333Z: Australian Teenager on the Road, Searching for Biological Mother

In the first half of 2002, I got most of the way through a self-contained YA mystery series. I think there were ten books in total, each about 100-120 pages, probably published recently. I was attending a Canadian high school at the time and discovered the series while volunteering at another school’s library. I read all but the last one (I suspect the school year ended before I had a chance to borrow that one). I’d like to know how the series concluded, but every attempt I’ve made at finding these books online has hit a dead end. I either find nothing, or I find an earlier online description of the series that I wrote in 2015.
The protagonist is a young woman from Australia (as I recall), about sixteen, named something like Blake or Blaine. The series has her name in the title along the lines of ‘The Blake Journals’ or ‘The Blaine Files’ or the like. The first volume opens with her leaving home in a carefully thought-out plan to run away. She disappears in the middle of the night, grabs her possessions, and takes to the road on some kind of motor scooter or moped. We eventually learn that her goal is to locate her biological mother, who vanished years ago. As I recall, there’s very little in terms of action-adventure: this is more about a quiet and painstaking solo quest.
The books’ cover images were nearly identical. They all had the series title in large yellow-and-black typography, staggered a bit for a vintage-typewriter look to convey mystery/edginess. If I had to guess, a publishing house cranked these out in a short period of time as a one-off, but clearly the series intrigued me enough that I read about 90% of it, and now I’m finding it tantalizing.

 

333Y: SciFi Plot Fragment – The Harmony and The Melody

I read this book at the Boulder Library, it was written in this century (I think).
Earth humans are subjugated by a technologically superior species.  At first the foolish Earthlings (are there any other kind?) think the superior species is a bunch of evil meanies.   They come to find out that the meanies are actually helpful in protecting humans from far more pitiless and powerful adversaries, who have factions called Harmony and Melody, and when a defector from the adversary conveys information to the meanies, it is compelled to destroy itself because it’s contaminated by inferiors.

333X: SciFi Plot Fragment – Tacretude, species on the run from galactic gene police

I read this book at the Boulder Library, it was written in this century (I think).
The plot was a little reminiscent of Sundiver.  It was a story of species (humans among them) who were on the run from galactic genetic police.  The time scales were long enough for tectonic plate subduction to bury middens.  A species’ essential nature and behavior was called Tarcretude or Tacreteude.

333R: Interactive Alphabet Sounds

I am looking for a children’s interactive alphabet sound book that was purchased in the 90's at either Price Club or Costco. I believe it had a white cover with the soundboard of alphabet letters attached to the side of the book. Each letter would play a sound. All I can remember is that the “T” was for trombone. This is all I can remember at this point. Thank you!

333P: Boy in Wheelchair Can Astral Project

Grant Molina, cambriawk@gmail.com[/privaate]

Book was read in the late 80's - early 90's.

Highlights:

Boy is confined to a wheelchair, living with his grandma in a trailer. The town fair is near his home and he really wants to attend, but isn't able to. Somehow he astral projects himself to the fair. The boy's ability to astral project increases. At one point he notices a man who is suspicious or is about to commit a crime. The boy follows the suspicious man to he apartment. The apartment is filled with doll heads hanging from the ceiling.

Sorry if this description seems jumbled, it was second-hand information from my sister. I am trying to help her out. Thank you.

333M: Boy (Artist?) Finds Flower Fairy, Keeps it in a Glass Dome

This is a book my sister checked out from our Elementary School Library when we were kids. It’s a picture book. We read it some time between 1996–’99. Absolutely no later than 2001, as we moved to a different state and elementary school that year. I would guess that the book was published in the 80s or 90s. I thought the main character was a prince because I seem to remember him being dressed in fancy medieval purple clothes, but I’m not sure. I think it was just a medieval sort of setting in the story. My sister said she thought he was an artist who was sketching throughout the story. Obviously we don’t remember those details super well. I don’t remember how much text there was because I don’t think I was able to read when my sister got it and our mom read it to us. I don’t think it was a Golden book, but I’m honestly not sure about the cover or anything more technical like that. It MIGHT have been a taller book (rectangular and long on the vertical sides). I’m pretty darn sure it was a standard length bedtime story/picture book. What I remember the most is the major plot points, so that’s what’s most important to follow.
Plot:
The boy (prince or artist) is out in a beautiful garden (I think he was trying to sketch flowers, but I’m not sure) and he finds a beautiful fairy inside a flower. I think he tries to draw her but decides to take her home so he has a better chance to do so. He keeps the fairy in his house by the window in a glass dome (just like the dome over the rose in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast) and he tries to draw her again but just isn’t able to capture her beauty. The fairy needs flowers to stay alive, so he surrounds her with vases full of beautiful flowers. I think he must have told someone about her or something because I think people from all over end up visiting to see her, and they bring flowers until the room she’s in is brimming full with flowers. (Maybe this was how he made money for a while?) One day/night when there are no visitors, he decides to try to draw the fairy again (either that or he just wants to look at her again because she’s so beautiful), and he realizes that she’s still dying despite all the tons and tons of flowers around her. He realizes that she has to be outside with the living flowers in order to remain beautiful and survive, so he decides to let her go. It was kind of a bittersweet ending, and I remember having the feeling that he would never see her again, but she would at least be alive.
Illustrations:
The illustrations in this book were stunningly beautiful. They were more on the realistic end of the scale (NOT cartoony or made of scraps of paper or anything kitschy), and I think they were maybe pastels, watercolors, or colored pencil illustrations. I remember the main boy being blonde with bangs and almost shoulder-length hair (but I could be totally wrong about that). The fairy was the kind that was long, thin, and very elegant. I think she might have been dressed in a flower or dressed in very little, if at all. I remember lots of pictures of big, brightly colored flowers like Easter lilies, day lilies, and irises, etc. I have a specific memory of a two-page spread with the boy on the far left side looking at the fairy on the right side while it’s under the glass dome and next to the window, with a few flowers around it.
We both have absolutely no idea what the text in the book looks like (I only remember pictures), and we have absolutely no clue as to the title or author, but we’ve been wanting to find it and have kept our eyes peeled for 20+ years, so any help would be SO appreciated. So far I really haven’t found anything that seemed even a little bit similar.

