309C: 60s or 70s urban YA

This will probably be too little to go on, but I’ve been racking my brain for a year trying to remember a book I read when I was in middle school. It was YA and from the late 60s or 70s. It may have been a bit more of a pulp paperback than YA, but it was definitely geared towards young readers. It had an urban setting and there was a racial understanding component to the plot. I think the protagonist was white and he ended up befriending an African-American classmate. Almost anything else I try to remember about the plot (was there gang tensions? were they accused of a crime and had to hide out?) then convince me I’m remembering a different YA novel I read around the same time. The one thing I do seem to remember is totally pointless and trivial, but the main character sees the girl he likes in a corner store and causes her to lose her balance by knocking her in the back of the knees. I know it’s not much to go on, but I’m open to suggestions and guesses. Thanks!

307S: A kiss on the the elbow

I remember a library book about a group of children who discovered they had magic powers. I don’t believe it was any of Edward Eager’s books, and I also don’t think it was Mrs. Coverlet’s Magicians.

The tell-tale sign of magical ability was being able to kiss one’s own elbow. (Spoiler: I can’t.)

Can you help? I would have read it in the early 1970s, but I have no idea when it was published. I’m guessing the 1950s.

307M: There may or may not have been a brother

I’m trying to help my daughter find a book (part of a series actually) that had a family, possibly from the Victorian era ( the sisters had poofy dresses) . There may or may not have been a brother. There was one scene where two of the sisters, or a sister and a friend, are talking and the conversation paraphrases 1 Corinthians 13:12 about ” through a glass darkly”. There is also a  different scene where one girl is on a balcony looking down on people. She read this book in middle school in the early 90s, but thinks the book was printed in the 70s or 80s. She read above her grade level, so it was not necessarily a middle school book. Also she remembers that where it was placed on the shelf in the library meant the authors last name was not at the beginning or end of the alphabet.

Thanks!

 

307L: A white mouse hidden in the illustrations

Looking for over sized, illustrated book of fairy tales, likely published in 60s or 70s. It was about the size of an Encyclopedia volume. Green cover with a giant on the spine. Illustrated by many artists, not a singular illustrator. 3 Little Pigs illustrations had a white mouse hidden in the illustrations. The illustrations in Jack the Giant Killer were scary and realistic. The book contained Puss in Boots, Sleeping Beauty, The Tinder Box, Matchstick Girl, The Brave Little Tailor, and many others. Your help is appreciated.

307K: Berries in front of the fire

I had a book as a child that was about 10-12 inches long and about the size of normal tablet paper. It was hard back and rather thin with no more than 50-75 pages but probably much less. The outside cover was a light bluish color leaning toward the teal side of the blue spectrum. It had whimsical pictures with each short story and was about animals such as a Rabbit, Hedgehog/Porcupine and possibly a raccoon. There are a few stories I remember a little of. Most of what I remember are the illustrations and I have been searching near and far for many years. I was born in 77, so it had to have been published before then, right around then and or no later than very early 80's. One story, one of the animals takes his fathers boot and makes a flower pot out of it for his mom. Another story there is a rustic fireplace and a porcupine/hedgehog and another animal are eating berries in front of the fire. Another, there is a sort of party outside and the table was made from a tree with stumps as seats. This is not any of the classics like Peter rabbit, wind in the willows etc. Its very obscure in my opinion. I cannot remember the author or title but I will know instantly if its "the" book if I could just find one of the illustrations but I have been unsuccessful for so many years. I hope very much that you are able to help me.

307I: Boy and Agoraphobic Sister Orphaned in NYC (Solved)

I am looking for a fiction book I read as a child, probably in the 1970s, about a brother and sister living in New York City (possibly Soho?).  They are left alone and their parents do not come home, so the brother learns to scrounge food on the streets.  His sister is afraid to go outside.  The boy meets a children’s book illustrator in another building, who begins using him in her drawings.  She takes him to the beach (the Rockaways?) in her convertible, and I believe she eventually adopts the boy and girl.

307F: Half-Dragon General

In the 80’s (at around 10-13yrs old) I read a YA fantasy trilogy about a warring general who was half human half (lizard/reptile/dragon?) who’s skin is covered in (tiny blue) scales. He was looked down on for this deformity but his difference was part of his driving force. The trilogy follows a young girl who was captured or sold into the war party/entourage and follows her journey as the general conquers lands etc. I can’t remember much more but she eventually becomes his mistress or concubine type of slave maybe?

Paperback trilogy, Young adult section, fantasy fiction. It seemed new at the time but it could have been written in the mid to late seventies or early eighties? It seemed to be set in a slightly game of thrones non-era era? All three books were of average novel length. I partially remember the covers being full colour, maybe a central picture in a darker arched border?

306J: Funny Practical Retelling of Fairy Tales

I am looking for a small hilariously funny book in which the author goes and analyses or re-tells several famous fairy tales using common sense and pointing out the truly ridiculous bits.

I remember in the pulling apart of “Little Red Riding Hood” he ponders why in the world everyone would name a kid after an article of clothing and wonders what if she had been “Little Dirty Tee Shirt” instead.

In “Snow White” he points out that the mirror is essentially creating the whole problem by maliciously or cluelessly making the queen wildly jealous. He also thinks that “Snow White living in the glen, with the seven little men” rather suggests they are getting up to something and is further evidence of the mirror’s troublemaking.

In Rapunzel he comments upon the whole idea of naming your child after a root vegetable and the wisdom of robbing witches.

In Rumpelstiltskin he thinks everyone is rather hard on the poor guy, and wonders why when she knows what his name is, and her baby is on the line, the queen decides it is funny to play around and wind him up by giving the wrong names at first.

The book was (I think) a half-sized hard back (half height but same length as a hardback book? Size of say an Edward Gorey single story like The Doubtful Guest.)  I think it had a black and white drawn illustration on the cover.

I know I gave my copy to a friend around 1983-1985 so it was in print before then. I am thinking it was probably published after 1972 as I think I would have been over 13 when I first received it. My vague memory is that my mother bought several copies as gifts and it was being sold fairly prominently one Christmas season in NYC possibly at Barnes and Noble.

I have tried searching for it but only ever get Fractured Fairy Tales back and that is not it.

I would really enjoy finding this book again!

 

306G: Anti-Jewish Demons

Adult book. Was in paperback format in mid to late 70s. Book was about one of the 4 arch -demons (as in demons from Hell) who became known to members of the Jewish race. This particular demon held special hatred for the Jewish people and had been an SS officer during WW2 era.
They were able to capture the demon (who was in human form) by someone wearing the vest of Abraham. They imprisoned him in the crypt in China which is surrounded by the Terracotta warriors who actually were guarding the tomb to ensure none came close to open it. One follower of the demon tried and the terracotta warrior killed him with a bow. The crypt was actually a prison built specifically for him. Another prison was built for one of the other 3 arch-demons under the great salt lake in Utah prior to the prison being submerged thousands of years ago.