Loved all of Fitzhugh's books. As a kid, I loved the part in SPORT where he and his buddy had a moment while wrestling.
Sorry, but I thought Sport was a really bad book. I understand the publishers rejected it, Fitzhugh put the manuscript away, untouched at her death, and it was later published posthumously to capitalize on Harriet's success.
I have no idea whether Sport is actually good or not -- I last read it 30 years ago and as an 11-year-old, I enjoyed it.
Harriet the Spy was the best, of course. None of the rest of her work was up to that level.
The estate authorized a fan to write an updated "sequel" to Harriet the Spy ... really lame.
I enjoyed Sport, especially the scene where he brings all his friends to tea with his snobby mother and Harriet takes notes the whole time.
I loved Harriet the Spy. And weirdly, I enjoyed "the Long Secret" too, even though it's a "girl" book. Beth Ann was an interesting character, the opposite of blunt Harriet.
The drama about Beth Ann and her crazy mother was the best part of the book.
We had a pretty long and interesting thread about this a couple of years ago... (see link)... I remember because I had a couple of glasses of wine, thought about Harriet after all these years, and jumped on the Internet to read about her. One more glass of wine and I was on DL.
Since then I reread both Harriet the Spy and The Long Secret. The sequel, of course, wasn't as good as the first book -- but it was far better than I remembered and had a lot of world-weary observations that would have escaped me as a kid. It had the feel of a '60s art film.
Never read the third book in the series, but Nobody's Family Is Going to Change was very good and the message was aimed clearly at (among others) junior lesbians and gays.
Nice thread - thanks for the link!
Janie was DEFINITELY gay, but I'm not convinced regarding Harriet, who seemed to have feelings for Sport (which in "Sport" Janie seems to resent).
I, too, realized Bunny was gay, but as a kid of roughly that age I already knew (of) similar guys.
As for the movie, I rather liked it.
It's always a toss up between Harriet and The Lonely Doll by Dare Wright as my faves
Someone should make a movie of the Long Secret. Not a kids' movie. R8 is right - it's a 60's art film.
I didn't know Harriet but I loved Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys.
Any other Junior Fags who loved the book as a kid? Janie was a dyke, but Harriet ... I'm not convinced.
Loved Ellen Tibbets.
Harriet was a junior bisexual, of the grumpy dykey sort. More Carrie from Sleater-Kinney/Portlandia than Kinsey 6.0 Peppermint Patty.
I loved Trixie Belden too!
Nancy was ok, but Trixie was tough.
THE LONELY DOLL by Dare Wright is heartbreaking, as was the life of its author.
I loved Harriet so much as a kid - as an adult I went as far as buying a 1st edition 1st print - but I swear it's only now, reading this thread, that I realise that the book spoke to me not only as a secret diary keeper, but as a confused gay 10 yr old who connected with all of the main child characters; Harriet with her tomboy look and attitude, Sport with his purple socks and gentleness, Janie - a female mad scientist!! Tween dyke heaven. And Harriet spying on the world from a place of isolation, feeling so different from everybody else, it all felt so familiar.
Anyone else know the picture book Suzuki Beane? Louise Fitzhugh illustrated it, and Sandra Scoppetone, also lesbian wrote it, a kids book in the voice of a beatnik little girl in Greenwich Village, raised by artist beat parents. It was meant to be a send up of Eloise, I think, tho I loved it to death as a kid, was probably my first vision of life in New York. Wish I still had my copy, they go for 200 and more now so haven't picked one up. But one day ....
Desilu produced a pilot of Suzuki Beane, but it didn't sell. There's a piece of it on YouTube.
Louise didn't do well with structure so The Long Secret is different from HTS in that she would go into the publisher's office, riff scenes, as the secretary transcribed them.
Sport did not wear purple socks. That was The Boy with Purple Socks, whose name, later in the novel, was revealed to be Peter. He wore pruple socks because his mother once lost him in a crowd and decided that if he always wore purple socks, he would be readily identifiable.