337G: Fear of Being Crushed in the Crowd was Unfounded

Please help me.  This is driving me crazy.  I believe this book was written in the 60’s, possibly.

Around 1980 I read a book in middle school English class about a boy who lived in a large city but no one was allowed to go outside for fear of being crushed.  Everyone had a tv/internet-like machine in their home where they ordered things and they were sent into the home via a chute.

There were warnings from the “government” via tv to stay inside or they would be crushed by the mass of people on the streets outside.

The boy decided to go outside and found there was actually no one on the streets at all.

336Y: Pioneer Girl Loses Locket, Then Family, Then Works Her Way To New Home (Solved!)

This book was one I read in maybe elementary or middle school (between 2000-2006) that I have been unable to find anything about for years. I’ve googled every detail I remember, called libraries and purchased books online that I thought might be it only to be disappointed.

The books cover I think was beige or brown, with maybe the back of a covered wagon on it?

It starts out that the family of the girl the book is centered on is moving to settle land in maybe the west? I assume they are settlers or pioneers. They are going to a big wooded area to build a log cabin. She has a little brother or possibly little sister.

Before they depart, the girl’s grandmother gives her a locket with a piece of her hair in it to take along with her. I remember the hair maybe being brown or gold and the grandmother joking her hair had not always been silver. They leave and along the way they stop at an inn/tavern? Some men try to mug or harass them and the little girl’s braids are tugged by these men hard enough to hurt. That night she was so upset about this that she took a pocketknife and sawed them right off at the base. Her hair was very short after doing it. Her mother is very upset when she wakes up to discover this and smooths them out on her lap. Her younger sibling remarks they looked like maple syrup? I could be falsely remembering that. The father was very angry, thinking those men had done this to his daughter in the dead of night. The girl admits it was her, though.

They leave this area and somewhere along the way it starts to storm horribly. The children are in the back of the covered wagon resting. The younger sibling is asleep and somehow the girl’s locket falls off the wagon. I distinctly remember her hopping off the wagon and it explaining she concentrated very hard to visualize where she saw it fall. She plunged her hand into a puddle and felt something cold, her locket! She found it and tried to run to catch up to the wagon, but could not for whatever reason. The storm was too loud for her family to hear her shouting to them, so she was left behind.

She now has to go the direction she knows her family is going and find them. The rest of the book describes her journey.

At one point, she finds her way to another inn where she begs for food. The owner is a woman who makes her work for her food, clearing the tables. When she is done, the innkeeper sits down with the little girl and watches her eat the scraps and leftovers. She is allowed to stay so long as she works. There are two? other girls staying there as well. They make fun of her short hair calling her “fuzzy” as a mean nickname. One night she has trouble getting to sleep and somehow sloshes pickle juice onto her clothes. The other girls kick her out of bed because she stinks, so she gets up and leaves.

Along the way she is walking through a wood and encounters a hunter? who she is afraid of. The hunter realizes this and starts to tell a story or sing so that she comes out and comes to him. He remarks he thought she was a little boy. The man is kind and helps her find her way. It’s blurry here, but he either helps her find a sign to follow or he helps her all the way to her family. When they get close to her family, she observes the trees are all cut from the very tops. Someone explains that they were cutting the trees down and cutting off the narrow part on the top and when they do that, the trees base is so heavy it ends up standing back up by itself with a loud “thump”? Sounds weird so don’t take this detail to heart.

She does find her family eventually and its great and her father has already begun work on their cabin. They celebrate with new neighbors and family. There is dancing and everything. The mother ties a ribbon in her daughter’s short hair and runs her fingers through it, remarking on how there was a natural curl to it. I think the girl dances with the hunter that helped her? and that’s the end of what I remember.

I think maybe there might be “home” or “journey” in the title but I have expanded beyond that.

It is a lot of info but I have dug and dug and I haven’t found anything for this book. I know more of what book it is NOT than I do about what it is. I’ve looked over every archive of ‘pioneer’, ‘covered wagon’, and ‘Oregon trail’ on the internet.

It is none of the little house books, it is NOT Ellie by Dean Cummings. This was the closest I could find to it and bought it because there was no summary of the book online. It is not Painted Sky, not Sarah Plain and Tall. It is not Pioneer Girl. I’ve looked at the Dear/My America books and it doesn’t seem to be any of those. I’m super stuck on this.

Thanks for any help!

