Harriet is impressed to learn that the girl she has befriended, now called Annie Smith, is the person who not only created three names-Rosarita Sauvage, Yolanda Montezuma, and Zoe Carpaccio-but also three distinct personalities to match. This girl has potential. Being a spy has always been rather solitary, so Harriet is glad to have a new friend and spy partner. But then Harriet realizes that Annie reveals very little about herself, and indeed, is not telling the truth about where she goes and who she meets on the weekend. Sport says he's in love with the girl, but Annie lets drop she's in love with an older man. Harriet can't understand anything at all about this thing called love-even when she asks Ole Golly for advice, she still wonders. But as Harriet unravels Annie's mystery, she comes to appreciate the many different kinds of love there are.
Harriet the Spy, Double Agent by Maya Gold continues the series begun with the approval of Louise Fitzhugh's estate (Fitzhugh was author of the original Harriet the Spy). The first of the spinoff books was Harriet Spies Again by Helen Ericson. Here Harriet takes on a spying partner, Annie Smith; but Annie operates under many pseudonyms, and her names may not be all she's hiding. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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May 06, 2007
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Excerpt from Harriet the Spy, Double Agent by Louise Fitzhugh
CHAPTER 1 Harriet M. Welsch took out the flashlight that always hung from her spy belt, snapped off the overhead light, and stepped into the bathtub. It was precisely 9:29 p.m. It felt strange to stand in the tub fully dressed (except for her sneakers, which would not do), but spies were accustomed to doing strange things. Harriet peered through the narrow exhaust window, set over a twin row of black and white checkered tiles, and hoped that her contact, the girl with four names, understood the importance of promptness. A faint glow of peach-tinted streetlight shone through the pane. Harriet stared over the treetops of East Eighty-seventh Street at the carved marble cornices on the south side of the street. It was snowing again, and a light stripe of powder lined every bare twig. She wished they'd agreed on an earlier time. Nine-thirty was dangerously close to her bedtime, when one of her parents might venture up to the third floor to bid her a distracted goodnight. Revise, she informed herself. First thing tomorrow. She narrowed her eyes, squinting into the snowfall. A circle of light snapped on in a dark window across the street. Could that be it? The angle looked lower than Harriet had expected. She held her breath as the new light snapped off and on twice more. The signal! Harriet lifted her flashlight and clicked her switch in the same pattern. A grin spread across her face. It works, she thought, already starting to dream up a message code far more complex than a simple flash- three for "I'm here." Didn't sailors have some kind of code alphabet, like those colorful flags that flapped over Long Island yacht clubs and showed up on beach towels? Semaphore, that was the name for it. She and the girl with four names could invent an East Eighty-seventh Street semaphore, with different flashlight patterns for every letter. The phone rang in the hall. Harriet jumped from the tub, singing out, "It's for me!" before her mother could pick up downstairs. She skidded into the hallway and grabbed the receiver, tucking it into her shoulder as she pulled the long cord through her bedroom door. "It worked!" "What worked?" The voice was a boy's. "Sport?" "Of course. What worked?" "Nothing," said Harriet, hoping she sounded blase. "I thought you were Annie." "Oh," said Sport. "Annie." The crack in his voice, one note childlike and one newly husky, made him sound like a bad country singer. "How can her real name be Annie Smith? Annie Smith." "So?" Harriet twisted the phone cord around her left thumb. She didn't approve of repeating oneself, aloud or in prose. Harriet was going to be a writer, and she knew that every word mattered. Her best friend, Sport, who dreamed about playing first base for the Mets, was not as precise. She had high hopes for Annie, however. The signal had flashed at exactly nine-thirty. Annie had moved to their neighborhood back in September, under mysterious circumstances. The two- doctor couple across the street, Morris and Barbara Feigenbaum, who had houseplants and patients instead of children, had taken in Barbara's twelve-year-old niece. This new neighbor had introduced herself to Harriet as Rosarita Sauvage, to her moony-eyed schoolmate Sport as Yolanda Montezuma, and to others as Zoe Carpaccio. It had come as a shock to discover, a few days before at Thanksgiving dinner, that all three of these remarkable names belonged to the same girl, whose birth name was duller than toast. But Annie herself had potential. The girl had created not one but three new identities, each with a personality to match. There was also the unanswered question of why she'd been expelled from Sport's school