303R: WWII evacuated kids hiding in English country house ruins.

C​hildren’s fiction book set during WWII in England.​ A group of evacuated children, abandoned or lost are hiding from enemy troops in ruined building or cellar in rural England.

​The oldest girl is the “mum” taking care of the little ones.​ They make it homely using stencils of pineapples?  (that may be a different book?)

When they are finally rescued by friendly troops, they are given treats by soldiers: a bar of chocolate and one orange to share between them. The youngest girl slowly unwraps chocolate foil like it is priceless treasure, but ultimately decides the orange is the best thing she has ever eaten.


303N: Rowing through the air, as spirits, in a “spirit canoe”

In 1980, I read a book whose story details I recall only dimly. I do not recall the title.

Two children travel far from home to another place. I forget the purpose or motive for their journey. I believe it may have been a brother and a sister.

At one point during their long journey, they sleep in a friend / ally / friendly stranger’s houseboat (or boat or water-home of some kind.) The young girl (I think) listens to the water lapping up under the floor as she is going to sleep.

Near the end of the book, they encounter a civilization which had at some point stopped living in the world and now existed in a spirit form. The memory I recall when reading about this encounter, is that an individual (s) of this culture were rowing by them, or above them, as if rowing through the air, as spirits, in a “spirit canoe.”

The mood of their encounter with this race of spirit people was haunting, nostalgic, and a sense of loss or grief for the children. As a ten year old, I was moved somewhat sorrowfully when the children learned of or interacted with these spirits.

303K: Johnny Shiloh

I am looking for children’s book from 1960’s based on Disney Movie Johnny Shiloh with pictures from the Disney movie (shown on Wide World of Disney). This is Not the novel and NOT the gold key comic book. It may be from Scholastic Books but do not know. It would be paperback book.

303I: Eye of the Needle

I am looking for a childrens/YA book I would have read in the early 1980s (probably not written before 1950) in which there was a rock formation known as the Needle, because it was needle-shaped, with a hollow at the top, in which was a haystack – so at some point the hero or heroine was looking for something in a haystack in the Needle.  That is the one detail I remember.

303G: 80s Children’s Chapter Story Anthology Big Book (Solved)

I think from the 80s, it was an anthology with chapters of different kids stories in it. I think there was a Judy Blume chapter (Fudge), a story about a boy picking between a blue or red toothbrush, a story about a kid not wanting to touch the gunk in the bottom of the sink that is left after the dishes, maybe the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle story about the kids not hearing their parents so they put powder in their ears, maybe a Wayside story chapter. I think it was a big white book (hardcover with a white jacket).

302Y: Strange “activity” book

I’ve posted about this elsewhere, but there’s a strange book from my childhood that both my sister and I remember.  I say activity book, but it wasn’t really an activity book. There was no place to draw or anything in the book. Here are some details:

*It was probably published around 1980-1985, I would have read it from 1987-1991, and I believe it was my sister’s before I got it. It was about a 2nd to 5th grade reading level. Some pics, some text.

*The cover was a dark blue/teal, the title was a garish reddish color, and there was a knight on it

*I remember the title being kind of long, and ending with the words “…for kids!”

*The book was really non-sequitur, and went all over the place. One page might be a math puzzle, the next might be a story about baseball.

*There was a recurring theme of a medieval knight throughout the whole thing, and he would just pop up randomly to comment on stuff

*There were a lot of jokes about “the author/publisher of this book blah blah blah” and “the editors of this book blah blah blah.” Probably way over my head at the time.

*The last page was a memorization game

*I believe there was one page with a large blue square on it, and a paragraph talking about the significance of that square.

*There was at least one math word problem, and I believe it involved crickets or grasshoppers

*There was a story about baseball, maybe about the history of baseball?

*There was a brief page about lead in pencils, and how it’s called lead, but it’s really graphite


As for the style of the book, it’s almost as if a bunch of people with a similar sense of humor got together and decided to make a kids book, but not talk to each other about it. It was that bizarre. Almost every page was a different subject, and the only recurring motif at all was the random knight. The book constantly broke the fourth wall, and the writer(s) would make fun of the characters on that page, or the random knight would make fun of the author(s). Someone stated that it sounds like Monty Python, and it was a lot in that same vein of humor. If Monty Python made a kids book, it would be very similar to the one I’m looking for.

It’s entirely possible that it was written by a group of people, and possibly as a joke.

For what it’s worth, my grandmother lived in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area of North Carolina during my youth (the 1980’s). She had moved there from northern New Jersey in the late 1970s. She was a kindergarten teacher for most of her life.  Furthermore, her sister (my great-aunt) had actually published a few books (one of them a children’s book) during the 1960s, and lived in Washington DC until the mid 1980s. So there were strong ties in those places. The book could have been published by a small publisher in any of those places, and somehow made it’s way to my grandmother.

Again, thanks for your help!

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.

302P: Fiction, Pre U.S. Revolutionary War Saga

This book probably was published before 1955 when I was in the fifth grade. It was the read-aloud after lunch by our teacher Miss Gambee. I met her again when I was an adult, but she didn’t remember its title. As I remember it, it begins with a boy sitting in his favorite oak tree trying to save it because the British navy has marked it for use as a mast. This scene sets up one of the many reasons for the eventual revolution of the colonies.

Another part of the saga deals with the moving of the French Canadians or Acadians, but I’m not sure how that fit in.

In another scene, a young lady is weaving wool for rebel uniforms when a wounded British soldier is brought to her house to recover. This part of the saga seemed to be trying to tell its readers that enemies are not always the villains we make them out to be.

I don’t remember the end of the book, but I’m fairly certain it took us through the revolution to its end, maybe to the formation of the new constitution, but I’m not sure. In Oregon, fifth graders study U.S. history up to the constitution, so this novel was a very good way of showing the reasons for the revolution and the turmoil of war. It was a lot more memorable than the text book. I hope you can find it. My daughter now teaches fifth grade and I would love to give it to her if it can be purchased.

302O: Chapter Book about Young Man and a Bicycle Race (Solved)

My memory is of a chapter book that I checked out from an elementary school library in the late 60’s. It was about a young man participating in a bicycle race, perhaps the Tour de France, or modeled after that race. It was more advanced than a simple picture book, and my recollections are that the style of writing and illustrations could have been from the 50’s to early 60’s. The grueling race was seen through this young participant’s eyes, and I recall the descriptions being quite vivid. Again, my memory is that it was an upper-elementary or perhaps middle grade reading level. It was a realistic account of a long, multi-day bicycle race but was definitely a novel. Thanks for any help you can give.

301Y: This is not the Laura Ingalls Wilder story

The book I am looking for is one I checked out from the Louisville free  public library in the 1960s.

The story  was about a family moving west in a covered wagon. (This is not the Laura Ingalls Wilder story)

The family faced hardships and trials. It was a children’s chapter book with an orange cover that I believe had a covered wagon on the cover.

I know chimney rock was mentioned as a landmark in the book. I have looked many times for this book and would like to read it again. In contrast to the little house books, it was a bit more graphic, mentioning things like animal skeletons and tombstones along the trail.

It was fascinating and dramatic. I know this is vague, but would truly appreciate if you could find it. It has been gone from LFPL for many, many years.