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The Long Secret (Harriet the Spy #2)

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  1,502 ratings  ·  101 reviews
Harriet the Spy refuses to become ruffled when an unidentified person starts leaving disturbing notes all over the quiet little beach town of Water Mill. She’s determined to discover the author of the notes. And she drags her friend, mousy Beth Ellen, into all kinds of odd and embarrassing situations in her efforts to reveal the culprit. Observing in her own special, caust ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published March 12th 2002 by Yearling (first published 1965)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,289)
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Linda
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--
Colleen Wainwright
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
...more
Jennifer
The under appreciated red headed step sister of Harriet the Spy. Just as good, and in many ways, better.
Myles
"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
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Lars Guthrie
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 ...more
Kristenweg
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 ...more
Lisa
I loved Harriet the Spy, and was so excited to read this next one...but as a kid I found it much more melancholy...I 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....
V. Greene
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.
Timothy Power
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.
lucy by the sea
Lucy Longstocking review http://www.wcl.govt.nz/blogs/kids/ind...

Lots 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
...more
Hayden
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
...more
Laura Hughes
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
...more
Chris
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 ...more
Marta Boksenbaum
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 ...more
Hannah  Messler
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.
Marigold
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. Seriously...I 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 Se
...more
Joanna Marple
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
...more
Virginia Thior
This was a great sequel to Harriet the spy. It was almost as good. Totally enjoyable! A great read at he beach or in bed.
Kate
This book, from the Harriet the Spy author with a focus on one of her friends, FLOORED me. I absolutely love it.
Penni Russon
I might like this better than the first one. I loved Beth Ellen, the setting, the bigger questions at play.
Aijung
I loved this sequel to Harriet the Spy. It focused on a different character, Beth Ellen, who saw Harriet from a different perspective. Louise Fitzhugh is frank, un-precious, and masterful with her characterizations. Beth Ellen has an amorphous quality which is shed light on by the end of the novel. I also enjoy how Fitzhugh touches on issues of race and class in a subtle way. Most authors nowadays seem to sugar-coat or simply ignore the subject. I wish there were more authors who had such respec ...more
Frances Coles
I liked Harriet the Spy, but I liked this one even better. I think partly because Beth Ellen, the poor timid little rich girl, comes more to the forefront of the story. The part where her appalling Eurotrash parents come to visit her (she lives with her grandmother) was my favorite part of the book as a teenager. And it's a really great portrait, in general, of a small town that is half summer people and half white-trash. The illustrations are also wonderful. I don't really follow YA novels thes ...more
Brooke
I've read and reread Harriet the Spy probably a dozen times as a kid and recently as an adult, and I know I read The Long Secret at some point but I didn't remember much about it. I definitely liked it, but not with the same enthusiasm as I had for Harriet the Spy, which is probably why I haven't read it as many times. It's more about Beth Ellen and less about Harriet, and touches on the mysteries of puberty, religion, understanding oneself, and realizing that adults don't always know everything ...more
Nurul Hikmah S.
Tertipu! Ya ampun, tertipu waktu baca endingnya. Ugh, Harriet!

Awalnya nggak terlalu tertarik sama tokoh utamanya, Harriet sama Beth Ellen yang kerjaannya ngelilingin Water Mill buat nyelidikin pesan misterius yang tiba-tiba muncul di sana. Apalagi kadang-kadang Harriet agak kasar sih bicaranya, sebagai anak-anak begitu. Harriet agak kurang sopan sepertinya. Hohoho. Belum lagi Beth Ellen yang pasrah aja dikata-katain Harriet. Mungkin kalo diterjemahin makanya kesannya begitu kali ya, tapi saya ju
...more
Michael Sheets
Like a good mystery book? This is the book for you! The book that I read was The Long Secret. The author of this book is Louise Fitzhugh. The theme of this book is mystery. The title of this book doesn't make sense until the end of the book, when you find out who the note leaver was.
Some of the characters in this book are Harriet the Spy, and her friend, Beth Ellen. The book starts in a small town, everything ok, no major problems until Harriet finds out someone is writing strange notes appearin
...more
Claudia
I was pleasantly shocked to learn that there was a sequel to Harriet the Spy--actually, I was more shocked that I hadn't already known about it and read it, way back when. Naturally, I leapt to fix that.

It was good, and I'm glad I read it. Not as good as the original, of course, but sequels rarely are. I don't remember Harriet shouting quite so much, or for so little reason, but otherwise she was her usual nosy, indomitable self. This book focused more on her friend, Beth Ellen, and that was an
...more
Alexis
Sep 04, 2014 Alexis rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
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.
Jeffrey
What a book! If Harriet is an amazing achievement, The Long Secret is even better, and I am just beginning Sport - Fitzhugh was such a nuanced writer - able to take us so deep into the worlds of childhood but with honesty and integrity and willing to show us the darkness of that world - the anger, the fear, the isolation, the desire - wow wow wow!
Dils AB
I like the book towards the end. When the characters shows more heart and emotion. I appreciate the ending.

However, this book felt bland . I like the first book well enough, but this one, I need to force myself to continue reading it.

I have no idea why I have a hard time imagining the story. Usually I have no difficulties in building the world the characters live in, in my min. However this book, make me feel dull and without imagination. Whenever I pictured the character it is against a white
...more
Tory
It's been a long time since I read Harriet the Spy, but I was really disappointed by this book; it had a few neat plot twists, but mostly it was redundant. Maybe two characters grew over the course of the novel; I spent a lot of timing feeling bored (and only finished it for book club).
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Born in Memphis, Tennessee. She attended Miss Hutchison's School and three different universities, without obtaining a degree. According to her obituary in the New York Times, Fitzhugh graduated from Barnard College in 1950. She lived most of her adult life in New York City and had houses in both Long Island and Bridgewater, Connecticut.

She was married briefly to Ed Thompson, whom she dated in hig
...more
More about Louise Fitzhugh...
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“Shy people are angry people,” 2 likes
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