334V: Mystery series probably published 1940-1970

I do not know the name of any of the books in the series, but I can describe at least one of the covers. Our library had 4 books but there may have been more. All of the books had a deep purple cover. One had a mansion or haunted house on top of a hill or cliff. For some reason murder mansion, Whispering Hill, sticks in my head. I believe there were 2 or 3 kids and one had an odd name. Definitely not the more prolific series, Three Investigators, Hardy Boys, etc. The books were hardcover and not very thick, 70-80 pages and meant for grades 3-6. I hope you can find the series I am looking for.

334T: Young Boy Learns To Swim

This was a very small (maybe 3” x 3”) thin paperback book(let) that was possibly free, as part of I think a bread purchase (maybe Colonial?) in the late 50’s or 60’s. About a boy, very scared of the water, who learns to swim, I think with his family on a camping trip. Name is something like Noah or Jonah, but it is not the book called Noah Learns to Swim. Also not Noah’s Swim-a-Thon.

334L: Old lady looking for her missing glasses

I am looking for a children's picture/story book about an old lady who lost her glasses. She looks everywhere in her house for them; under flowerpots, etc. The story ends when she finds them on her back. She had them on a string tied around her neck. There was a companion book about a farmer, but I don’t recall what that was about. It was at least 8x10, tan and not a thick book. Thinking it was 50’s/ early 60’s.

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.

 

333S: Teenage Girl Helps Orphaned Foxes in their Den

My mom (born in 1960) has long searched for this book she read in her childhood. She consulted with librarians and even wrote a letter to the Toronto Star, but none of the suggestions were it. She gave up in the '90s. It was a picture book (for children) about a teenage girl who finds a den of orphaned fox cubs and cares for them in the den, rather than taking them home. The illustrations were in pencil crayon or pastel style. She believes it wasn't an old book back then, so it was probably published in the late '50s or '60s.

 

332V: Witch Balls & a Cursed Child’s Palm

I read this book at some point during late grade school/junior high, probably between 4th & 8th grade, so somewhere between 1980-86. It was a pre-teen horror of the old school, by which I mean it assumes kids can actually handle seriously creepy, potentially life-threatening stuff. It was an older library book that our awesome school librarian recommended to me. Maybe published in the 50's or 60's? Definitely before the late 70's, given the age of the library's copy & when I read it. Unfortunately, there's no cover art I can reference as it had a green cloth binding with no dust jacket.

I don't remember much of the plot but what I do remember is as follows: A junior-high aged girl goes to visit her grandmother for the summer in a small village. Grandma is a witch (good, natch). Another woman has moved into town & grandma suspects her to be a bad witch. Bad witch tries to start a witch war. I can't remember if it was for a specific reason or just because she was a bad witch & that's what bad witches do. Similar in feel to The House With a Clock In Its Walls series or the Green Knowe books but a smidge darker. I believe it was located somewhere in New England, but I wouldn't swear to it. I *think* there were cars & telephones but the time frame was kinda vague. Or my memory is. And that's all for the overall plot.

I do, however, remember some weird specifics. The grandma hung a witch ball over the front door to see if the new neighbor was evil. She had a bottle tree, too. There were lots of nifty little folkloric witchy things like that. The thing that sticks clearest in my mind is that grandma gets a letter with what appears to be child's hand print. Grandma recognizes it as the actual skin of a child's hand & proceeds to place the skin inside an old Bible, which she wraps up tightly so it can't be opened because said palm skin is a curse. That scene has stuck with me ever since I read it, as one might imagine. It's pretty unique. Other than that, I can remember exactly where it was located in my grade school library but that's probably not much help. (Second from last bookcase on the left, third shelf from the top, right side, below the Nancy Drew books.)

 

331U: Old Woman Who Cleans

Hello, the book I'm looking for is old, most likely from the 50's or 60's. There is an old woman (skinny) who lives in a cottage or house that is messy. She starts out cleaning one thing and then obsessively has to clean the rest of her house, and there was a picture of the kitchen with a blue checkered tablecloth.