Position:Home > Classics > Sport


Press:Random House Childrens Books Yearling (March 12, 2002)
Author Name:Fitzhugh, Louise


Eleven-year-old Sport Rocque is living a happy life, keeping his father’s absentmindedness under control, and managing the family budget. 
When Kate, Sport’s new— and nice—stepmother enters the picture, things couldn’t be better.
Then comes the news: Sport’s wealthy grandfather has just died and Sport is a multimillionaire.
But millions of dollars equals millions of problems, as Sport soon discovers when his mother returns and kidnaps him to double her share of the inheritance! Life at the Plaza Hotel is no fun when you’re a prisoner.
Will Sport manage to escape and return his life to normal?

From the Inside Flap

Eleven-year-old Sport Rocque is living a happy life, keeping his father?s absentmindedness under control, and managing the family budget. 
When Kate, Sport?s new? and nice?stepmother enters the picture, things couldn?t be better.
Then comes the news: Sport?s wealthy grandfather has just died and Sport is a multimillionaire.
But millions of dollars equals millions of problems, as Sport soon discovers when his mother returns and kidnaps him to double her share of the inheritance! Life at the Plaza Hotel is no fun when you?re a prisoner.
Will Sport manage to escape and return his life to normal?

From the Back Cover

Meet Sport, Harriet’s best friend, in this hilarious companion to Harriet the Spy—now available in paperback!From the Audio Cassette (Unabridged) edition.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Louise Fitzhugh’s children’s books have been acclaimed as milestones of children’s literature.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter OneDon't you understand that I was once fifteen years old? That I looked at my mother the same way you're looking at me? That I see the hatred in your eyes and the despair and the love and all of it?""I'm eleven," said Sport. 
"I'll be twelve next month."Charlotte Vane had turned away.
Her long, thin body leaned toward the window, her forehead touched the drape for one brief second, and then she turned back again."You've got a goddamned literal mind.
You listen to me, little boy, because you've got one or two things you better get into your head right now.
I'm not a dreamer like your father.
I like money.
I like money very much."Sport sat looking up at his mother, his face blank.
He shifted one leg uneasily."And don't wiggle.
If there's anything I hate more than little boys, it's wiggling little boys."Sport had a dark feeling, like being an unfriendly spider.
I want to get out of this room, he thought, I want to get out and go back home and make my father pick up his socks."Your grandfather, Simon Vane, the old wretch, is down there in that sitting room dying right this minute.
Your grandfather liked money a lot.
Your grandfather made thirty million dollars.
Made it.
Do you understand that? He made it himself.
He got up in the morning and he went downtown and he made it."Sport thought of the thin, small body downstairs, of the hands you could see through, the gaunt, tiny head, the clouded, unseeing eyes, eyes that used to light up, and the mouth that used to say, "Ah! Here's my boy! Here's my real son," whenever Sport walked into the room."He didn't sit around all day in front of a stupid toy, tap-tapping, tap-tapping, that damned tapping, you couldn't get away from it.
He didn't dream .
dream about writing a book.
Where did a book ever get anybody?"Sport opened his mouth and then closed it.
He had wanted to say, "But he published the book.
Dad published the book and it was good.
He gets royalties.
I know just how much." But there wasn't any use.
What were those royalty checks next to thirty million dollars? The figure loomed in Sport's mind.
He saw himself writing it in his ledger, the one where he kept track of the household spending for himself and his father.
He saw it written in red ink.
Imagine owing thirty million dollars."I know what's in your dirty little boy's brain," said Charlotte loudly.
Sport jumped.
"I know you want to get away from me.
I know you wish to God I'd go back to wherever I came from and never come back.
You want to crawl back to that dirty hole of an apartment your father lives in, where he can't even buy you a pair of shoes, much less enough to eat." Charlotte turned and screamed, "He's no good.
He's a rotten, no-good bum, your father!"Sport held his breath.
He felt somehow that this was the dead end of his mother's rage.
She couldn't go any further.
There was no further to go.
He waited, watching her gasp, start, and then stop herself from continuing and turn away.With her back turned to him, she said quietly, "Get out.
Get out of this house."Sport got up quickly.
He went out the door and closed it quietly behind him.
Once in the dark hall, all his breath came out in a long whoosh.
He stood a minute listening, looking into the gloom of the big old house, then ran as fast as he could down the steps.

From AudioFile

Sport lives an exotic life. 
As the only child of an absentminded artist in New York City, Sport budgets, takes care of bills, cooks, and cleans to keep their small loft apartment running.
A female reader is an odd choice for a book centered on a boy, but Anne Bobby has a youthful, winning voice.
Her vocal characterization is weak, but there aren't a lot of characters, and listeners won't wonder who's speaking.
The production gains momentum when Sport inherits millions from his late grandfather and his mother suddenly wants custody.
This serviceable reading of a solid story will make for good family listening.
© AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Comment List (Total:16)

  •     When I first moved to New York, I made it a point to go to the Olde Heidelberg (now Heidelberg) for dinner because it's where Sport's father takes his girlfriend, Kate, on their first date. That was three years ago; I read "Sport" sixteen years before that. (No one has ever accused me of normal behavior.) Suffice it to say, this book remains one of my favorites. Charlotte Vane (Sport's evil, avaricious mother) remains one of the most convincing--and terrifying--villains in children's literature and, in my opinion, Sport's father, the sweet, absent-minded writer Matthew Rocque, ranks right up there with Rhett Butler and Atticus Finch as one of those fictional fellows you'd marry if he were only real. And of course, Sport himself is a gem--funny, smart, and streetwise, he's the kind of kid we all wish we once were, or still could be. An absolute must-read.

