Vacation Time!

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Hello everybody,

I wanted to make you aware that the administrator of this page, Julie, will be on vacation and will not be posting stumpers or comments from 7/7 until 7/16.  If you send in a stumper or comment on a post and it does not show up at first, do not despair – I will be sure to get to it when I get back in town!  Hope you are all having a great summer and also get a chance to relax a bit!

Hello To All My Wonderful Stumper Friends

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Hello everybody,

Thanks for all of your patience and support as we have been catching up on the deluge of stumper requests sent to us while also preparing our store for the holiday season!  I am pleased to report that we are back on track to answer requests within a week of being sent.  My name is Julie and am happy to take over this page on behalf of Loganberry Books.  As a voracious reader, it makes me happy to see others find books they have been seeking for years.  On that note, I hope that everyone keeps reading all new posts and contributes where they can, to maximize the usefulness of crowdsourcing.  The more people commenting, the merrier!  I look forward to continuing to work with all of you, and if you have a question or concern please feel free to e-mail me at julie@logan.com

Thanks everybody!

Welcome to Stump the Bookseller by Loganberry Books!

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Welcome to the Stump the Bookseller blog!  Stump the Bookseller is a service offered by Loganberry Books to reconnect people to the books they love but can’t quite remember. In brief (for more detailed information see our About page), people can post their memories here, and the hivemind goes to work. After all, the collective mind of bibliophiles, readers, parents and librarians around the world is much better than just a few of us thinking. Together with these wonderful Stumper Magicians, we have a nearly 50% success rate in finding these long lost but treasured books. The more concrete the book description, the better the success rate, of course.  It is a labor of love to keep it going, and there is a modest fee.  Please see the How To page to find price information and details on how to submit your Book Stumper and payment.

Thanks to everyone involved to keep this forum going: our blogging team, the well-read Stumper Magicians, the many referrals, and of course to everyone who fondly remembers the wonder of books from their childhood and wants to share or revisit that wonder.  Isn’t it amazing, the magic of a book?

329H: Short Stories for Girls

I read an anthology of teen short stories probably from the 1960s. The two stories I remember are:
1) a shy, plump girl named Becky loved to bake, but she agreed to take a role in the school play because she had a crush on a boy in the play. The role was motherly (or grandmotherly) so Becky felt she could pull it off even though she wasn’t an actress. The boy crush would come over to “rehearse” but really he was there to spend time with Becky and eat the yummy things that Becky baked. He finally admitted that Becky wasn’t a very good actress, but he wanted to date her because he felt so comfortable with her in her cozy kitchen.
2) A slim, athletic girl who always wore pedal pushers had a special word “v’standen” that she and her dad invented to show that they understood each other, no other words necessary. When she got dressed up in a strapless gown to go out on her first date, her dad made a cold remark about how she looked. He wasn’t actually being mean, he was just shocked at how his little tomboy had grown up. When she came down the stairs to greet her date, her father tried to stammer an apology. She told him “v’standen” and everything was good.
Note: This is NOT “Stories to Live By” from American Girl Magazine. I bought the book, but neither story is in it.

329G: Silver Headed Ghost Children

The second story I am trying to track down from my childhood is an anthology of weird and horror stories (not really gory given the era, and written for children). It was in our school library in the early 80s and worn, so it could easily date to the 1950s through the 1970s. The story is about two children (a brother and sister) who come across and old house in the woods and find that a family of children live there who are very strange. They have silver hair and no parents. Eventually the unusual children hold a party with a big cake that has a sleigh with two small dolls that look like the brother and sister. The brother and sister find out that when the sleigh rolls down the hill of the cake they will be trapped forever to stay with the silver headed children. They flee the house and when they return the next morning they find nothing but ancient ruins. Apparently the silver headed children are ghosts that only occasionally turn up and wanted the brother and sister to join them. I'm afraid I don't recall any of the other stories in the anthology. Thanks!

