't. Set out in The Hamptons on Long Island (where the wealthy New Yorkers summer), Harriet and two school friends spend the summer by the sea. Told from multiple points of view, with Beth Ellen's character and story are really developed, and we and Harriet realize how quick Harriet was to jump to conclusions about this mousy friend in the first book. The long Secret [...]

    20. I found this book on my own bookshelf. I can't believe it's possible that I never read the follow-up to Harriet the Spy, one of my all-time favorite books. But I don't remember reading it, so maybe I haven't read it as an adult. I'm excited. Updated to add: Long Secret is more about Harriet's mousy friend Beth Ellen than about Harriet, though it follows both of them through their adventures one summer in the Hamptons (they are very posh!). It is pretty fantastic, but not quite as good as Harriet [...]

    21. I think that I may have enjoyed this book if I had read it after reading Harriet the Spy as a child. Reading it now I felt distant from the characters, as if I've lost the part of me that understood what it was like to be a kid. I think what is more likely is how different Harriet and Beth Ellen's lives are from mine. As a kid I might have connected with them despite the different time period and experiences, but the whole time I read it I felt disconnected. Maybe it isn't a great book or good w [...]

    22. "That's it, thought Beth Ellen: Never be afraid to wear glasses."Can't remember when I first read this, but I know I was originally put off by the somewhat negative depiction of Harriet; I felt disloyal. But now I can appreciate Fitzhugh's realism. I will always adore bossy and screechy Harriet, but that doesn't mean that I can't cheer on Beth Ellen, too. "The mice shall inherit the earth, it's said."Click below for a wise and impressive review (and more fabulous Fitzhugh quotes):jezebel/362472/ [...]

    23. Love reading children's fiction, especially nice to read children's books in the summer when something light to read at the beach is just what you want. FItzhugh is amazing! I like the editions with author's original illustrations. Story of 2 rich girls from NYC who go to the same school but are not close during the school year. Their families summer in the same beach town and so in the summers the girls spend lots of time together. SOme crazy grown-ups who dont act very grown up and a mystery t [...]

    24. I read this book once as a child and hated it. After re-reading a series of essays about Harriet the Spy, I decided to give this one another chance. So glad I did. It is incredibly sophisticated for a children's book. I still love the character of Harriet and she remains my favourite part of the story. But there is a lot here about families, religion and relationships. The scene where they talk about menstruation was priceless. The book is actually quite witty.Recommended.

    25. “Shy people are angry people”I read this book many years ago and really didn't really like. I can't remember why now but that's besides the point. I, suprisingly, enjoyed this more than Harriet the Spy. I liked Beth Ellen as a narrator. I enjoyed feeling her emotions throughout the book. The mystery in this book had me hooked and the ending was great.

    26. One of my all time favorite books from my childhood. More than Harriet Welsch, I identified with Beth Ellen Hansen. Harriet felt like the child I wanted to be, while Beth Ellen is the child that I was. Interestingly I have never read Harriet the Spy and one day soon I may pick it up, but The Long Secret is a brilliant book standing on its own.

    27. I might like this better than the first one. I loved Beth Ellen, the setting, the bigger questions at play.

    28. This book, from the Harriet the Spy author with a focus on one of her friends, FLOORED me. I absolutely love it.

    29. I liked this and would have given it the three-star rating to indicate as much but there is a short stout brown & white spotted dog in here named Moo-Moo and she gets a star of her own.

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