Age Range: 10 - 12


Having hardly aged a day since her last appearance over 20 years ago (Sport, 1979), Harriet M. Welsch again steps into view, notebook in hand, imagination entirely otherwise. With the permission of Louise Fitzhugh’s estate, Ericson brings back all of the gang, even Ole Golly, expertly picks up threads from the first three novels, and adds a tantalizingly rude new age-mate across the street. As Harriet’s still-clueless parents leave for an extended stay in Paris at summer’s end, Ole Golly takes up her old position as governess—but in the throes of marital discord about which she is resolutely tightlipped. What with that mystery, plus the sudden appearance of a secretive, ill-tempered new neighbor, Harriet has plenty of snooping to do—in between helping her gentle friend Sport through a rocky start in public school, and ruminating about love, families, God, psychotherapy, and other preteen concerns. In the end, a memorable Thanksgiving brings revelations, new friendships, and, thanks to a convenient financial windfall (one of several contrivances), a blissful reunion between Ole Golly and her husband. Ericson catches the voices, deadpan humor, and overall tone of the earlier volumes, if not their venturesome treatment of controversial themes, in this safe, comfortable continuation, and her frequent references to past events may tempt readers young (or otherwise) to visit, or revisit, the originals. (Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-385-32786-2
Page count: 230pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2002