I read this book as a kid in the 1970s. I don’t remember much, except that a teen boy wakes up in the morning and soon realizes that nobody can see him. He thinks he’s dead. He can’t really interact with the world, but he does manage to ride a bus without falling through the floorboards. It might be that he never existed–I seem to remember that people weren’t wondering where he was. It might have the word “disappear” in it.
Category Archives: Solved
370R: Teen boy with blue hair (maybe!) flees bad guys and escapes to parallel world with help of mongoose (maybe!) (Solved!)
I read this book as a teen in the early 1970s. It had a typical teen book dust jacket design from the 70s: pen/watercolor painting of profile of boy with blue hair (I think) and I have a memory that it was called “The Blue Boy” or something similar but all searches have turned up nothing appropriate.
Anyway, this memory is decades old, but what I recall is that this teen boy (probably orphan? no parents present in the story that I can recall) is somehow involved with a gang of bad people. Perhaps boy has magical abilities that they are taking advantage of for ill-gotten gains? Perhaps boy has blue hair as a gimmick? Maybe there is no blue hair but I swear there was. In any event, boy decides to escape from his situation and is pursued by bad guys who want to recapture? kill? otherwise cause problems for him. Boy is on the lam and has an unexpected mysterious ally who brings him food and perhaps finds him safe spaces to live. In my memory this ally is a talking mongoose, but crikey, how does this narrative even make sense? The boy is astonished to get ripe mangoes when in his world (the world of our narrative), mangoes are still green and unripe; months and months away from ripeness. It turns out this ally is from a parallel world, and the book ends with the ally helping our boy escape his pursuers by moving to the parallel universe. In my memory, book ends with boy on a sunrise-shining beach in this parallel world.
I read it in English, but nothing about the story seems to be set in North America (mongoose and mangoes, or at least mangoes even if the mongoose is a figment of my imagination or faulty memory).
370K: Teenaged Girl With Strict Mom Buys Pink Clothing And Wants To Ride Horses Like The Cool Girls (Solved!)
I’m afraid I don’t have a lot of details in trying to identify this book, but here’s what I’ve got:
It was a young adult book that came out in the early to mid-‘80s – I want to say no later than 1985. It was told first person from the view of a teenaged girl with a very strict mother who monitored everything she did. The girl (I don’t remember her name) didn’t fit in at school and wanted to have clothes like the cool girls – I think the mom insisted on sewing all the girl’s clothes herself. She secretly went shopping and bought a pink angora sweater and cranberry-colored corduroys and had to hide them from her mom.
I also seem to remember that the cool girls were riders at the local horse stables, and the girl wanted to ride there to be like them, even though she didn’t know how to ride. What sticks out most in my memory is that the writing style was very formal and stilted. I remember one such sentence: “The following morning, rain was falling when I woke.” Another was when the mom ultimately discovered the girl wearing the secret outfit and “Mother knelt to examine the construction” of the pants.
370H: 80’s teen book about a girl going through some stuff (Solved!)
Hello! God help me, I cannot remember this book for the life of me, but I read it all the time back in middle school!
It was a teen book about a girl who ate marshmallow fluff sandwiches and her father had a girlfriend Miriam, who owned a clothing boutique called Miriam’s Magic, I think. That’s all I remember. Help!
370A: Book about a Japanese Girl & Girls’ Day (circa 1959) (Solved!)
I’ve been trying to remember the title of a book that I read many times back circa 1959. The book was fiction about a young Japanese girl living in Japan. She was learning about Girls’ Day, which involved setting up an elaborate display of traditional dolls representing the Japanese Emperor and Empress and other figures. The girl and her mother had tea and tradition food so that the girl could learn manners and decorum. The book was hard-covered and illustrated with hand drawings in black and white. I don’t remember if the entire book was about Girls’ Day, or if that was just my favorite part of the book.
369Z: Kid’s Picture Book About Too Many Cats Living in a Grocery Store Until They are Given Away to Customers (Solved!)
I am hoping you can help me. My mom read a book to me as a kid but I cannot remember the name or find it on Google for the life of me. It’s driving me crazy!
