332A: Children Turn Into Insects

I am looking for a book that was read to my second or third grade class by a substitute teacher, and I believe this was around 1963 or 1964. Our regular teacher was ill and replaced by a young substitute, who craftily kept our attention by beginning each class reading one chapter of a book. She hooked us on her very first day, and we came to school each day craving another chapter like crack addicts needing a fix.
The story was essentially Franz Kafka’s ‘Metamorphosis’ for children. Here’s what I remember of the story, and time may have dimmed the details a bit:
1. Three children are spending the summer in the country.
2. They are largely unattached and indifferent to the surroundings and ambivalent about their summer vacation.
3. Somehow, all three are transformed into insects: the older sister becomes a caterpillar, the youngest, from whose eyes we see the story, becomes an ant, and an older brother, I think becomes something else.
4. They encounter daring and frightening adventures, and at the end of the book, they are faced with the possibility of returning back into humans, but the sister, who by this time, has transformed into a butterfly, opts to remain an insect.
This is all I can remember, but what struct me the most about the story was an overarching feeling of melancholy versus a typical children’s book happy ending.

331Y: Margot Forces Agoraphobic Mother to Leave Apartment

This is a 1970's or 1960's middle reader. Possibly 1980. A girl named Margot lives in a city with her mother, who has not left their apartment since the father left her. She gets along pretty well by having her groceries delivered and such. Margot gets tired of this and decides to spend the night at a library or something to force her mother to leave the apartment to find her. Not sure if her scheme works or not. A neighbor ends up dealing with the police after Margot is found; I remember her spelling Margot's name for them and telling them "The T is silent" and sounding very proud of this knowledge, like it's a family secret. There is also a boy whom Margot befriends.

331W: Magic Boots Takes Boy’s Family Away Into Forest

The book I cannot recall is a chapter book that my 4th grade teacher read with our class.

The story begins with a small family in a cabin in the woods.  Each night, they hear a knock at the door, and whoever answers the door disappears.  The reader soon discovers that the a pair of magic boots have been walking themselves up to the door, forcing themselves onto the feet of who answers, and walking them off into the forest.  Each family member disappears until only 1 boy, the protagonist, is left.  He manages to trap the boots in a pot, pours (honey or molasses?) onto the boots, and puts 2 rats into the enclosure with the boots.  The rats eat the boots and become "bewitched," and the boy stands on the rats and rides them into the forest to find his family.  He is led to a troll or giant, but I cannot remember how the story concludes.

Please help!

331G: Paranormal Handbook For Kids

I am looking for a book that I read when I was about 7. It was probably published in the late 80s to early 90s and was basically a paranormal handbook geared towards kids. I would check it out from the juvenile section of my local library and it featured directions for basic ghost hunting and how to test ESP. It featured Shel Silverstein-like illustrations of kids doing the experiments (you know, that line art style that was so popular in the 80s). It may have had any (or none! how exciting!) of the following words in the title: paranormal, extrasensory perception, ghosts.

330Z: Toy Horse Comes To Life

It’s a children’s book, I think middle grade level?  Not sure though, but I don’t remember it having pictures.  A girl wants a horse for her birthday, but her parents get her a model horse instead.  Girl is disappointed (I would be too!).  She climbs a tree with the model and puts it on a branch, but is mad at it and flicks it down to the ground.  It comes to life (full sized) and talks.  She rides it around.  I don’t remember how it ends.  I probably read it in the early 90’s.

330F: A Demanding Doll

I am wracking my brain and cannot for the life of my remember the name of a book I read as a child/pre-adolescent. The premise was that there was a blonde doll who was actually “alive,” and demanded all sorts of things from the nice girl who owned her—like a car, clothes, etc. And the girl would try to explain what she could and couldn’t afford. Later I think a brown-haired doll who is nicer replaces her? I remember the hard cover of the book being a teal color and there being a photo of the blonde doll on it.

329Y: A Circle Of Friends

The book I remember reading was from about 1963-64. It would’ve been geared toward 5th – 6th grade reading level, for girls. For some reason, I thought the author was Rumer Godden, but I researched her books and I don’t think it was hers. If I remember correctly, it was about three friends…girls who would’ve been middle school age and how they interacted. Of course, it was a more innocent time, not like the books geared for the kids today.

The only image I have is an overhead view of the girls sitting in a circle, outside. I believe it could’ve been a summer afternoon? It may have been end-of-summer, before heading back to school.

I wish I could recall more or had some part of the title, author or more of what the story was about. I just know I liked the book so much and was able to relate to the circle of friends.

I hope you’ll be able to find out what book this was.

329T: Medieval Adventures In The Forest – A Jester, A Shared Dream

This is a book that I started reading in 5th grade, but never finished. It must have been published in 1972 or earlier. It was wildly popular in my school library.

It was set in the Middle Ages, I think. One of the main characters was a court jester. The setting was very pastoral. Many scenes take place in a forest. There was also a situation in which several people were dreaming the same dream.

This has been haunting me for a long time. Would love  to find and finish this book. Thank you!

329P: Don’t Open the Front Door

The book I read was written in Dutch (I’m from Belgium), but it may well be a translation of an English title. It must have been a book intended for a young public. I was about 10 to 13 years old when I borrowed it at the library, it must have been the late eighties or early nineties.
To the best of my memory…The story is about a person (man, woman? I don’t remember) who stays in some house (why and where? Don’t remember…) and is told to not open the door, maybe on a specific night (Christmas Eve?). Of course, he/she does open the door, or forgets to lock it. From that point on, the poor main character is haunted every night by a loud noise in the house, kind of a screaming, keeping him/her awake. I don’t know who or what caused that awful noise, but there is no communication possible with this thing/person. It’s driving the main character almost to a nervous breakdown, mainly due to sleep deprivation. I think the nightly haunting is supposed to keep going on for a certain period of time, maybe a year: the main character knows it will come to an end at a given moment and he/she will have to endure it one way or another. One night, the noise seems a little less hard, as if the person/thing who caused it, has come to some sort of pity with our main character.
 
Hopefully you’ll discover something, I would be very grateful! The story sounds a bit stupid for an adult, but it really impressed me as a child, and now that I’m having a son of my own, it would be cool if he could read it some day (there’s still time, he’s only 2 years old :-)).

329J: Science Fiction picture book for kids from the late 80s early 90s

When I was somewhere between 9 and 11, I checked out a book from a library in northern California that was a picture book that came with a cassette tape. It was a science fiction story about a kid that went in a robot spaceship that traveled the universe and back. Along their journey they visited multiple space phenomenons, including visiting Alpha Centauri, almost getting sucked into a black hole, and searching for life in deep space by looking for radio waves/signals that may be nearby. They actually found a radio signal, but when they tuned in, it turned out that the radio broadcast of “Howdy Doody” from 50 years or so prior had made it out that far and that was what they were picking up. The whole story was geared toward education of different types of stars, galaxies, space phenomenon, etc., for a child, and most of this “tour” through space was narrated by the robot/spaceship that the child was a passenger in. It was VERY entertaining, with great pictures and I’m surprised that I couldn’t find it with a quick google search!