292F: Boy teaches children to fly

I believe I read this book in the mid-1960s from the school library. A new boy shows up in the community and, over the course of the summer, teaches all of his classmates to fly. Spoiler alert: it turns out he is actually a bird temporarily in boy form, and when he leaves at the end of the summer (presumably to migrate), one of the girls (maybe a loner who has no family?) goes with him, as a bird. I don’t think it’s the girl from whose point of view the story is told, but that’s possible. The title that sticks in my head, but which I think is wrong, is That Summer, the Birds. THANK YOU!!!

291U: It definitely wasn’t Harriet the Spy

I’m looking for a book I read as a child in the 1960s. My clues are very vague (sorry!), but here goes:

The book was a middle-grade novel about two girls who play at being detectives. They follow people around and write in their notebooks. I thought the title was The Key House Mystery or The Key-House Mystery (with a hyphen), but I haven’t found it on sites I’ve tried.

Unfortunately, that’s all I remember.  I don’t know the color of the cover, whether there were illustrations, or when it was published.

The book definitely wasn’t Harriet the Spy.

291O: Cap’n Patchy Rat

Captain Patchy Rat, as I recall from my very early youth, is the story of the rat who organized a swashbuckling rebellion against the tyranny of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Illustrated. I recall an eye patch, of course, a pirates sash with rapier brandished. The book dates to 1950 era.

Have not been able to locate with desultory inquiries.

Would like to locate before all my grandchildren are too old for it.

290S: The chicken is delicious and possibly addictive

A children’s book I read in the early-to-mid 90s; could have been published earlier. A school cafeteria serves chicken (I think), possibly tenders. The chicken is delicious and possibly addictive. A student, male, investigates the cafeteria situation and, towards the end of the book, discovers that the chicken is made with a poisonous ingredient hidden in the cafeteria kitchen that gives it its flavor/addicting quality; the ingredient is stored in a large vat. There’s a fight between the hero and the evil cafeteria employee. The book is NOT Bone Chillers: Back to School or Eat Your Poison Dear.

290C: A shy girl at summer camp

I am looking for a book I read somewhere around 5th grade.  The year was 1977-78ish.  Everyone was reading Judy Blume.  The book I’m looking for was about a girl who went to summer camp.  I think the girl was overweight.  My recollection is that the girl was shy for some reason, or maybe that’s how I saw myself.  Maybe the girl just wasn’t happy with the way she looked.  Perhaps Judy Blume or another author popular at the same time?

290B: A school bus that is not magical

Hello, this is a middle grade paperback book I read in the 1980s. It had simple black and white pen-type illustrations. (I think. It’s possible there were no illustrations.)

A professor takes a select group of kids to live for the summer in a school bus near the beach. It is not magical. Everyone gets to choose their own bunk and decorate their area.  They study nature like tide pools and write in notebooks.They have to write every day.  The professor plays the guitar and write his own lyrics.

One of the songs goes something like this:

Yes is best, but next to that is maybe.

We’ll say can sometimes grow to yes,

but when they say I doubt it, you’re on your way to no.

I don’t think so, I don’t think so,

down, down, down,

there’s no where else to go

but frown and then say no.

They make a clam pit and have a clam bake. They go visit a mansion and everyone chooses a room and picks out clothes from the closet of that room to wear to dinner. One girl wears “paper ballet slippers” to the dinner and  I have spent my entire life trying to figure out how that would work. Everyone suddenly sees her as beautiful.

There was also something about how they managed privacy and all the kids created their own outdoor “rooms” where they could be alone and undisturbed when they got over peopled.


289L: She discovers an antique China doll in the rags

The book I’m looking for is a chapter book. It was in my elementary school library in the late 1970s but it was an old book. The cover was purple. The story was a girl who had to stay with an uncle and aunt. She goes to an auction and buys a bundle of rags for a penny. When she gets home she discovers an antique China doll in the rags. She loves the doll but in the end returns it to the lady who owns it and gets another doll in exchange.

289H: Not the traditional stories

Hello! I’m trying to find a children’s book collection of chapter books from the early 1980’s. Probably 3rd/4th grade level. I recall at least 5 books in a boxed set, which I received in 1982.

Definitely fairy tales, but not the traditional stories that everyone knows.

There were a number of stories with different characters. Pixies, fairies, wood sprites, a Dodo bird, etc. There were some illustrations, but I think it was mostly at the beginning of each chapter.