330D: 70s (or earlier) science fiction short story featuring a gem in a velvet box used for time travel or teleportation

I am trying to track down a science fiction story that I read in the mid-1970s and vaguely remember. This was a short story that was in a compilation book in my school library. The details that I remember are at the beginning of the story. There is a small velvet box with a gem fixed inside of it (possibly an opal or pearl). I believe that there are two characters, a brother and a sister. There is some interaction where the characters are sitting on a park bench examining the velvet box. I believe that the box is used for either time travel or transportation. There may also be a mysterious stranger that guides the characters through the use of the box. I don’t have much more recollection of the story, but please feel free to ask any clarifying questions and I’ll try to assist. Much appreciated!

330C: Illustrated Children’s Anthology Of Animal And Fairy Tales (Solved!)

I am searching for a children's anthology I had as a child. It's almost certainly pre-1970s and had a red hardback cover. It was smaller than a piece of regular printer paper, but approximately 3 inches thick. My copy had the spine loved off it, so I can't recall the title. It had beautiful color illustrations, one per story, and I think full page in each case. There were a *lot* of stories but ones I remember included: The Happy Prince, with the illustration being the prince's statue with the swallow at his feet; Prince Rabbit, with the illustration being the rabbit at court if I recall; The Elephant's Child, with the illustration being the crocodile pulling the elephant's trunk; The Devil's Hide, also called The Boy Who Wouldn't Lose His Temper, with the illustration being the devil's cat in the woodpile. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

329H: Short Stories for Girls (Solved!)

I read an anthology of teen short stories probably from the 1960s. The two stories I remember are:
1) a shy, plump girl named Becky loved to bake, but she agreed to take a role in the school play because she had a crush on a boy in the play. The role was motherly (or grandmotherly) so Becky felt she could pull it off even though she wasn’t an actress. The boy crush would come over to “rehearse” but really he was there to spend time with Becky and eat the yummy things that Becky baked. He finally admitted that Becky wasn’t a very good actress, but he wanted to date her because he felt so comfortable with her in her cozy kitchen.
2) A slim, athletic girl who always wore pedal pushers had a special word “v’standen” that she and her dad invented to show that they understood each other, no other words necessary. When she got dressed up in a strapless gown to go out on her first date, her dad made a cold remark about how she looked. He wasn’t actually being mean, he was just shocked at how his little tomboy had grown up. When she came down the stairs to greet her date, her father tried to stammer an apology. She told him “v’standen” and everything was good.
Note: This is NOT “Stories to Live By” from American Girl Magazine. I bought the book, but neither story is in it.

329G: Silver Headed Ghost Children (Solved!)

The second story I am trying to track down from my childhood is an anthology of weird and horror stories (not really gory given the era, and written for children). It was in our school library in the early 80s and worn, so it could easily date to the 1950s through the 1970s. The story is about two children (a brother and sister) who come across and old house in the woods and find that a family of children live there who are very strange. They have silver hair and no parents. Eventually the unusual children hold a party with a big cake that has a sleigh with two small dolls that look like the brother and sister. The brother and sister find out that when the sleigh rolls down the hill of the cake they will be trapped forever to stay with the silver headed children. They flee the house and when they return the next morning they find nothing but ancient ruins. Apparently the silver headed children are ghosts that only occasionally turn up and wanted the brother and sister to join them. I'm afraid I don't recall any of the other stories in the anthology. Thanks!

329E: Myfanwy – A Romance

“Myfanwy” is a short story that was included in an anthology of teen romances.  The preface of the book had the lyrics to either “Why Must I be a Teenager in Love” or “Do You Wanna Dance?” The story involves a teenage boy who attends a boy’s school and a beautiful girl named Myfanwy would be seen at church, but would never speak to anyone, and one day, the boy is sitting under a tree reading and Myfanwy approaches him and they talk.

327Y: Giant Cat Saves The Day (Solved!)

It's a collection of children's stories. Possibly bedtime stories? The only one I can remember is about a baker's cat. The town find him annoying. One day he drinks yeasty water that the Baker left out then sleeps in the sun and grows huge. The town has a dike and it springs a leak but the giant cat lays down in front of it until they can fix it so he's a hero?? They bring him food and scratch under his chin with pitchforks to keep him in place.