It is a picture book about a man who owns a grocery store and a cat lives there (or comes to live there at the very beginning maybe). More and more cats come to live at the store until they are causing all kinds of trouble for customers, like knocking stuff over. I remember one page was a drawing of a cat popping out of the fish kept in the ice section and scaring a customer. The store owner decides to give away a cat with every bag of groceries purchased. One page is a customer (an older woman I believe) taking home 2 cats with 2 bags. The bags are brown paper bags. It ends with the store owner only keeping the original cat. I think the original cat was an orange tabby but I am not sure about it, sorry.
I remember the pictures take up the page or at least most of it.
It was a softcover book (or at least my copy was).
My brother and I were born in 1993/95 and both remember it so I’m guessing it was read to me in the late 90’s or maybe early 2000s. I think it wasn’t an older book when I read it because of the drawing style- at least it didn’t look old fashioned. It’s a colorful, but not unrealistically colorful picture style. Not overly artistic/beautiful. Just fun, clear, and kid-like pictures.
The book is in English, but I don’t know where it was published.
I’m guessing it was not a super popular book because I have googled it like crazy and can’t find it.
369O: The Wheel of Time (Solved!)
The book I am looking for is a young adult novel published sometime before 1975- most likely late 50s or 60s.
In the book, a war widow with a boy and a girl takes a job as caregiver to an old country house. The children find a book in the library to “”change the wheel of time.” They some how see three children of a century before and become involved with them. At the end of the book, they children are discovered to be the heirs of the house.
Thanks in advance-I appreciate the information!
369I: Girl summer magic or witchcraft (Solved!)
I read a book sometime in the late 70s/early 80s that was purchased from my school through a flyer or book fair. It was a chapter book that may have had an illustration or two. Best I can remember, a girl is spending her summer break maybe in a new home or at a relative’s home. It seems like the summer may have been rainy and she was exploring the house. She found something in a basement or cellar that was either magical or had to do with witchcraft. She experimented with the magic but it seemed to turn out badly and there was an explosion or climactic event in the basement. In the end, all was resolved with a pleasant ending. I don’t remember the book centering on any other characters so only one main female child. I don’t remember the title or the cover but I have a vague recollection of orange and purple on it. Here’s hoping someone remembers.
369E: The Naughty Frog (Solved!)
My wife and my mother in law remember a children’s book that they read together in the late 80s or early 90s, long since lost–and they have been searching for it for years to hopefully share with grandkids.
The book has illustrations only, no words, and has a similar illustration style to a “Frog and Toad” book.
The book features a little boy with a pet frog. The boy takes the pet frog out on a boat, and while out on the water to somehow another little frog joins the ride.
The first pet frog is secretly jealous of the newcomer and when the boy is not looking, the first frog kicks the other one off into the water, but then plays innocent.
These covert aggressions continue, and are apparently very funny. But the boy eventually figures it out and scolds the naughty frog.
I look forward to any help that you can give!
369D: The Secret Passage, Straight to the Bakery (Solved!)
I’m not even sure why this particular picture book continues to stick with me. Was it the thrill of exploring a secret passage that sparked my love of exploration? Was it my first surprise ending? Was it my love of bakeries? I’m really not sure, but I’d love to find a copy. I borrowed this book from the children’s section of the Elmhurst branch of the Queens (NY) Public Library many times from the late 1960s to the mid 1970s. There were either one or two children–boys I think–who were exploring a secret passageway they had found in an old mansion or castle. I think he or they had just moved there but my memory is unclear. One of the illustrations I remember best showed an interior view slice of the whole house, including the secret passageway winding its way through the multi-leveled dwelling, with the two boys visible with their flashlight somewhere on a lower level. The boys follow the passageway a long way underground to a door. The door opens out into a bakery in the town or village. There’s another illustration of a surprised baker at his oven as the small door opens out from mid-wall and the equally surprised boys tumble into his bakery. For some reason I think the baker is French, but again details remain elusive. At the end the baker serves them cream puffs or eclairs. Another post I saw (on another book search site) seemed to be a query about this same book and mentions the boys perhaps finding some old casks of wine (?) that had been missing for some time. I also think the town was celebrating some kind of anniversary and the townspeople hoped to celebrate with the casks of wine. It’s also possible I am confusing two books. If anyone can help, I’d really appreciate it!