352G: The Symbol in the Magical Wall

I read this book in 2009 or 2010. I believe it was considered a young adult book but it was a good reading level for me in 6th grade. The book seems so scattered and has gotten worse in my memory over the years so excuse me if I seem to jump around in the story.

The cover I believe had a sort of symbol that is important in the book. I remember the cover being mostly red and black but couldn’t say for sure.
The main character is a boy around 12 who is in the foster system (?) and comes to live with this old woman who is introduced as talking to the TV (I believe Jeopardy) and talks to the TV as if the person on the show Is talking directly to her (indicating schizophrenia), but the TV actually changes from the show to sending her secret code within the show (?).
Somehow they end up in her house deep in the woods, the child service worker leaves and the boys weird gets weird (in like a magical seance) and he likes to walk around the woods surrounding the property and find a magical wall of some kind that the symbol then becomes important in. The story gets so back and forth from there it would be impossible to explain. This book somehow helped me a lot in the part of life I was in and I really just need to read the series again.

352B: Children travel to other worlds with animals

It starts with some kids (possibly siblings, there are two or three kids) in, I think, a shop, a thrift, antique, or pawn shop, with no adults around and they are visited by these creatures. One is like a bear that talks in a phonetic southern-US style accent and one is like a dragonfly whose words allruntogetherlikethis. When I say “like” a bear and dragonfly, I think they were described as similar to these but not exactly the same. I think the creatures come from the kids interacting with an object in the shop.
They visit other worlds or dimensions and at one point they’re in a desert and tiny bugs swarm them and try to get to the moisture in the kids’ eyes and mouths so they have to keep them shut tight. They have to figure out how to outwit the antagonist without opening their eyes or mouths.
That’s all I remember. It was most likely written in the 70s or maybe 80s but definitely no later than mid-nineties. I read it around 2000 and it seemed old at the time.
I’ve spent so long looking for this because I just don’t believe no one else has read this and I think about it every time a gnat flies in my face! I feel like I’m in another dimension myself!!

351X: Part comic/part written book series maybe called ‘Freak’?

I’d really like some help finding a comic I haven’t read since I was in school in 2001. I’ve tried googling it with no luck. I swear it was called ‘F.R.E.A.K’ or something. The front cover had a teenager jumping in the air clutching/firing lightning from his hands. There were two issues I think, one with a blue background cover and one with a green background.

It was about some teenager who stumbles into an alternate dimension (after getting beaten up in the street by hooligans) and meets a bipedal lioness who can talk. There were other animal people, and they were at war.

The lions were mostly police, and some of the characters had psychic powers and they were referred to as ‘TK’s’. The main bad guys were a vulture woman and a fat guy with angel wings. They used guns and were rivals. The angel wings guy says in one panel that ‘I like to keep ahead of the competition’ or something similar, and it shows a severed head on a spike.

The lionnes jams a gun with her mind as the teenager is about to be shot, but Angel wing guy thinks the teen did it and that he’s a ‘TK’.

There were also lizard people and monkey people. One of the lizard people pretends to be prison guard to help rescue the teenager. It was partially comic and partially written story. I remember it being very violent and adult oriented. Please does anyone know what it is? Any help would be most appreciated

351E: Chest tattoo rite of passage women

The book I’m looking for I read sometime in the late 90’s early 00’s, I got it from a local bookseller, possibly a rummage sale in Utah. It was about a teenager who was older than most in her tribe(?) and hadn’t yet gone through the rite of passage all women in the tribe go through, and so still wore the high collars of a child. Most women wore lower cut dresses to display the spiral stick-and-poke tattoos that showed they were considered women in the tribe. (I think the cover showed this?) She was scared of the rite, which involved a bear, and she’d had a failed try at it. Eventually she went to the woods to find her own bear and came back changed, she’d found something there but not a bear I think, more like a god? And something to do with her mother or lineage maybe.

350R: Daughter of Lord Leads Resistance to Keep Father in Power (Solved!)

I’m searching for a book that I can only remember the plot of. When I was around 13 I read a book about a girl who was the daughter of a lord. (I’m 35 now, so it would have been written 1998 or earlier). She was poor and was the leader of a small resistance trying to keep her father in his lordship. Eventually she got hurt and captured. She was brought to the capital. To the people she had spent over a year fighting. Once she got there she found that there was far more going on than she realized and the people she had been fighting were their own quiet resistance.
I don’t remember the picture on the front. It was YA, fantasy.
There was one scene that stood out. She received a gift from a “secret admirer”; it was a ring. Which finger you wore the ring on meant different things. She didn’t know that so she wore it on the one that fit.
I borrowed the book from the library and to this day I think about that book. I want to read it again but I can’t remember the title or author.

