295N: The Lonely Doll meets The Curious Clubhouse

I read a juvenile novel in the 1980s (from my school library). It may have been from the 1960s or 1970s about a very lonely girl who moved to a new house in the country, and while exploring, she found a secret playhouse that had dolls and teddy bears in it, and I think they came to life. Kind of like The Lonely Doll meets The Curious Clubhouse, but definitely not either of those! It had illustrations, maybe an orange cover, and I feel like Secret may have been in the title, and the author’s last name began with G or H?

295J: He tries to introduce her to the skeleton

Please help me find a childhood book probably written in the late 50s 60s or early 70s. Similar to The Secret Garden, it was a weird tale of a boy named, I believe, Micah who gets lost in the woods and he’s gone for such a long time he has to learn to survive eventually he finds an old moss covered skeleton that he befriends similar to that movie “Castaway ” where Tom Hanks befriends a basketball. Anyways, the boy is all alone. I think he builds some sort a little hut and learned to survive on his own. I think, he’s about 12 or so and eventually someone finds him like a little girl or something and he tries to introduce her to the skeleton and she freaks out and runs away so the boy’s left alone again in the forest with his skeleton friend and I don’t remember the dénouement but it’s kind of sad. Eerie yet beautifully written and haunting tale. It wasn’t very long but I think I was about 10 when I read it and it transfixed me.

294U: An orthodox home in South Africa

I read this book in South Africa as a setwork book in the 70s . I’m sure it was in Afrikaans about a young girl growing up in a very orthodox home, never saw a picture of herself until late teens. She falls pregnant to either a young traveling salesman or her father, I cant remember the fine details but she somehow gets away, with the young man I think.

294I: The French intensive method

A large size paperback, 1970s comprehensive instruction manual for growing a kitchen garden and orchard by the small-space, French-intensive method. It had realistic line drawing illustrations (looking as if the source of the drawings was photographs. ) Also appeared to be UK English in origin as illustrations showed brick walls around the garden as if it were on an estate. Instructions for annual and perennial vegetables, as well as fruit shrubs and trees were included. Specialty techniques such as espalier were shown.

293P: Everyone floats away on a river of pasta

I would have read this book in the mid to late 1970s and I am pretty sure it was published around then. It was about a woman who owned a diner, but she was a terrible cook. Her customers all complained about the horrible food — I remember one diner saying, “This tastes like a burnt tire!” Somehow she finds (traps? meets?) a genie who promises to help her. He makes delicious spaghetti and meatballs that everyone loves, but the magic he used to make it goes out of control and fills the diner with spaghetti and meatballs until everyone floats away on a river of pasta. I seem to recall that the illustrations were primarily in black and white with splashes of color. The drawing style was sort of crude and comical — heavy, rough lines and the faces of the characters were somewhat grotesque. The main character’s name could be Frieda? Possibly. Also, this is definitely not Strega Nona which has a similar magical spaghetti pot.

292W: The Pope and a Jewish doctor

I do not remember the title, it is a novel about 30-40 years old by a popular writer.

The story is that a Jewish doctor is called to treat the Pope who has a heart problem and in the first 20 pages or so follows a full and complete description about the treatment and how the Pope will feel and react following the procedure.

292U: Mr. Down Stomps the Keystone (Solved)

A children’s book from the 1970s or earlier. I am not sure of the title but it might be ‘Mr. Down’ or include the words ‘Mr. Down’. The setting is possibly medieval England. Townspeople are trying to build churches to pray in but every time they complete one, Mr. Down (a little troll-like guy or gremlin type character) comes in the night to stomp on the roof and destroy the church. They go through several designs all of which Mr. Down stomps on until they finally design an arch with a ‘keystone’ at the top. This is a classic Gothic style arch and no matter how much  Mr. Down stomps, it will not collapse. I used to check this book out of a small Methodist church library in North Carolina every single summer of my childhood.  It would mean the WORLD to me to find this book again.