329F: Creatures on Venus

The book I am interested in is a juvenile / YA science fiction book most likely written in the late 40s or 50s or very early 60s before we landed space probes there. The main character is a boy. They land on Venus and find deserts and no life, but along the way the main character gets lost and finds a valley with dinosaur-like creatures and small primate creatures. Eventually, the primary expedition finds him and all turns out well. I have searched the net but have not found any trace, I checked it our from our public library many times in the 1980s. Thanks!

329E: Myfanwy – A Romance

“Myfanwy” is a short story that was included in an anthology of teen romances.  The preface of the book had the lyrics to either “Why Must I be a Teenager in Love” or “Do You Wanna Dance?” The story involves a teenage boy who attends a boy’s school and a beautiful girl named Myfanwy would be seen at church, but would never speak to anyone, and one day, the boy is sitting under a tree reading and Myfanwy approaches him and they talk.

329C: Ghost of California chicken racer

Published before 1989, likely current setting is late 70's or early 80's. Teenage girl with mom and brother, no dad, move to a 3 story house off the California coast line. The house has a curved driveway with a tree stump in the grass. The family does not have a car, but the girl keeps hearing a car idling in the driveway. Then starts to see an oil leak when everyone else sees dirt. Later she sees a 50's style car (blue if I remember correctly) and a man in his late teens or early 20's in a bomber jacket. Man died in a chicken race when his car went over the cliff. He is asking the girl to help him find his girlfriend from that time, who used to live in the house. Detail about the house is that the circular window on the 3rd floor always breaks out even after the tree was cut. Which used to be tall enough to reach the 3rd floor window. Below the house is a small cottage surrounded by lots of flowers and the person who lives there befriends the girl. She is the new girl in school and everyone thinks she is crazy, especially when the ghost of the man in the bomber jacket starts to dance with her on the school's cruise along the coast. Of course, no one can see him and everyone thinks she is dancing by herself. The cover has the picture of the girl, brunette I think, standing in the driveway, with a see-through image of the man in the bomber jacket and his car behind her.

329B: Troublesome Cat Sent To His Room (Solved!)

I'm looking for a book I had as a child in the 1970s, though the book may be from the 1960s.  It was a small paperback with a light blue cover.  It was about a cat, I think named Henry, and his mother. The drawings were very simple pen & ink drawings.  There may have been a little blue in the drawings too, but mostly I think they were back and white and were simple.  The cat was always getting in trouble, and had to be sent to his room. His mom was cooking in the kitchen.  They both walked upright - and the mom wore an apron.  I think it may have been a series and there were other stories about him.

329A: Flute Turns Fruit Into Candy

I’m looking for a children’s book, at least 30 years old. I don’t know the title name, but the plot is about a piper man, I think, that walks with 1 or 2 children in a forest, and when he plays his flute the fruits on the tree turns into candies.
That’s all I remember, we tried in the family to locate the book but failed. Hope you can help.

328Z: Animal Entourage And A Big Tree

I am looking for a picture book I read as a child in the 1970s.  Publication would have to be before 1978, no clue what decade.

A boy goes walking through a landscape (forest?) and comes upon different animals. Each one has a musical instrument and joins his entourage. It sounds like a parade, but it seemed more like a Pied Piper of Hamelin situation where he somehow got them all to follow him. At one point I remember a big tree. I don’t remember how it ended. The illustrations were line drawings in a style similar to Ernest Shepard (Winnie-the-Pooh).

IT IS NOT:
The Parade of the Animals by James Abell Wright
Sophie’s Animal Parade by Amy Dixon
Animal Parade by Jakki Wood
Animals on Parade by Molly Burke Hamilton
Animal Parade by Clare Youngs

Thank you for your help!

328Y: Magical Friend Is Bad Influence

I’ve been looking for this book for about 12 years and would have first encountered it sometime before about 2007. It’s a children’s book about a lonely child (I believe a girl) who’s always writing in her notebook. One day she gets contacted by an imaginary friend, who communicates with her using the notebook, and this friend begins to teach the child magic. (I believe at one point, a potion using the wings of lacewing flies.) This imaginary friend’s help grows more and more sinister as time goes on, until they try to convince the child to burn down their school.
All help in finding this book would be much appreciated!!