327J: Late 50’s/Early 60’s Long Island NY Grade School Reader

I’m looking for a book I remember so I can reconnect with the late sister I never knew.
I was born in 1965. I have one living sister (June, born: 1957) and one who passed away before I was born (Susan: born 1948).
I think the book belonged to my sister Susan, who was killed by a drunk driver in 1963. My parents couldn’t bear the pain so most of her things were not kept–too many memories. A few schoolbooks were left in the basement. I remember one especially…it could have been Susan’s or my other sister, June’s. I hope this information provides you with an idea of the time period/range of dates involved. Fairly positive it was before the mid-1960s.
The last time I saw it was a very long time ago, probably around 1973. I’ve been looking for it ever since. It was a grade school reader, blue boards…would have been used on Long Island, NY, in either Suffolk or Nassau County. I believe the first story was about boys vs. girls building a tree house. I think the girls put curtains, etc. on the windows. There are pictures throughout the book, but I don’t think the reading level was too young (not Dick and Jane, for example). There was also a story about a circus with an illustration I clearly remember of a lady in a tutu standing on the back of a running show pony.
I don’t remember much else. I think it was fairly thick, and the standard size for a hardback book.
Our address in New York was in St. James, NY, but my sister Susan only lived there for about two years. Prior to that I believe my family lived on Duffy Avenue, Hicksville, NY. This might help with the school districts.
If you could find the title for me, it would mean the world, because I could try to track down the book. When I was child I liked reading it, but I think when my mom saw it, it was either given or thrown away because it was too painful for my parents. Today the book would also be a connection to my late sister — even though it wouldn’t be her copy, it would still be something she read.
Many, many thanks. I’m sorry I can’t provide more information.

327A: Collection of scary stories from the late 70s or early 80s (Solved!)

I'm trying to track down a collection of short, scary stories that I read when I was young. I remember a story about a girl with a red cape (I believe her name was Lottie). There was also a story in the book about Sarah Winchester, the heir to the Winchester rifle fortune who continued building a mansion and never stopped construction because a medium told her she'd die if she stopped. I know it's a long shot, but I'd love to be able to find this book again.

326T: 1950’s young detective gang? (Solved!)

I was in elementary school in the early 90’s and remember reading a series of novel/short stories in class from a book series. They were similar to Encyclopedia Brown and Nate the Great, but the time frame of the books was more low tech (they had flashlights or torches I think, but don’t remember TV ever being mentioned), probably circa 1930’s to 1950’s so a little before Encyclopedia Brown time frame.

I remember 3 distinct stories that happened. The main characters were young, elementary school aged, and engaged in small town mysteries and adventures. One of the stories involved one person from this young gang following someone or something into a local cave and the main character followed them/him but tied raw liver meat to his shoes and told a friend if he didn’t come out to get a police officer and a tracking dog to find him from the scent of the liver meat on his shoes. They ended up finding him and the person lost in the cave.

A second story involved a new teacher the main character didn’t like and he intended to frame him by making him appear to be an alcoholic and planting alcohol in his house. The plot may be located in a baptist southern town as the main character thought the alcohol conviction would be a death sentence for the guy. I don’t remember much of the rest of that specific plot except that Mint Schnapps were part of the story and how the teacher was purportedly covering up his alcohol breath. The teacher found him out and apologized to the kid that he did not like him being his teacher but the town had appointed him, the protagonist reconciled with him eventually.

A third minor story was the protagonist forgot to study for an exam and tried to contract mumps from a friend of his who was out sick that same week. He snuck over to his friends house and asked him to breath in his face repeatedly. The protagonist was young, coming of age, used m’am and pal a lot in his vocabulary. The book or series may have been published in the 70’s or 80’s but I don’t remember a whole lot of technology being used in the stories though, and the prohibition aspect lead me to believe it is older. It could be Encyclopedia Brown but I’ve read through what I believe to be all of the book plots and didn’t see it.