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!

329G: Silver Headed Ghost Children (Solved!)

The second story I am trying to track down from my childhood is an anthology of weird and horror stories (not really gory given the era, and written for children). It was in our school library in the early 80s and worn, so it could easily date to the 1950s through the 1970s. The story is about two children (a brother and sister) who come across and old house in the woods and find that a family of children live there who are very strange. They have silver hair and no parents. Eventually the unusual children hold a party with a big cake that has a sleigh with two small dolls that look like the brother and sister. The brother and sister find out that when the sleigh rolls down the hill of the cake they will be trapped forever to stay with the silver headed children. They flee the house and when they return the next morning they find nothing but ancient ruins. Apparently the silver headed children are ghosts that only occasionally turn up and wanted the brother and sister to join them. I'm afraid I don't recall any of the other stories in the anthology. Thanks!

329F: Creatures on Venus

The book I am interested in is a juvenile / YA science fiction book most likely written in the late 40s or 50s or very early 60s before we landed space probes there. The main character is a boy. They land on Venus and find deserts and no life, but along the way the main character gets lost and finds a valley with dinosaur-like creatures and small primate creatures. Eventually, the primary expedition finds him and all turns out well. I have searched the net but have not found any trace, I checked it our from our public library many times in the 1980s. Thanks!

328U: 60s-70s time-travel medieval fantasy, siblings, beautiful illustrations

I checked this book out multiple times from our public library. Author’s name must begin with Bu-Ea based on shelf location (preceded Eager; after Burnett), is not Ruth Chew after reviewing her catalog. Previous helpful respondents from other attempted search sites have suggested A Walk in Wolf Wood (Mary Stewart) or Walk out of the World (Ruth Nichols), which are lovely and similar, but incorrect (my lovely childhood public librarians were not illiterate enough to repeatedly mis-shelve this book, and my memory is solid about where it was located on the shelves).

This is a beautifully illustrated, middle-reader American (I think) fantasy book about a brother/sister or possibly male/female friends who somehow stumbled from their somewhat urban home/apartment building into a medieval setting when coming home from school one day in the woods near their home.

Sister ends up spending time with women from the group (I remember some looming?) and brother with the men (possibly becoming a page/squire?) There is maybe a joust, some magic or Merlin-y magician, the illustrations were very lovely with lots of woods/trees. Cover art and some interior pen+ink drawings reminded me of the cover to the film adaptation of Camelot.

I was born in 1970 and was a very early and voracious reader, so this book cannot have been published much later than 1976; my guess (contextually) is that it’s most-likely a little earlier than that.

Many thanks!!

328O: Teenage Girl Learns About Jealousy

I’ve been looking for this book forever! I read this book around 1985, in Taiwan. The book was written in another language, not sure which, mostly likely English, and translated to Chinese.

Kids / Young Adult / Teen book about a teen / pre-teen girl competing with one of her classmates about everything. The entire book was written in 1st person telling the reader how much she envies one of her classmates because that person had everything. I remember her describing the other girl’s hair and the smell of her shampoo. She loves photography and drama. Once she took a close-up photo of a tree for a contest, thought it was perfect lighting, perfect shapes… etc, but it ended up getting her in trouble because there were a curse word on the photo upside-down that she never saw. She went to a drama camp and completed for the leading role, only to found out that she had stage fright so bad that she can’t do anything.  At the end she realized that she was a great director, as soon as the spot light is not on her, she does very well.

Hope you can help.

328I: Boy Destroys “Talking” Gorilla Costume

I read a book when I was between 9-12, I’m 38 now, I’m not sure if that helps with the timeline, I borrowed it from my grandma but it wasn’t really old, and it was paperback.
There was a little boy, maybe 11, he found a gorilla/orangutan costume (but enough for a grown man) and he started to believe it was talking to him. I remember him holding his hands over candle flames and if I’m remembering correctly, he ended up destroying the costume in the end by throwing it in the fire.
It would be amazing if you can find it, it’s been bothering me for years! Thank you again for your time and I look forward to hearing back!!