293S: Children’s march/walk to Washington (Solved)

This was a young adult novel about a group of children who are compelled to walk from New England to D. C. as a form of protest (maybe echoes of nuclear war?). One of the kids is, I think, the granddaughter of the president but keeps that a secret. As the march continues, more children join in. There’s some sort of mystical element. I read the book in the mid-1980s.

293R: Book about a madcap journey through the U.S. south (Solved)

What I remember: I read it before Borders bookstores closed. I picked it up in paperback on a display that said this type of book was not the author’s usual style. It was long.

Plot: a guy in the south (maybe Georgia?) thinks he kills his secretary and rolls her in the rug and takes the rug to the dump.  The reader has the idea she’s alive, but the hero goes on the lamb in a convertible — I think eventually ending up at his dad’s house.

I also remember at scene where he accidentally sees the neighbor’s wife in a revealing outfit and it causes a family rift. There is a teenager daughter. Maybe he works at a furniture store? I would call it a archetype = hero’s journey

Thanks for any help!!

 

293J: Domination of other by using weakness as a status symbol (Solved)

Science fiction short story where one planet maintains control of another by elevating some people to power on the subject planet. These elevated people have hereditary obsessive compulsive disorder which sets them apart from the common people and also disables them from actually leading their people who are then subjected to producing for the benefit of the alien overlords. The main character’s obsession is to follow a wood grain pattern. It takes her all day and she is exhausted from it. Somehow she meets a commoner and discovers that she might live a different life. I’ve tried very hard to find the story but no luck so far.

292U: Mr. Down Stomps the Keystone (Solved)

A children’s book from the 1970s or earlier. I am not sure of the title but it might be ‘Mr. Down’ or include the words ‘Mr. Down’. The setting is possibly medieval England. Townspeople are trying to build churches to pray in but every time they complete one, Mr. Down (a little troll-like guy or gremlin type character) comes in the night to stomp on the roof and destroy the church. They go through several designs all of which Mr. Down stomps on until they finally design an arch with a ‘keystone’ at the top. This is a classic Gothic style arch and no matter how much  Mr. Down stomps, it will not collapse. I used to check this book out of a small Methodist church library in North Carolina every single summer of my childhood.  It would mean the WORLD to me to find this book again.

 

292T: The Adventures of Little Tom (Solved)

Hello, I am trying to help my 89 year old mother locate a beloved book from her childhood. Her memories are vague, but here is what she told me.

The title is something like The Adventures of Little Tom or something similar. It was probably published in the 1920’s or earlier. It had a green, faded linen cover.  There were gorgeous, colorful illustrations, maybe by a Czech or European illustrator. The pictures were very detailed, of tiny people and flowers.  There was a soldier fighting ants. He had a girlfriend who died and there was a picture of her lying in state surrounded by tiny, white flowers.  That’s all my mom can remember. She has been looking for the book for years. I searched online but had no luck. Maybe you can find it.

Thank you!

292R: Betty Realizes her Dream to Become an Author (Solved)

The book I want to find is titled Betty. It may have a subtitle, but I can’t recall it. I read this several times from cover to cover before I was 12, and oddly can’t recall the name of the author, but it made a great impression on me. I had found in my grandmother’s home, and I never knew who, from among the family, was the original owner/reader. The volume went missing when I was at college.

I infer that Betty was set in Australia, because when the young woman who is the protagonist and title character goes to the big city to make her way, I recall it was “Sydney”. Betty was one of several siblings, and with her twin, Cyril, the next born after Dot (for Dorothy). She had a tempestuous relationship with one of the younger ones, Nancy, made more difficult since the loss of their mother and Dot’s job away from the home put Betty in the role of surrogate mother and homemaker. Betty judged herself very harshly for the unkempt condition of the house and children, who ran amuck while Betty spent long hours writing fiction. Their father was at with them in the home, and very loving but not about very much. At one point, one of the small children went missing for several hours before being found unhurt, and Betty so blamed herself that she conducted a midnight funeral ceremony to bury her writing materials “forever”. For a while, the children were regularly bathed and the house neatly maintained. Not long after, she dug up her writing materials and resumed her writing. By some luck, she was offered a writing job in Sydney, where she went to live in a flat and had an adventure.

My guess at to the era the book was written and published would be the 1930’s. There are just a few clues in the transportation and communication as described in the book, and the well-worn cloth-bound style, paper and fonts.

292N: The Happy Mountain (Solved)

The book I am looking for should have perhaps been called “The Happy Mountain” or the “The Jade Mountain” but nothing seems to match the google search of that.
I think it was a tween book from the 70s maybe earlier, but a young girl is staying with a much older aunt or grandmother. The older woman had, I think, lived for some time in her own youth in China, but was forced to leave with her family quite quickly. When leaving the country the older woman’s father gave her an ugly home-idol to carry with her to safety, an item she had always hated, but kept for years anyway as a memento of her father. Towards the end of the book, she discovers with the help of a out-of-favor nephew (I think) that inside the ugly idol was a jade village or jade mountain that she had loved as a young girl, obviously hidden in the hopes that she would find it sooner.