Category Archives: Unsolved

365J: Girl At Grandparents’ Farm For Summer Wants Horse – Both Have Yellow Hair On Cover

I’m trying to track down the title of a children’s/young adult book from the late 1970s/early1980s.  I want to say it was a book sold via one of those “book club” orders that kids used to order books from in elementary school, where the teacher passes out the order forms with a list of book selections.  I remember it was a thin book with a dark gray cover with a pen-and-ink drawing of a young girl standing at a fence with a horse on the other side of it in a field, and both the girl’s hair and the horse’s mane were colored yellow.
The most I can remember of the story is, at the beginning, the girl – I think her name MIGHT be Jane? – is going to spend the summer with her grandparents on their farm, but first she has to get through – I THINK – the last day of school and her class’s “field day.”  I know that whatever the occasion, she sprains her ankle during a race and goes to her parents’ truck to nap until it’s over and they take her to her grandparents.  I also remember that while she’s at her grandparents, there’s a flood for her birthday and her grandmother gives her homemade gifts including a hand-sewn dress using fabric from the kitchen curtains.  And I know that there’s a horse involved – maybe a colt?  Maybe called Lightning?  I’m not sure.  I believe she wants the horse to be hers, and I think her grandfather isn’t all too keen on the idea.
I’m sorry I can’t provide any more info – I hope this is helpful!

365I: Zoologist Couple Explore Animals With Son and Daughter

My fourth grade teacher (in about 1971) read to our class a book about a zoologist couple and their two children (a boy and a girl) who went on an expedition together as a family to the Amazon jungle to discover animals. I think for a zoo, but maybe not. Each chapter was about a search for a different kind of animal (like an armadillo) describing its nature and its habits. The children had some thrilling adventures – for example, with a jaguar – from which they were rescued by their parents. It was a series because I remember that there was another book where they went to Africa.

365G: Large dinosaur made from egg boxes for a school project in a garage

Can you please help me track down a book from childhood?
I read it sometime between 1985 and 1988 (I think!) whilst at primary school in the UK. Although it could have been an older book, maybe from the mid-70’s to the early 80’s?
Book title: It was a chapter book, but I can’t recall the name at all, sorry!
Front cover description: I remember it pretty clearly, it is a night time scene (a painted illustration) of the open garage door next to a house, with the large egg box dinosaur (t-rex?) visible inside, and the light spilling out from the garage illuminating the dark exterior driveway. It was quite an evocative image from what I remember.
Description of the book: It is about a group of school friends (a gang or club maybe?) who make a large / life size dinosaur out of egg boxes (a t-rex I think?) for a school project in the garage attached to one of the children’s houses. At some point I think a child from a rival gang / club spies on them, and the rivals (possibly?) end up making their own egg box dinosaur as well (that could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure about them being spied on by a rival though).

365F: Inventions for Children

Can you please help me find a book I read at primary school??
I read it in 1985 or 86 (87 at the very latest) when I was in primary school in the UK.
I would have been 7 or 8 years old.
Book title: Possibly ‘Inventions for Children’ / ‘Top Secret Inventions for Children’ (but that’s just a guess, as I really don’t remember!)
Book description: It was a hardback picture book. Each page, which were mostly double page spreads I think, had roughly 2 to 3 fictional inventions on (all aimed at children).
Some of the inventions I can remember: an armoured vehicle for a child, driving down a street (narrowly missing a cat and a lamp post I think??). Some kind of periscope / binoculars that let you hide behind your desk in school without the teacher noticing (possibly in the shape of a boy sitting upright??). Some little booster rockets (disguised as decorative circular medals?) that went on your swimming trunks to make you swim faster.
I remember all / nearly all of the inventions having a cross-section / cutaway section to them, so you could see the internal mechanics.

That’s about all I can remember, it’s been driving me slightly crazy for years (having tracked down nearly all the other books I loved as a child already).
I will give you any more information if I can, just let me know! 

365E: Romantic short story about two strangers: a carny and a young woman together on a carnival ride

I think it’s a paperback book from about 25-30 years ago. I’m sorry I don’t recall title nor author, nor cover.
I’ve tried googling what little I remember in nouns, but no luck. It could be a short story
anthology or a book of short stories by one writer. As I recall, the carny, a kind of rough guy meets a young woman and takes her on a ride on what we used to call ‘the wheel of death’ but I don’t think it was called that in the story. That carnival contraption is usually a huge metal mesh cylinder that people enter through a door, and then line up, standing up, around the edges of the cylinder/metal cage.

 When the machine starts up, the cylinder starts to whirl in a circle, faster and faster until all the people are plastered by centrifugal force to the walls… then the floor drops out so that people are whirling through space in this cage with no floor beneath them, held up only by centrifugal force.

How the wheel was actually constructed in story, not sure. But that’s the idea.

The carny might kiss the young woman while on the ride, not sure, but it was romantic leaning a tidge into eros I think. I’m sorry, cannot remember any of the other stories in the book. At age 77 now, a lot of memories are softer, but good memories have gotten stronger. One of the blessings of aging sometimes.

365D: Castle on a Hill

As a small child in the early 2000s I compulsively read a picture book in the school library but for years have been unable to track it down.

It followed the history of a single hilltop in I believe England. Every page would open to a new period of history with a new drawing, as new groups of people would use the hilltop for its advantageous position.

The first were Celts, who built a stockade around the hill along with dirt walls.

Then a Roman fort with intricate buildings and brickwork.

Eventually there was a Manor House with a rudimentary wall.

And finally a huge castle with lots of towers and a moat.

There were other examples I don’t remember but these are what have stuck with me. Each page includes people in the various forts living, working, and doing activities. Parts of roofs and walls were cut out in the drawing so you could see inside.

And there was even a “Where’s Waldo” type game. In each variation of the hill were a pair of “lovers” (for lack of a better word) who were hidden among the people and activities and you had to seek them out.

Around the drawing was information about the time period, the purpose of why they built something (e.g. a drawbridge), and interesting facts like stuff about defending a medieval castle from attack.

I know this sounds like a lot of depth, but I promise this was a children’s picture book. Somewhere between the ages of 5 and 10 I was obsessed with it. Please help!

365C: Talented Singer in Love Triangle with Cousins, Leading to Tragic Death

I am looking for a book about three cousins – two girls, one boy – growing up together in a rural setting. I think they are all orphans. 
One girl is a talented singer and both of the other cousins are in love with her. When they are young adults the two young women go to Paris (?) so that the talented singer can work on the stage while the other woman is her companion. The young man goes to visit them. The singer is working in a music hall and is upset that the producer (?) is leering at her or setting her up to be leered at by the audience. 
The second young woman becomes uncontrollably jealous and I think there is a gothic sort of death of one or both women, possibly involving a fire. 
The book was made into a period drama tv movie or series in the late 80s or early 90s. I would say a BBC bonnet drama, but I’m not sure if it was the BBC or not. In the music hall scene, the singer is sitting on a swing on stage.
For years I thought it was My Cousin Rachel but it isn’t! It did have a bit of a Daphne du Maurier flavour with a psychological drama aspect.

365A: Vintage Little Golden Book showing car driving through a large tree

I am trying to find a book from my childhood that showed a car traveling through a large tree. I was a child of the 80’s, so the book would have been published before then. I remembered reading it at my grand mothers house so it may have been a very old book!  I believe it was from the Golden Book series and I am guessing the book was about road trips, or traveling, or large trees or California since that is the only place I know of that has drive through trees. That book recently inspired my bucket list trip to Northern California to actually drive through a tree and now I want to find the book that inspired the trip! I have been searching, but have not had any luck finding the book. Thanks in advance for your help!