287C: A tree in the forest with special powers

Looking for a children’s chapter book from the 1960s or early 70’s about a tree in the forest that has special powers. I recall that the vines were alive as was the tree – but I recall only a girl in the story could communicate with the tree and either visited or lived beneath the ground by the tree? For some reason I recall descriptions about being under the ground at times. I don’t think it was a scary tree. More like a friend and protector to the girl. Would love to track it down if possible.


286H: A world without reflections

I am looking for a children’s book I read in 90s. I read it in the library of the language school.

A group of children find a gate that leads to another world, a world without any reflections (even when looked at surface of water). The gate itself is such that it does not pass any metals (coins burn red hot if attempted to be carried through). One of the children find out that their ancestors originate from this world, and that world is now under control by mean men. At the book first climax, a Locket Necklace worn by the child happened to contain small mirror, and it is used to distract and defeat the leader of the mean men.

286F: Girls go to wrong house on Halloween, meet strange girl in spider costume.

This was a kids’ picture book from the late 70s or early 80s (probably 4/5th grade reading level, 32ish page length, not just a simple picture book but not chapter or young adult) level. The premise is that two friends (I think they were two girls, might have been just one) show up at a house for a Halloween party, They think it’s the right house, but upon getting inside, are met with another girl who I *think* was wearing some kind of a spider costume – she might even have been named “spider”. They proceed to go to the basement (which I don’t remember being a scary development). At some point they swap costumes (possibly against the will of the girl who showed up to the house).  The girl who came to the house doesn’t want to be there, and eventually finds a way to escape/leave. Important to underscore that even though it sounds a bit this way,the tone of the book isn’t scary or sinister – more just a vibe of “strange” and “oddball”. A fun little Halloween story that I vaguely remember and am desperate for help locating!

285C: Kafka-esque book for kids, 90s

A young boy becomes a roach- literally all I remember. However, the side story I do remember. His sister is some kind of super genius who didn’t speak until she was five and when she did finally speak she created a board game. She spends her day in front of the tv counting the number of times the commercial for the board game plays and how much money she is making.

285B: 90s children book, cooking with bugs (Solved)

Read this in January 1995. It is a Judy Blume or Louis Sachar-esque children’s chapter book. Some kids are doing some kind of report and/or competition to create outlandish dishes by new and inventive means.

The protagonist, a boy, decides to experiment by putting insects in the food. In one scene, he brings brownies to school that he’s put roaches in. (Particularly memorable because it just so happened I brought brownies to class for my birthday that day when we got to that chapter and everyone got a big laugh about the coincidence). He finds out that his chief rival is using the car to cook food; they come out of church or a PTA meeting to the smell of hamburgers because he put the patties on the hot engine. Thanks!

284D: Alternate outcomes become alternate worlds

In the world of this book, every time something happens, like a war, both outcomes come true. A new world is created with the alternate outcome. So there are many earths. The one that this one takes place on is not ours. In this Earth, America is called Atlantis.

The children survive the shipwreck because the boy is a witch and the sister hangs onto him. But you don’t find that out till the end. You think – because she says so – that she is the witch and she saved him.

He is left-handed, which where they came from is punished but where they have arrived at, is celebrated as it is a sign of being a witch. That’s all I remember….

I probably read it in the late seventies, possibly early 80’s. I was probably around 12 – it was a middle-year chapter book. It was really good.

I hope it sounds familiar to someone! Thanks for your help!

280A: Book about strange, quirky school

I’ve been trying to remember the details on this one for years, and can’t pull enough out to find it.

It’s a young adult book I read several times growing up, always taking it out of the library. It was stocked in the first shelf of the Young Adult section, which means the author was somewhere between A and maybe N, I think.

The cover had, in the top left corner, a boy standing on the edge of the school roof, with wings or a parachute or contraption of some kind. Down below were two boys looking up at him, possibly waving their arms or shouting at him not to jump.

The boy on the school roof wasn’t one of the main characters, though, just an oddball who was part of the local color of the school. The main character had just arrived at a very odd boarding(?) school, where many of the kids were quirky. I believe he found someone kind of normal already there to take him under his wing.


That’s all I remember.