305G: …turns out, he shouldn’t have

I read a YA fantasy or sci fi book in the mid to late 70s. I was 10 to 13 years old. I checked the book out at the same time as Enchantress of the Stars. The protagonist was a young boy or teen who thought his world was unfair. One of the rules was that no one was to drink stream water. The world was ruled by judges. The protagonist thought this was an unfair system. He drank the water, turns out he shouldn’t have. Also, because he questioned authority (spoiler alert) he became a judge. Thanks!

I believe the authors last name began with an A or B. I reread it a few times as a kid and seem to remember finding it before Baum (I read all of his Oz books), alphabetically.

304S: Her body had healing properties

I only remember a character. It was an old woman and her body had healing properties. I think it was ground down to a powder and used topically on wounds. She gave the main character her pinky finger and her other hand had already reduced to a stump. It wasn’t a gory process. She just broke it off as if it were stone.

303C: Beauty and the Beast fiction anthology

I’m hunting down a fiction anthology that involved “Beauty and the Beast” riffs. One of the riffs involved a perfect couple (I think New Yorkers) with a perfect life–and the wife was slowly beginning to think that her beautiful, flawless, successful, doting husband had a terrible double life as a beast in a city reeling from a series of bloody, violent attacks. I’m fairly sure it was published in softcover in the late 1980s to mid 1990s. One detail that really stands out to me is that when the husband came home late one night, the wife noticed a drop of blood on his cheek and realized that he was the beast–which left her in a whole bunch of serious dilemmas, most of which were left as cliffhangers. This was only one of many stories in the book, but it really left an impression. If I recall correctly, most of the writers in the anthology were women. I was way into Sheri S. Tepper and other female authors at the time, if that helps, but I don’t think it was her story collection “Beauty.” I hope you can find it! Thanks 🙂

302V: Travels through alternate universes and baseball

Possibly a book, possibly a series – listened to as an audio book on a car trip in the early 2000’s. The book was from Cracker Barrel (which is apparently Ingram Entertainment titles, if that helps). The book followed three protagonists, a girl and two boys. They traveled to other worlds or alternate universes through tunnels. The other worlds usually had some sort of baseball theme. At least one had a society of gnomes who used it as their court procedures. The girl protagonist was a pitcher. The had a map that helped them find the way – depending on how it was folded, it could show a neighborhood, a city or even be a star map. The antagonists had eyes you could see through, all the way to what was on the other side of their heads – photographs of Manhattan Project scientists showed that many of them were bad guys due to this effect.

300T: Everything made from this wood was cursed

I am searching for a novel I read in the 1980s about a researcher looking into numerous SIDS deaths in several generations of one family. It turns out that the family heirloom cradle was made from the wood from the cross on which Jesus was crucified. There was a curse on the wood and over centuries everything made from this wood was cursed and caused death. I think it had a dark blue or black cover and was in the style of a John Saul thriller. Please help- this has been driving me CRAZY!!!

299L: A girl is given the power to swim underwater

I cannot remember the title. All I can remember is it was a fantasy book involving a girl who was given the power to swim underwater where she befriended a whale, a dolphin, and it involved rescuing her friends at the bottom of the ocean who were trapped there underneath a bubble. One key character that I remember was a “dimity bird” that was enchanted to move about. Presumably published in the ’60s, early ’70s.

299G: They grow young as they age

I am looking for the name of a book I read close to 20 years ago as a child. It’s one of the books that made me fall in love with reading and I’ve never been able to find it. Some of the details may be off as it was so long ago but- a brother and sister somehow end up on a far away island. And while they’re there they realize everyone has great respect for the children and the children are very well spoken and wise. But these people it turns out are born out of caves old, and they grow young as they age. That’s about all I can re-call. Thanks for your help!

298X: The sky was purple all the time

I am looking for a book I read in 4th grade ~(1975). The book was fiction. It took place in a fantasy world. The sky was purple all the time in this fantasy world. Unfortunately, I don’t remember much more than that.

Let me know if you have any thoughts on what it might be. For the longest time I thought it was a Judy Bloom book, but now I don’t think it is.

298A: A Clockmaker in Bern

I must have read this some time in the 70s. Not a picture book, I would say this book was middle grade fiction (aimed at 8-12 year-olds). I’m guessing I read it between the ages of 9 and 11. It took place in Bern, Switzerland, and although I think the protagonist may have been a young girl, there was definitely a clockmaker in it, and his shop. I don’t think it had any elements of fantasy in it, but I remember finding it a magical story. I wish I remembered more about it, but that’s about all I’ve got!