Susan Rowan Masters
Author and Playwright

The Secret Life of Hubie Hartzel


Hubie is a daydreamer. When he daydreams, he lets his imagination go wild. He imagines he's a rock star, or a heavyweight champion, or sometimes, that he's adopted. In class he doodles a lot. He draws funny pictures of his teacher, Mrs. Bunce, and of his friends. Daydreaming and doodling are good ways to escape when you think your life is miserable.

But real-life problems aren't solved by daydreaming, and Hubie's got some big problems. He's overweight; he's the favorite victim of the class bully, Marruci; and he's not doing well in school. To top it all off, his father wants to put his beloved Fred Ferkle, the family cat, to sleep. Hubie is convinved life stinks. But maybe, just maybe, there's something Hubie can do to change all that.

The ever-imaginative Hubie is sure to entertain readers as he tries to make at least one of his dreams come true.

Also available in Spanish.

A teaching guide is available.


Hubie Hartzel made up his mind that very morning: he'd put up with Ralph Marruci long enough.

But there was a hitch.

It all started before class when he and his best friend, Frank Vitanza, were walking together down the hall. For the third time that week, Marruci -- no one ever dared call him by his first name -- charged up from behind. He wedged his five-foot-four and one-hundred-twenty-pound body between Hubie and Frank, shoving them aside like swinging doors.

"Otta my way," Marruci growled.

"Hey, you stupid jerk!" Hubie called back. "What's left of your brain is coming out your geeky nose."

The hitch was that Hubie waited till Marruci was clear across the hall and practically out of earshot before telling him off. Deciding that he'd been pushed around long enough was easy. Doing something about it was the hard part.

Hubie thought over his problem all morning. Why did he have this trouble, anyway? Nobody else in his family did. That's when Hubie remembered Frank's telling him just yesterday that he was adopted. Now Hubie started to wonder about himself. Was he adopted too?