335Z: Charlie’s Uncle’s “New Invention”

I am looking for a young adult novel that I read in the late 70's. The setting was an urban/city background called “Dogtown", a place in which the main character, Charlie, was doing everything he could to earn money to join his uncle to go off and use his uncle’s “new invention” to make a fortune. His uncle lived out of a VW bus that he also drove, and would come to town from time to time. Charlie’s friend Henry Etienne would help him and his efforts (they would salvage scrap; they farmed ladybugs in, I believe, the Sierra Molina canyons; at one point in the book, Charlie and Henry have a fake fight at a men’s club to earn tips). Charlie had a teacher, an Asian American man who rode a motor scooter, who encouraged Charlie to write down all of his ideas. At the climax of the story, we come to find out that the “new invention“ the uncle has is actually a fighting cock. Charlie and his uncle go to their first fight at which the rooster is killed, and the police bust up the illegal fight.

PLEASE help me find this book!

334P: Unsuccessful Boy Struggles With Successful, But Strange, Sister

I have not read this book, but saw it in a list somewhere about 3 years ago, give or take. Family who has genius or academically successful children, except one boy or the boy is different, but I can’t remember in what sense, book might be about this boy and his struggles in the family. Synopsis I read mentioned a sister (of the boy) who is exceedingly successful in school but is strange. Sorry, that’s all. It could possibly be YA but not sure at all. Thanks all

334O: Orphans adopted by sadistic older couple (Solved!)

I read a YA series of (I believe 3 books) in the 1980's about 3 children who were orphaned and sent to live with an older couple off of the eastern US coast in a large mansion (perhaps Maine).  The children were regularly subjected to gaslighting and emotional abuse.  No adult believed them until the end of the very last book because the couple was so well regarded in the town.   There was a cliff near the house where the tide came in very quickly and that played into the books very frequently.

334K: Evolved Rats Vs Devolved Humans In Once Radioactive City

When I was young, 12 maybe, I checked a book out of the local library, reading it several times, which initiated a life long live of post apocalyptic fiction. In the book a young boy about my age lives with a tribe outside the ruins of a large city that might have been Chicago. The tribe is at the hunter gatherer level of technology. And his main weapon is a spear. The city itself is a blast zone/dead zone no one is allowed to go in because it is supposedly radioactive. I don’t remember why but he heads into the dead zone and discovers the radiation is no longer deadly. But living in the ruins are a race of evolved rat beasts that are six feet tall, stand on their hind legs, and are spear wielding. The rat beasts come after him and he has a series of near misses until he escapes the dead zone and is rescued in a big showdown between the human tribe and the rat tribe, being saved by the adults whose rules he defied. The book had large-ish print and excellent pen and ink drawings sprinkled throughout. I went back to the library that I got it from but the destroyed my old library card and no longer have the book. It would have been published in the 1950’s or first part of the 60’s. Any help finding it would be greatly appreciated.

 

333Z: Australian Teenager on the Road, Searching for Biological Mother

In the first half of 2002, I got most of the way through a self-contained YA mystery series. I think there were ten books in total, each about 100-120 pages, probably published recently. I was attending a Canadian high school at the time and discovered the series while volunteering at another school’s library. I read all but the last one (I suspect the school year ended before I had a chance to borrow that one). I’d like to know how the series concluded, but every attempt I’ve made at finding these books online has hit a dead end. I either find nothing, or I find an earlier online description of the series that I wrote in 2015.
The protagonist is a young woman from Australia (as I recall), about sixteen, named something like Blake or Blaine. The series has her name in the title along the lines of ‘The Blake Journals’ or ‘The Blaine Files’ or the like. The first volume opens with her leaving home in a carefully thought-out plan to run away. She disappears in the middle of the night, grabs her possessions, and takes to the road on some kind of motor scooter or moped. We eventually learn that her goal is to locate her biological mother, who vanished years ago. As I recall, there’s very little in terms of action-adventure: this is more about a quiet and painstaking solo quest.
The books’ cover images were nearly identical. They all had the series title in large yellow-and-black typography, staggered a bit for a vintage-typewriter look to convey mystery/edginess. If I had to guess, a publishing house cranked these out in a short period of time as a one-off, but clearly the series intrigued me enough that I read about 90% of it, and now I’m finding it tantalizing.

 

333F: Greenwich Village jazz father and son (Solved!)


Growing up in a small town in Eastern Washington in the early 1970’s, I read a book I still remember. It’s a middle school targeted chapter book with a few line drawing illustrations. My copy was paperback. It features a father and son, the dad is a jazz musician / fan, I think they live in the Village - or at least someplace downtown NYC. Maybe there is some music that is played on the rooftop? Maybe parents are divorced? Published pre-1974.