307M: There may or may not have been a brother

I’m trying to help my daughter find a book (part of a series actually) that had a family, possibly from the Victorian era ( the sisters had poofy dresses) . There may or may not have been a brother. There was one scene where two of the sisters, or a sister and a friend, are talking and the conversation paraphrases 1 Corinthians 13:12 about ” through a glass darkly”. There is also a  different scene where one girl is on a balcony looking down on people. She read this book in middle school in the early 90s, but thinks the book was printed in the 70s or 80s. She read above her grade level, so it was not necessarily a middle school book. Also she remembers that where it was placed on the shelf in the library meant the authors last name was not at the beginning or end of the alphabet.



307F: Half-Dragon General

In the 80’s (at around 10-13yrs old) I read a YA fantasy trilogy about a warring general who was half human half (lizard/reptile/dragon?) who’s skin is covered in (tiny blue) scales. He was looked down on for this deformity but his difference was part of his driving force. The trilogy follows a young girl who was captured or sold into the war party/entourage and follows her journey as the general conquers lands etc. I can’t remember much more but she eventually becomes his mistress or concubine type of slave maybe?

Paperback trilogy, Young adult section, fantasy fiction. It seemed new at the time but it could have been written in the mid to late seventies or early eighties? It seemed to be set in a slightly game of thrones non-era era? All three books were of average novel length. I partially remember the covers being full colour, maybe a central picture in a darker arched border?

307C: Important Tree Stumps

My daughter’s class was reading a book a few years ago — she was in 5th grade, at a school I lovingly referred to as ‘the school for super smart, socially challenged children,’ and they listened to a few chapters of this book that she would like to finish, but we have no clue regarding the title or author. She says the story involved two boys at the outset, a book that they refer to as ‘the book with a big B,” a talking bird, and she vaguely recalls tree stumps as being important. Any clue?


306P: Above a converted red barn

I’m trying to locate the title and copy of a book from my childhood. I purchased it at a book fair at my elementary school in Chicago when I was between the ages of 8-10. 1988-1990. Maybe a scholastic title since they sponsored our books fairs and sales?

The book was about a family that lived above a converted red barn, kept livestock and were apple/orchard farmers (not the red barn book)! Beautiful pictures, almost like watercolors, that depicted the family in winter/ maybe fall. Father mother daughter, maybe more kids, based in New England or upper Midwest area. I’ve been searching for several years.

Thanks for your time

306I: Girl Rides Polar Bear

I read this book in perhaps 5th grade (1975). An Inuit Girl lives with her mother but is either urged to leave or gets lost (set in Greenland?). She encounters a polar bear and is “adopted” by bear. The hardcover book jacket featured girl in traditional parka riding the bear, she has a spear I think.

Sounds suspiciously like East published in 2005, but this was long before that.  I remember her learning to fish.

Any assistance greatly appreciated.




305U: Diary of a girl who died

The book in question is a ghost story that I read in the late 80s and I believe it to be a Young Adult book or possibly geared towards preteens. My impression is that it was written or published in the 70s, but that is only a guess. I cannot remember the title, but it was an off white hardcover library book with some sort of random small scene on the front relating to the story. It was a fairly thin book, maybe only 50-75 pages?

The story was about a teenage girl who had to go live with her uncle (I think) for some reason, and while she was there she found an old diary from a girl who had died many years before. The book makes many references to the ‘bogs” near the house (I didn’t know what a bog was before reading this book) and the girl who wrote the diary died after running into one of the bogs in the middle of the night and sinking. Not sure if it was accident or a suicide due to grief. I believe that there was a reference to a missing necklace or locket and the girl (who wrote the diary) had a boyfriend/lover/fiance that may have been a soldier named Ian who died.


One of the chapters in the book was titled “Letters To Ian.”  The main character becomes obsessed with the story as she reads the diary and starts having dreams/hallucinations about this girl and Ian and their deaths. Near the end of the book she finds herself either sleepwalking or hallucinating and ends up caught in one of the bogs in the middle of the night, possibly trying to find the locket/necklace.

I read this books dozens of times when I was young but never owned it and one day when I went to check it out again ( I lived next door to a library as a child) I found that the library had discarded it in a mass auction to make room for new books. I was heartbroken, and none of the librarians could provide me with the title to search for it elsewhere. We only had paper catalogs in our small town library and no computer system back then to look at what books a customer had checked out. I’ve tried for 30 years to remember the name of this book so that I can look for a used copy somewhere, with no luck.

Hopefully the little that I can still remember will jog someone’s memory.


305L: Magician and girl fight spiritualism together (Solved)

Children or young adult historical fiction book, set during late 1800s or early 1900s. Girl is on cruise ship with silly female relative who believes in spiritualism, meets stage magician (Anton?) who smokes something distinctive (briar root? cheroot?) and teaches her how to do magic tricks. Author emphasizes logic over belief. Mystery involved? Published between 1950 and 2000, probably late 20th century.

305G: …turns out, he shouldn’t have

I read a YA fantasy or sci fi book in the mid to late 70s. I was 10 to 13 years old. I checked the book out at the same time as Enchantress of the Stars. The protagonist was a young boy or teen who thought his world was unfair. One of the rules was that no one was to drink stream water. The world was ruled by judges. The protagonist thought this was an unfair system. He drank the water, turns out he shouldn’t have. Also, because he questioned authority (spoiler alert) he became a judge. Thanks!

I believe the authors last name began with an A or B. I reread it a few times as a kid and seem to remember finding it before Baum (I read all of his Oz books), alphabetically.

305F: A little bit Flipper and a little bit Frank

In the early 80s, I read almost every book in a juvenile fiction series of adventure stories. Covers we’re likely library hardbacks so probably not helpful but were green with line drawings of multiple kinds of adventures. Books includes some line illustrations. I think the series may have had multiple authors, possibly different kinds of adventures, but I most remember the diving ones. Young adults learning how to dive, learning about the bends, exploring, mostly ocean research, I think, but maybe combating poachers or sea criminals?!? I think of a combination of “Flipper” and the Frank Crisp books. Series seems like it was probably from 60s or 70s.