Category Archives: MG (grades 2-6)

368C: Service Boys dirt track car racing series

– Fiction – Vintage series – 1970s or earlier – about dirt track racing written for kids. It was checked located in the children’s section of the library. Trying to find these books as a gift for a friend who remembers them very fondly, but doesn’t remember details, just that it was a series and of course, that it was about dirt track car racing.

368A: Fighting animals and villains on a ranch

I’m looking for a YA or MG book about a teen boy who lives on a ranch (New Mexico? west Texas?), his cousin Horace comes to visit for summer which he thinks will ruin his summer but Horace turns out to be a good guy who can ride and shoot and they become good friends.  There is a mountain lion or cougar that kills his dad’s prize bull Red Toro so they go out to find the cougar, Horace shoots it with a great shot.  Along the way there are some villains who are trying to jump a gold claim, Horace sprains his ankle, has to be hauled out by the boy on an Indian trapezoid carry deal, they fool the bad guys into fording the river where there is quick sand and all ends well.  Can’t remember title.  Book had line drawings, and I think the cover was edged in burnt orange or brown. 

367X: Family takes an elevator underground – whistle if you get lost

The book I’m looking for is as follows:

Children’s book   – from the UK
I read it in the UK when i was a kid in the 1970s

It was illustrated but with line drawings – was for older kids, maybe 7/8 and up?
There was a story in it about a family who takes an elevator down into the ground, and they whistle to each other if they get lost.
It was a collection of stories for kids. 

It might have also had poetry in it
This story has haunted me for years, no idea if it will ring a bell with someone somewhere

367P: Victorian Dolls Get Beautiful New Clothes

I have been trying for a long time to remember the name of a book I loved as a child in the 1960s or very early 70s. In the book, Victorian-era dolls were outfitted with beautiful new clothes, shoes, and in one case, a muff. There was velvet involved, and the descriptions of the clothing and care the dolls received were beautiful (at least in my child’s mind). The dolls’ hair was fixed up as well. The colors of the clothing were rich. One of the dolls was a boy. The central character of the story was a little girl. There may have been a shop window or house with windows on the cover, but I have looked at so many books in trying to identify this one that I could be confusing this! It is also possible that this was a chapter book or series in which a particular doll needed to be repaired, as I recall multiple dolls with various problems that needed attention, and each was treated individuallly.

367I: A Magical Trip

As a fourth grader in 1980, I had a teacher who kept a personal library of paperback books for us children to read when we were finished with all our other work. I read dozens of books in Mrs. Cohn’s classroom.
So assume this book to be anywhere from 1950s-1970s publication, a novel but fairly short. Things I recall:
There were at least two boys on the trip to another world/realm/dimension which they may have accessed via a cave.
Somehow they were equipped with a small wooden box of sausage and cheese. Intending to conserve their rations, they only ate half of each and discovered upon reopening the box that the food had regenerated to the full, original proportion.
They also had a blanket that would cover them both but fold down to pocket handkerchief sized and a “magic” match that could be struck and used again and again and even be stuck in a crevice and (perhaps rotated?) to become bright as a torch.
In one scene they passed a gangrel/beggar/wastrel on the road and as he came toward them he morphed into a well-clad, upright gentleman with a sandwich board or a handbell and advertised some type of ware or service and upon passing, returned to his former low state.

367B: Animal Shelter Book

Looking for 70’s Scholastic (?)? paperback. A dad is forced to take a job at a kill shelter, needs the money. The kids find homes for animals, and they shut down the cremation building where smoke billows out In a country type place. They are happy. Maybe 2-3 grade level book. Approx year read ‘76 but could be classroom book and older.

366N: Riding the Ponies Across the Moors (Solved!)

I was born 1968. Sometime around 1978 I read a story about some kids who set out on adventures on their “ponies” and they would stop and camp in the woods and eat “tinned“ food. I believe it had a very UK British feel. They would talk about riding on the “moors” and through forests.
It is possible they were trying to solve a mystery, or just narrating their experiences along the way as they traveled to an ultimate destination- like maybe a beach or shore as on a summer adventure.

I will stop here because I do not want to confuse this with another story in my head.

I think this book might have been a hard cover, about an inch thick, with black paper on the cover inside the dust jacket, and MIGHT have had gold lettering embossed “ONYX” on the cover. MIGHT CONTAIN “nebula” That description might also pertain to a different book but, that is why I am here. They seemed to make a big deal about calling the horses ponies and they all seemed very independent to be traveling without adults. Approx character age 10-15?
I read the story when I was about 10 years old, around 1978, so there’s no telling how much older the story actually is?

I’d really like to get another copy of the story of those children traveling with and riding their ponies, camping or resting while eating food from tins and parcels, and traveling across the moors and forests to get to…?

366G: Uncle Flees Disaster, Leaves Orphaned Children

I’m looking for the title of a dystopian middle grade or YA book I read in the late 1970s or early 1980s. An orphaned girl (tween or early teens) and her younger brother live with their aunt and uncle in an apartment building in a big city. (Maybe in the UK? I have a vague feeling that some things didn’t seem familiar to this midwestern suburban kid.) The uncle is mean and doesn’t like having them there. There’s a disaster of some sort and the uncle flees with his family, leaving the niece and nephew to fend for themselves. There’s no power or water and when they run low on food they leave the apartment. The girl fills a canteen or bottle with water from the toilet tank, saying she was grateful that at least her uncle wouldn’t let her aunt use the cleaning pucks that turn the toilet water blue. Later there’s some sort of charismatic leader and evil government. I don’t even remember if it was a particularly good book. It just occurs to me sometimes and I’d like to remember the rest of the story.

366E: Girl Trapped in Cistern

Sometime in the period 1984-1988, when I was a child, my summer reading subscription (Weekly Reader?) sent me a novel about a girl who lives alone with her mother in a country house. One hot summer day she escapes her chores in the cellar where there is an old-fashioned cistern (unlidded concrete cylinder built into the floor). She climbs it to lie on the rim, but then falls in and remains trapped for hours because her yelling is unheard by her mother vacuuming two floors above. That’s all I remember!