333J: Victorian Mansion Cross Sections

I’m looking for a children’s book I had back around 15-20 years ago. It was a large picture book of a Victorian mansion (or castle?). Each page was another cross-section of a wing of the mansion, and a brief description and clue of something specific to search for on that page before turning to the next. I remember one page involving a dance/ball, and another involving a pillow fight, and one involving a garden/outdoors. Each cross-section depicted multiple floors, and the top ones typically belonged to the wealthy family while the lower ones depicted the staff/maids/bulter’s quarters, etc. I believe the protagonist is a young female child, and I vaguely remember there being a pelican involved — not sure if that was a character or part of the title; perhaps a mascot who guides the girl through the book. The pictures were very artistic and detailed, somewhat sophisticated and very amusing, so likely a book for children over 8 years old.

333I: Boy’s Overgrown Chalk Art Washed Away By Rain

Boy chalks beanstalk or garden all over the pavement/sidewalk of his town, possibly as part of an art competition. Then rain washes it away, leaving only what was done in an alley way.

Children’s fiction - read in 1980/1990s. He was given an allotted space to do his chalk art but he went up the walls and through alley ways etc. At the end it was all rained away.

Beautiful illustrations as I recall - not a chapter book but a child’s story book.

333G: Three foster brothers in love with the same woman who became a town sheriff (Solved!)

Three boys were taken in by the same woman and grew up together. One of them met this girl at what she considered her “secret place”, but she said she would share it with him. His two foster brothers followed him, curious where he was going. When one brother teased him for hanging out with a girl, she punched him. After that, they grew to respect and like her. All through high school they were the unholy foursome. Her parents had money, but they ignored her. She envied the brothers; their foster mother took her in too.
The three boys all fell in love with her, and one night when they were drinking, they all had sex with her. She woke up ashamed, and ran from them. She became a local sheriff. I think her dad is mayor or assemblymen, but he acts like he is president – he is much more important in his head than he actually is, always harping about their “image”.
The book starts with the three men in their office. They went into business together as contractors or builders and they are looking over blueprints, when there is a phone call. It is their foster mom, calling to tell them that their girl has been beat up/attacked at work, and is in hospital. She doesn’t want them to know, but the mother is worried, so she does call them.
The men discuss it – how she ran from them, and they have tried to give her time, but they want her back. All three of them want to be in a menage relationship with her. They built a house for her, and for them, and did it so it would be everything she ever wanted, to show her they love her.
The one brother says “Let’s go get our girl”, or something like that; so they drive up to the hospital, and she is uncomfortable. They tell her they are done letting her run and avoiding them. She can’t go home and take care of herself, so she agrees to go with them. When she is released they take her to their new house. Eventually, they tell her what they want. She doesn’t think it will work – one will get jealous of the others, and it will ruin their friendship, plus she worries about her reputation as a sheriff, and what her parents will say. But she decides to give it a try.
Along the way her apartment is blown up when she goes to get some clothes, and it is plain that someone is after her.
I hope you can help me with it. I read it probably 5-6 years ago? Not quite sure.

332Z: Exceptional Animals, “Goodness Gracious!” (Solved!)

Seeking a children’s rhyming picture book, published sometime in the last 10 – 30 years; describes major characteristics of several animals (i.e., big ears of a fenec, sharp teeth of something, big spots of leopard) using the phrase “Goodness gracious!”;  final page is “Goodness gracious, what a noise . . . from girls and boys!” and it shows children playing outside at recess.