360I: Magic Ball (Children’s Sci-Fi)

I read this book as part of a children’s summer reading program at a small branch library next to my Dad’s hardware store in Clarksville, Indiana. The timing was some time between 1965-1968. Every book you read would earn a balloon stamp on a clown bookmark. You only received the stamp after giving a verbal recap of each book to the librarian.

I do not recall the title but I believe there were limited graphics inside the pages. A young boy finds a red ball in a field near his home. He quickly realizes that the ball can respond to his wishes. It can change color and size. Become heavy or light. It can even fly around the room and come to home when he calls.

Late in the book the ball starts to exhibit strange behavior as if it wants to escape. The boy follow the ball into the field where he meets the ball’s true owner: an alien child from a nearby space ship that has landed. The boy gives the ball back to the alien child and is thanked by the alien parent.

This book started my love of science fiction writing and led me to the likes of Wells, Verne, Asimov, Bradbury, Clarke and many others.

359S: Spoiled Girl Takes Out Frustrations on Poor Girl Nicknamed “Safety Pins”

I am trying to find the title and/or author of a paperback book bought at a book fair from the late 80s early 90s.

Here is what I remember of the book:
It is about a girl named Patty or Patti whose parents were just divorced. She is living with her mother and because of the divorce, money is tight and her mom cannot afford a lot of basic things for the girl. The girl wears old clothes/an old bathing suit that is falling apart and gets teased by other girls who call her “Safety Pins” because she wears a bathing suit or clothes held up with safety pins. She volunteers or goes to some stables to help take care of horses, and cares for them, but cannot afford to ride them. There is another girl there named Stacey or Stacy who is rich, spoiled, and mean to Patty, and also treats her own horse badly. Stacey throws a tantrum because her horse doesn’t get a fancy twisted bit for her bridle, but a plain one, and screams at Patty for this oversight. I believe (this may not be correct) that Patty earns her lessons to ride a horse because she works hard at the stables and takes good care of the horses there.
The other thing I remember about this short paperback is that it had very simple black and white line drawings in it–maybe one in every other chapter or so.
It was written for kids in elementary school, I believe.

359A: 90’s Satanic Panic Teen Romance

This was most likely purchased from a Scholastic Book Fair in the mid to late 90s. I don’t remember the title but I think the cover was dark blue with an image on the front but I can’t remember what of. Something vague like two shadows or a book with a pentagram on it. It is a short book. Probably around 150 pages. Could be Middle Grade or Young Adult.
Details I’m pretty sure of: The story was about a teen girl who moves to a new town and gets a crush on a dark, mysterious guy. He brings her into a group of friends that seem cool and goth but end up being a satanic cult that sacrifices a cat in a dark cave. She is eventually saved by a love interest.
Details I’m unsure of: Vaguely supernatural elements as in things happen that seem magical but may not be. I think there is a scene where she escapes through the basement of a restaurant. Towards the end we learn that she moved to this town because her parents died and the parent’s dying was orchestrated by the cult. Maybe the leader of the cult is revealed to be The Devil. Maybe because we see flames in his eyes or some other devilish detail. There might be drugs involved. There might be an element where the protagonist thinks people have been killed but then they are found alive.
Thank you for the help! This has been bothering me for YEARS.

358E: All About the World War

I recall there was a book I read when I believe I was about 8 or 9 years old which I really enjoyed but forgot the name. It was about a World War (can’t remember if it was the first or second) and it was made in a way (cover, text) which was mainly for children/young adults but was also suitable for adults. I remember the cover of the book looking somewhat childish – a yellow cover or something?
Also, the author’s name was mentioned right before the book title which was something like, ‘All about the War’. So for example, if the author’s name was John Smith, it would be, ‘John Smith’s All About The War’ book, if that makes sense. I also believe the author was British/English.
There is also one page which I very clearly remember. There was an image of a man and a woman wearing military dress and the text next to it was written by the author and said, ‘this was my mother and father during the war (again, unsure which one the book was about) who served in the RAF.

357Y: 1980’s young reader fiction set in Boston

I am trying to find the name of a book I read in 5th grade in 1983-84. It was a chapter book about a young girl whose family (just her and her parents) had to move, I think, because of one parent’s job change. She tries to prevent the move by demanding her parents find her a bedroom in a tower, and to her chagrin, they succeed. I don’t know that the book actually names Boston as the move destination, but looking back the girl clearly moved to the Back Bay area in Boston. There she befriended a group of loners, oddballs and outcasts. One of them is called Gertrudestein (one word) in the book. She is an older divorced woman who left her husband Lloyd because she could not bear his insistence that his name be pronounced “yoyd.” The young girl and a friend (maybe a similar-aged boy) decide to steal a swan boat in the middle of the night to take their menagerie of friends, who for various reasons are socially unacceptable as riders during the daytime, on a ride. A decent portion of the story is spent planning the heist.
I have a daughter in 5th grade myself now and am so desperate to find and share this book with her!

357O: Scandinavian folk tale collection

I am looking for a book that was a series of short stories or collection of Scandinavian (?) folk tales. It could possibly be classified as young adult but likely for a younger age range (10-14). The usual searches (Norwegian, Swedish, Scandinavian folktales) have not turned up the book, so perhaps it was a collection of general folk/magical themed stories. There were pictures throughout book. They were not in a cartoon style but drawn and I believe one picture showed a cave and/or beach. I only remember these drawings being in black and white. There was at least one story about the sea. The version I had was paperback. Cover art: White background, young girl (face of a young girl). It is was nymph like, or some type of fairy. Very g-rated. There was some green on the cover. It was more modern looking than the usual cover art for Nordic folk tale books, however, an overall flowy feel to the cover. Timing: I received it sometime between 1998-2002. It was likely purchased in Canada at either McNally’s Robinson bookstore or an independent seller.

357H: The Monster Encyclopedia

I don't know the name of it. It was a book of black and white sketch like drawings of different pretend monsters, but not cryptids. They may have been monsters that looked like household objects, one of them was possibly a coat hanger type thing. Each page had a description of a monster and then a black and white picture/sketch of them. It was definitely published before 2015 and was meant for either children or preteens.

357C: 70s Purple Dragon (Solved!)

I was in elementary school in the 70s and I remember reading what I think was an early chapter book series with a boy and his purple dragon/dinosaur/monster. The illustrations in my memory were very minimalist and had a Quentin Blake feel to them but I’ve researched Quentin Blake’s work and don’t see it listed. The dragon/dinosaur/monster was very tall, definitely purple, and walked on two legs. I have a vivid memory of the boy riding on its shoulders. I don’t remember anything about the plot except they seemed somewhat surreal (maybe?) so I don’t know if the creature was real or imaginary. It’s possible the series was school literature only (not mass market published).