  •     CUTE

  •     I have been a long-time Harriet the Spy fan and didn't know about this book till recently. I loved reading more about Sport and his relationship with his dad.

  •     i'm 21 now, and i remember when i was in fifth grade i joined battle of the books. no one knew what sport was about, we thought it was just about.. sports.

  •     It was a great pleasure to discover that Louise Fitzhugh has written two more books besides "Harriet the Spy" which is one of the greatest children books ever. As an adult I was thrilled to be able to reunite with all the great characters and especially with Sport, one of "Harriet the Spy" most beloved characters. This book however, was quite a let down. Not a total disappointement, as some of the parts do hold part of the magic ( I for example loved the part where Sport looks around the table to check all the good foods prepared by Kate) but not in a way that is able to overcome the flaws of this book.I believe the best thing about "Harriet the Spy" was the fact that the characters, and especially the heroine were so unique - they were something you have never met before. There was never any heroine quite like Harriet and all the events of her tale are new and refreshing (at least in the way these events and happenings are interpreted by the heroine). This feeling does not exist when reading about Sport. The characters do not capture your heart in the same way because their portrayal is somewhat corny and stereotyped. You do feel you have read something similar before. This is especially true of Sport's mother and her sister which are as "bad" as bad can be and are therefore totally uncredible. One finds it hard to believe that the mother, even if she was acting out of pure greed would not at least try to win her son's heart or act so stupidly. I did expect characters which are rounder figures and not just "evil" - as the mother (did she have to look evil on the outside too?), or "good" as the new stepmother appears to be. The friends are also portrayed in the same manner and in spite of Fitzhugh's effort to inject some social issues (the policemen are after the black kid) the book does not rise above the level of an OK story.

  •     just like steak that's mentioned in this book, the book is well done, VERY well done! beautiful job for a brilliant story.

  •     Not as engaging as the first two in this series but my 10 yo son and I are enjoying reading it together.

  •     I read Harriet the Spy and it was one of the best books I ever read. When I bought Sport, I thought that it would be just as good, if not better. It turned out to be terrible.

  •     My daughter is 11 and had to read Harriet the Spy in school this year, she loved it so we bought all the rest of the books. I would recommend this book to all kids to read.

  •     Eleven-year-old Simon "Sport" Rocque has lived exclusively with his dad since his parents divorced when he was four. As his mom Charlotte prefers spending time in Paris rather than with a little boy, Sport is pretty content with almost never seeing her.Suddenly Sport's wealthy grandfather dies, and everything changes. While he's left millions of dollars to Sport, there are conditions: he must live with Charlotte six months out of the year in order for her to be able to receive her share of the money. Due to her greediness and fondness for rich living, Charlotte is determined to do whatever it takes...spread lies about the kind of home Sport's father and new stepmother provide for him, or even kidnap him so that he cannot be returned to his father's custody.Readers who were first introduced to Sport via Harriet the Spy may be a bit disappointed, as there are only a few small mentions of Harriet (the first not until halfway through the book!). In addition, the tone is starkly different; while Harriet also dealt with some weighty issues, such as the loss of her lifelong nanny and the cruel bullying of her classmates, Sport's problems are at a much more serious level.It's also worth noting that there are two instances of the N word in this book. Given the context of the scenes (and the date of the book's publication) many readers may not be too concerned. Yet of course there are also many parents today who feel the word is not acceptable in any context, and especially not in their children's books. Thus the warning, so each can make an independent educated decision.

  •     I like this book because it is very "what will happen next?" And it is very good. I only rated it at four stars because there is blanked out swearing and boring parts

  •     One of my favorite childhood books, I purchased it so my 11- and 13-year olds could enjoy it as I had. Of course, I then had to read the book again myself.

  •     I thought this was the weaker of the three original "Harriet" books. Still something you should read if you liked Harriet The Spy and The Long Secret, though. The ending on "Sport" was surprisingly abrupt. The idiomatic kid-dialogue can get tiring too.My favorite Harriet book is The Long Secret.

  •     I first read Sport some 7 or 8 years ago, and I loved it! I still have a copy though its worse for the wear. I cant believe it is out of print. The publisher should be ashamed. This book should be available for kids today to read because it gives a realistic impression of a young boy's hopes, wishes, disappointments, and problems with his family. The scenes with Sport and his mother are particularly scathing, with a wonderful counterbalance with his loving and warm father. I think many children face the issues Sport did as far as family goes. This book DOES NOT make everyone in the family all warm and gooey , it makes them realistic and complex, like life really is. Louise Fitzhugh, if you ever read this, you are a fantastic author and you should try very very hard to get this book republished.

  •     Sport is a book that, when I first found it, I had absolutely no idea what it was about...I had never heard of the Harriet the Spy stories. I do remember the cover, though, and I think that's what drew me to it. Once I began to read it, though, I was drawn in competely. Quotes from the book and scenes described in it have stayed with me, and it's been at least 10 years since I've read it. I haven't been able to find it, and I've looked, because it's certain to be on my bookshelf again if ever I see it. Please...do yourself a huge favor...read Sport again and again...and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

  •     My 10-year-old son read this book to tatters, so I bought him a Kindle version. A bad word or two but nothing shocking. Fun!


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