349Q: The Four Elementals and the Earth Children Raised in World with Magic

The book was a children’s/YA book published sometime between 2005 and 2012. It was meant to be a quartet. I know 2 came out and I was curious if it was ever finished.
It had two main characters, a boy on earth who was disabled because he born on a world with magic. And a girl who is from earth but was raised in the world with magic, she’s the only one who can’t use magic and is immune to it.
There are evil magicians who can travel between the worlds, but doing so damages the worlds. The two main characters can move back and forth together but it damages the worlds. They’re told the only solution is to seek help from each of four elementals, societies of magic creatures that, if all four can be convinced to help, can make a bridge between the worlds in a safe way. Both of the main characters have to go to their birth worlds or it’s bad for the fabric of the universe or something, and this can only be accomplished with their help. The bad guys use dark magic and want to hunt them down. The boy struggles to learn the magic of his birth world. The first book dealt with the water elementals and the second with the earth elementals, I think. I think the name of the magic world started with an F
There’s a scene where the girl is on earth for the first time while they’re on the run and they go to a McDonald’s and she experiences a soda for the first time. I think her name starts with a K (Kira?)and the boy’s might be Marcus.

347V: Shape Shifting Amnesiac Becomes The Thunderbird

I read this book in the 1970s or early 1980s. It is fiction/fantasy about a man with amnesia (modern times of the 1970s or 80s) who through adventures eventually discovers that he is a shape shifter who morphs into the SW Native (Indian) god/entity the Thunderbird. I think there are two books in the series and I seem to recall a female protagonist who also turns into a Thunderbird and the two characters go off into the sunrise together, but don’t quote me on that! The cover art was intriguing. And the end was sad because to become Himself as the Thunderbird the guy with amnesia had to give up the self he had become while in human form.

347E: The wizard, the chalice, and a wizardess that talks to trees

I read this circa 1997-98 and it was from a used bookstore even then. Unfortunately, I lost track of it around 2003 and I don’t recall the title or author but I remember the plot pretty well.

It’s fantasy novel about a wizard; book starts with his training difficulties and at some point he gets terrible burn scars on his back. Time jump to him on a quest with other companions in search of a chalice. A noblewoman running from home stumbles into the mess but her hidden gift allows her save his life when he’s overwhelmed by the chalice’s defenses, though they are now bound together. After they both recover (separately; she was returned to her family) in the capital city, the country is at war from an attacking neighbor. The noblewoman makes friends with a young girl with a large purple birthmark on her face; she has also developed more magic, though she had always been able to talk to trees (she had run away from home because of her abusive father who hated magic). When the royal family is killed by a poisoned mist, the noblewoman’s young friend turns out to be a princess and becomes the next ruler. The noblewoman finds herself elevated to royal advisor.

The previous king didn’t trust the wizard because he was afraid of him, but the princess-turned-queen will listen to him because she trusts the noblewoman. The noblewoman moves into the wizard’s tower to learn magic; meanwhile the war is still going on.

In the end the wizard uses the chalice and sacrifices himself to defeat the enemy’s powerful mage. But due to the bond between them, the noblewoman-turned-wizard can still see him in the “other world” so she’s not alone.

Thanks again for your time!

347D: Cruel Soot Turns Good

Hello all. I’ve been racking my brain for years over this one and I need some help. I remember my first grade teacher reading this kids’ chapter book to us in increments during class in the mid-90s, but I can’t recall many of the details. It’s bugged me to death for years.

Here’s what I can remember: The protagonist is female, probably an older kid or teenager. The book is written in third person and in English. The setting was a fantasy pre-modern city or town. Could be Victorian-esque, but maybe earlier or later. The villain is a cruel, miserable guy named (or nicknamed) Soot who wears all black and is feared throughout the area. I think he drives some kind of carriage or wagon but I’m not sure. The story opens with a king taking his last breath and then dying. The story ends with Soot turning good and joining the heroes in some kind of magic they’ve learned, and the protagonist falls asleep listening to their incantations. I think said incantations involve groups of three unrelated words, and the very last one mentioned was “dictionary”. The most frequently suggested titles, Awful Auntie and Keys to the Kingdom, are not the ones. I know this isn’t much to go on, but anyone who manages to put this to rest will have my gratitude.