Category Archives: 1970s

365S: How to Tell Bad News

I am trying to find a story from 45 to 50 years ago. My mother was an English teacher and had a stash of older literature including a story that follows this story line. I believe it was English literature.
A man returns to the train station nearest his home after a long trip. His footman picks him up in a buggy and during the trip home they talk.
So Jeaves, how are things at home? Well sir, I hate to tell you but your fathers dog died. What? He wasn’t an old dog. Pray tell how did he die? Well sir, he overate himself to death. How could that be. What did he get a hold of that he was able to overeat? Well sir, he overate horse meat. And where would he get so much so much horse meat. All of your fathers horses died. Oh my, what killed my father’s horses? They died carrying water to put out the fire.
And on and on it goes. The house burned down from all the candles that were lit for the funeral of his mother. 
I want to say the title is How To Tell Bad News.
I really appreciate your help on this.

365O: London Ghost was Killed by Bomb

Looking for a book of short middle grade ghost stories read in 80s (so possibly 70s/80s book). Boy attends school in London and meets a girl who is revealed to be a ghost and had been killed by a bomb. Possibly a timeslip situation where he tries to save her or maybe she saves kids at the school from a fire? Not Kept In Timperley I think it is mentioned she was killed by a doodlebug, but not sure on that. Thanks!

365J: Girl At Grandparents’ Farm For Summer Wants Horse – Both Have Yellow Hair On Cover (Solved!)

I’m trying to track down the title of a children’s/young adult book from the late 1970s/early1980s.  I want to say it was a book sold via one of those “book club” orders that kids used to order books from in elementary school, where the teacher passes out the order forms with a list of book selections.  I remember it was a thin book with a dark gray cover with a pen-and-ink drawing of a young girl standing at a fence with a horse on the other side of it in a field, and both the girl’s hair and the horse’s mane were colored yellow.
The most I can remember of the story is, at the beginning, the girl – I think her name MIGHT be Jane? – is going to spend the summer with her grandparents on their farm, but first she has to get through – I THINK – the last day of school and her class’s “field day.”  I know that whatever the occasion, she sprains her ankle during a race and goes to her parents’ truck to nap until it’s over and they take her to her grandparents.  I also remember that while she’s at her grandparents, there’s a flood for her birthday and her grandmother gives her homemade gifts including a hand-sewn dress using fabric from the kitchen curtains.  And I know that there’s a horse involved – maybe a colt?  Maybe called Lightning?  I’m not sure.  I believe she wants the horse to be hers, and I think her grandfather isn’t all too keen on the idea.
I’m sorry I can’t provide any more info – I hope this is helpful!

365G: Large dinosaur made from egg boxes for a school project in a garage

Can you please help me track down a book from childhood?
I read it sometime between 1985 and 1988 (I think!) whilst at primary school in the UK. Although it could have been an older book, maybe from the mid-70’s to the early 80’s?
Book title: It was a chapter book, but I can’t recall the name at all, sorry!
Front cover description: I remember it pretty clearly, it is a night time scene (a painted illustration) of the open garage door next to a house, with the large egg box dinosaur (t-rex?) visible inside, and the light spilling out from the garage illuminating the dark exterior driveway. It was quite an evocative image from what I remember.
Description of the book: It is about a group of school friends (a gang or club maybe?) who make a large / life size dinosaur out of egg boxes (a t-rex I think?) for a school project in the garage attached to one of the children’s houses. At some point I think a child from a rival gang / club spies on them, and the rivals (possibly?) end up making their own egg box dinosaur as well (that could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure about them being spied on by a rival though).

364Z: The Parachuting Duck

I’m trying to help a friend track down a kids’ book she remembers from her childhood. She was born in the late 1970s, so the date of publication would be no later than the mid-1980s; likely earlier. She remembers the plot as having to do with farm animals – ducks, in particular – fighting in a war, and recalls an illustration of a duck or duckling using a parachute. Sound familiar to anyone? Very grateful for any leads people can offer.

364J: Russian (?) siblings go live on a farm when orphaned (Solved!)

This is actually two books that I remember reading many times in the 70’s. These were two novels. The plot was that two siblings were orphaned and went to live on a farm. Maybe they were Russian or Ukrainian? I remember the description of the girl being given a special costume to wear that had many many skirts. I also remember a description of the Wax, Dyed Eggs at Easter. I think they went to the special fair and got a very decorated cookie. The Farm was stocked with lots of food, including sausages hung in the pantry. The second novel was a little darker, because I believe there was a war.
Thank you for any help you can give with these two books.

364F: Greek/Roman epic – a tough one!

Hi there! Been looking for this for YEARS. Please bear with me as I read it in the 90’s and you know how memory goes.

Read it as a paperback. NOT a bodice ripper like romance. Was a Greek/Roman epic. NOT the book Empress of Rome. From the perspective of a prostitute from when she was a girl through adulthood and old age. Not necessarily first person but maybe.  She went to a courtesan-like school to learn the arts- painting, singing etc. I only remember like two very specific parts of the story.

**TRIGGER WARNING- Weird old school brothel tricks and sex talk**

She “ruins” herself or some such thing with a man and she needs to be presented as a virgin to some old guy or important man whatever. There’s a part where an older woman has her put a chicken egg filled with blood or something up there so that when the chicken egg breaks during sex it’ll appear as though it’s hymen blood. Don’t ask why that stuck with me, it just did.

There’s a bunch of intrigue and scandal. A bad guy is in it for sure. There’s a bunch of parties and a nice old guy painter I think. And the prostitute/courtesan is very well renowned. She falls in love with a younger soldier and eventually is together with him for years. At the end of the book she’s dying in bed and he’s holding her hand and she dies with a smile or some such thing because he had no idea how old she was because she took such good care care of herself.

Pretty thick book. Cover had a Greek/Roman depiction (maybe a man and woman? maybe a Greek building in back?) and was creme colored for the most part, I think. Had maybe a bit of red and black lettering. Books was very much late 1960’s-1980’s

I really hope you can help!! Thanks so much