359Z: Christmas activity book

This is a book my family and I have tried quite a lot to find, but with no luck. It had fallen apart when I was a kid and I still had pages but no cover or publishing information. What I remember about it:
-It was all illustrated and most pages didn’t have color. It was kind of a taupe color, not black and white drawings.
-It was a kind of activity book, but there were also recipes and information about Christmas traditions.
-It was probably from the 1980s, maybe 1970s.
-The characters in the book were a family that all had Christmas names (Noel, Holly, etc). There was a son, daughter, baby, parents, and maybe a grandma and grandpa. Their last name might have been Kringle, but I’m less sure about that.
-I can remember the pictures pretty vividly, but have no idea what the cover looked like or what it was called.
I think that’s all I’ve got. Thank you for any help you can provide!

359S: Spoiled Girl Takes Out Frustrations on Poor Girl Nicknamed “Safety Pins”

I am trying to find the title and/or author of a paperback book bought at a book fair from the late 80s early 90s.

Here is what I remember of the book:
It is about a girl named Patty or Patti whose parents were just divorced. She is living with her mother and because of the divorce, money is tight and her mom cannot afford a lot of basic things for the girl. The girl wears old clothes/an old bathing suit that is falling apart and gets teased by other girls who call her “Safety Pins” because she wears a bathing suit or clothes held up with safety pins. She volunteers or goes to some stables to help take care of horses, and cares for them, but cannot afford to ride them. There is another girl there named Stacey or Stacy who is rich, spoiled, and mean to Patty, and also treats her own horse badly. Stacey throws a tantrum because her horse doesn’t get a fancy twisted bit for her bridle, but a plain one, and screams at Patty for this oversight. I believe (this may not be correct) that Patty earns her lessons to ride a horse because she works hard at the stables and takes good care of the horses there.
The other thing I remember about this short paperback is that it had very simple black and white line drawings in it–maybe one in every other chapter or so.
It was written for kids in elementary school, I believe.

359O: Teen Romance on Spring Break Cruise

This is an 80s, possibly early 90s, teen romance. A girl goes on a spring break cruise with her grandma. She has a crush on one of the ship’s workers. And also meets another passenger that is the “funny” boy. The ship’s worker leads her on a bit. One funny part is; she takes way too many tanning pills and turns orange trying to impress him. She ends up with the funny boy in the end. I thought his name was possibly Jace or something similar.

359K: Fantasy/Sci-Fiction 1970s/80s

I read the book in the late 1970’s early 1980’s. It would have been a fiction/science fiction paperback book from the local library (Manchester, Georgia). I remember a female protagonist child (and her brother) who were lost members of technologically advanced race studying the planet but were members of private tribe? She was being called back (dreams). She had to run away from her tribe. While in route her brother stepped on something in the sea (perhaps a sea urchin) (Spoiler alert! ………. and died.)

359F: Early 90’s Humorous Horror Children’s Book

I imagine this will be one of the more difficult ones for you simply due to my lack of information. This was a childhood book of mine that had to have been published in the late 80’s-early 90’s.  It was a series of 10-12 short stories accompanied by cartoon-ish illustrations focused around a punk kid getting into all sorts of spooky and weird situations.   Unfortunately, at the time I couldn’t read, so all I have are memories of the illustrations and some themes of one or two of the stories. The illustration of the kid was the early 90’s typical baggy jeans, backwards ball cap, long (I think) blonde hair. The cover of the book was of this kid spray painting some graffiti on a brick wall. I think whatever he was spray painting was the title of the book.
A few of the memories I have of the stories include one where the kid gets sucked down a drain and another where the kid has no bones. I’m pretty sure there were a few stories where he encounters monsters as well.
Thanks for your help! My brother and I have spent years trying to find this book!

358W: Letter Seems to Lead to Boyfriend Stealer’s Death (But Doesn’t)

I don't recall the tile or author. I purchased the book via Scholastic books around 1985 in Toronto, Canada (from school).

Cover: A blond girl (I don't remember what she was wearing)

Synopsis: One summer, the blond girl visits her cousin who lives in another city (their mothers are sisters). The Christmas before, the blond girl visited her cousin. Her cousin had a boyfriend but she was sure another girl was trying to steal him away. So the blond girl and cousin want to get back at her. They write her secret admirer love letters asking her to meet somewhere. The "boyfriend stealer" drives out that night but dies in a car crash. The blond girl and cousin are distraught with guilt. That summer, the cousin tells the blond girl that she thinks the boyfriend stealer is haunting her. Strange things have been happening lately. Anyway, we find out that the strange events were due to the new gardener who loved the boyfriend stealer. He knew about the letter and blamed them for her death. But the boyfriend stealer thought the secret admirer letters were coming from the gardener, who would stalk her, so she ignored them. The night of the crash she was actually on her way to visit her own boyfriend. She never intended to steal the blond girl's cousin's boyfriend. They were only friends. Phewph! Very long, I'm sorry, but I'm hoping you could help me find this book.

358H: Cold War spy thriller set in Africa

As a child (sometimes in the 80’s or early 90’s) I read a book about a brilliant and charismatic Cold War era African leader who uses military cunning to successfully invade two of his neighboring countries (I believe Togo and Benin) .

The plot revolves around the leader setting the two countries against one another by having a mercenary frame one country for planting a bomb in the other. The leader than promises each country his support in a future war, but ends up invading and taking over both countries.

The book features an American or British white citizen visiting the country, befriending the African leader and falling in love with with a black tall singer. He joins the final battle in the book.

I also recall a minor scene where a pedophile communist spy was able to discover the plot by getting a government official drank, but he is killed prior to being able to share the info.

Another character is a British white secretary which works for the African leader and becomes his mistress.

I did extensive online research but could not find the book.

358B: Boy Loses the Smallest Nesting Doll

Looking for a children’s book about a boy who snuck and took a nesting doll. While he was sitting on the curb he dropped the smallest nesting doll in the storm drain. I believe he took the doll in a lunchbox? Maybe tried to go to show and tell? He had to tell his mom he lost the doll. My mom read it to me in the 80’s when I was little.

357Y: 1980’s young reader fiction set in Boston

I am trying to find the name of a book I read in 5th grade in 1983-84. It was a chapter book about a young girl whose family (just her and her parents) had to move, I think, because of one parent’s job change. She tries to prevent the move by demanding her parents find her a bedroom in a tower, and to her chagrin, they succeed. I don’t know that the book actually names Boston as the move destination, but looking back the girl clearly moved to the Back Bay area in Boston. There she befriended a group of loners, oddballs and outcasts. One of them is called Gertrudestein (one word) in the book. She is an older divorced woman who left her husband Lloyd because she could not bear his insistence that his name be pronounced “yoyd.” The young girl and a friend (maybe a similar-aged boy) decide to steal a swan boat in the middle of the night to take their menagerie of friends, who for various reasons are socially unacceptable as riders during the daytime, on a ride. A decent portion of the story is spent planning the heist.
I have a daughter in 5th grade myself now and am so desperate to find and share this book with her!