Book: Harriet Spies Again

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Harriet Spies Again

Author: Helen Ericson
Publisher: Yearling

Harriet M. Welsch has just received the best news of her eleventh year—Ole Golly is coming back! Harriet can still remember how sad she was when her beloved nanny married George Waldenstein and moved away. But the circumstances of Ole Golly’s return remain unclear. Where is George Waldenstein?

With Mr. and Mrs. Welsch living in France for three months, Sport confiding that he has a crush on a girl at school, and the arrival of a mysterious new neighbor, who’s going to require a whole lot of spying, Harriet already has her hands full. Then she overhears Ole Golly saying she’s innocent—but innocent of what? Harriet the Spy is on the case and ready to help Ole Golly in any way she can.


Purists may shudder, but Harriet the Spy is back—even though her original creator, Louise Fitzhugh, is long gone. Author Helen Ericson has developed an intriguing new episode in Harriet’s life for her latest fans, many of whom were introduced to Harriet the Spy—the book—only after the movie. When Harriet’s former nurse, Ole Golly (who went off to live in Montreal last year after getting married to Mr. George Waldenstein), temporarily returns to her old post in the Welsch household, Harriet is deliriously happy. Unfortunately, Ole Golly is not acting like her brisk, no-nonsense self at all, and Harriet has been instructed to “expunge” the husband from her memory. What’s up? This looks like a job for our girl sleuth extraordinaire! Side plots involving Harriet’s friend Sport’s impending puberty and a mysterious new neighbor keep things moving along at a rapid pace, but there’s no denying it: it’s just not the same. Ericson captures much of Harriet’s essence, but she seems to be trying too hard. And the denouement (fairly easy to figure out early on) is downright odd. Still, for those who are hungering for more Harriet, this taste serves as a nice little snack. (Ages 10 to 14) —Emilie Coulter

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