313H: Monkey Brain Time Travel (Solved)

I’m haunted by a (probably YA) time travel book I read in the mid 70s. I believe it takes place in England, where relatives are visiting (maybe from America?) their professor/scientist Uncle (?) who has produced a time travel potion. I think one of its main ingredients is monkey brains, but I’m not 100% sure. The serum allows the imbiber to travel back to Middle Age Britain, not sure if it’s as an active participant or as a fly-on-the-wall. Whichever character it is that starts taking trips, soon gets caught up in the people and events of that past. He becomes addicted to it. The danger is that his body stays more-or-less in present day geographically, so when he comes out of the trip he may be standing in the middle of a super highway or some such that wasn’t there hundreds of years ago. I don’t remember the resolution. I just remember loving the imagery and concept. Anybody?

312Y: Teens Runaway into the Woods

This is a dark teen novel. I read it in about 2007 and I think it was recently published. I believe the cover of the book was white (kind of a woodsy / snowy feel) with the title in black text.

The story was a very sad one.Three teens (the older two were a couple and there was a younger boy, who was the narrator) ran away and were homeless, living for at least part of the book in the woods (in some makeshift space — I believe an old van). They were cold and hungry and the girl got sick first. I believe she had sores or something on her body. In one tragic scene in particular, she’s asking the older boy (her boyfriend) to have sex with her and the narrator says the older boy did it because he really loved her. Eventually, of course, the girl died and I believe the older boy died as well a little later on.

As I said the younger boy was the narrator and there was a lot of dialect used. Apostrophes and such (“you want somethin’?”) which added a lot of character to the narration.

I believe it got good reviews / accolades, but was very sad and dark. You really saw how kids could fall through the cracks in the system and how terrible it was for kids trying to make their own way without assets or support.

311Z:Octopus For Dinner

I read a book when I was a kid 1993, the book felt modern) that was about a girl who was invited to sleepover at her friends house for the first time. Main girl is white and the friend is black. She’s very anxious, one thing she worries about is they will serve something weird for dinner like an octopus. She goes and they have a good time, in one part they run through cornfields at the friends house. It’s definitely geared towards 7-12 age group, some illustrations. I’ve been searching for years!!

309H: She’s obsessed with fashion (Solved)

The description of the book I am looking for is a young adult book, which I read in the 70’s (I was born in 1967).
The plot is a young girl living with her family in New York City who is obsessed with fashion. When her parents leave her in New York City alone when they go on vacation (which she is thrilled about) she stumbles into a Woody Allen set and believes she is going to be in the movie.

309C: 60s or 70s urban YA

This will probably be too little to go on, but I’ve been racking my brain for a year trying to remember a book I read when I was in middle school. It was YA and from the late 60s or 70s. It may have been a bit more of a pulp paperback than YA, but it was definitely geared towards young readers. It had an urban setting and there was a racial understanding component to the plot. I think the protagonist was white and he ended up befriending an African-American classmate. Almost anything else I try to remember about the plot (was there gang tensions? were they accused of a crime and had to hide out?) then convince me I’m remembering a different YA novel I read around the same time. The one thing I do seem to remember is totally pointless and trivial, but the main character sees the girl he likes in a corner store and causes her to lose her balance by knocking her in the back of the knees. I know it’s not much to go on, but I’m open to suggestions and guesses. Thanks!

308W: Time travel is a wheel within a wheel

I think the title was “Ghosts” or at least had that word in the title. I read it in the late 70s from my junior high school library.

The story was about a brother & sister who managed to travel back in time to know the children who lived in the same house. (I think they turned out to be related.)  Their Uncle was involved, and he explained time travel as some sort of wheel within a wheel (I never grasped the concept).  The selfish immature girl who lived in the house couldn’t see them, but could hear them when they spoke. When she proudly modeled a new dress and asked her mother for an opinion, she only heard the voice of one of the children say “I think she looks like a stuffed sausage!”  When they accidentally broke a vase, I believe it altered their time, and disappeared.

It was made into a movie at some point, because I found it on TV once, but I believe it had a different name.

I wish I knew more, but it is all I can remember. I’d love to read it again and share it with my children.

Thanks so much for trying to help!

308V: Haunted Houses in New England

These were several books by the same author, but not a series.  My 7th grade school librarian introduced me to the author.  This would have been around 1985-86.  The books all dealt with old, haunted houses in New England.  One had a creepy basement with a dirt floor, and bodies buried under it.  Another had a person look out a third story window to see a face looking back, and knew it was a ghost.  These books felt very grown up to me at the time, but were definitely Young Adult.  They were eerie and moody, but not Stephen King scary.  It was a woman author, and the covers usually had an old house in silhouette. I’d love to revisit this author, as I read all of the books in our school library over and over.  Some faint memory says the authors name might have been Barbara something……