361W: Japanese book about a boy who seeks a powerful sword from a dragon atop a mountain

I don’t know how you guys do with a series compared to single books, as this may be memory of the plot being tied to all the books, but I will try to order what I can remember as I go. If I were to guess I’d say there’s between 3 and 6 books.

Firstly I believe the story starts in a village in Japan. I don’t remember if the main character is foreign or Japanese. But the village is attacked by either ninjas or samurai from the emperor/shogun. The main character flees and at some point is sent on a journey to find certain treasures (maybe pertaining to the elements? Fire, sky, water, and earth). I only say this because at some point he is tasked to swim underwater for some item (I think jewelry or a pearl?) and while seeking the item underwater is tested or attacked by either a mermaid or a dragon. I know during his adventure he’s being chased by some guy who I think dies on his horse?
As the story at this point diverges from the main characters’ journey to this bad guy in hell who is trapped there wishing for revenge. Eventually the guy in hell gets free by finding the strength in a maggot he manages to eat. He escapes hell and rejoins the world as an undead and eventually starts killing other people in his quest for revenge and grows an undead army. (I’m assuming this part is in the final book) The main character hears of this and is tasked with climbing a mountain to obtain a powerful sword guarded by a dragon. The dragon tests him and after some sort of battle and fire breathing let’s him have the sword in which the character wraps up the story by killing the undead guy again.
If you have any questions please let me know! It’s been bugging me that I can’t remember. During your search you may come across a series called Young Samurai which is 8 books. I’ve read that series recently so I know it is not that one at least.

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).

353M: Circus Boy Rescues Chinese Girl, Witch Heals Her Bound Feet

Looking for a children's fantasy novel about a poor boy working at a circus who rescues a Chinese girl with bound feet who's a prisoner in one of the attractions. Takes place in medieval Europe, I think. They're on the run and get rescued by a witch or an old woman who heals the girl's feet by breaking the bones and then teaches her how to walk again. The boy and the girl go on a quest together. There may be a dragon involved. Wasn't a picture book and it had chapters. Read it between 2002 and 2008, but was probably published way earlier. Wish I had more info, thanks!

347R: Kids hunt for a treasure at a lake only to find it’s confederate money (Solved!)

I read the book in grade school in the early 80's.

I remember it’s a mystery book where kids visiting a lake look for a treasure.  In the end, the treasure turns out to be worthless confederate money.  One scene I remember vividly:  The boy is tricked by the girl to swim to the bottom of the lake with his snorkel and look up.  She claims it’s a beautiful view.  When he does so, the protective valve on the snorkel opens and water floods into his mouth.

I also seem to recall a dragon on the lake at night, but it’s made of paper and burns up from the candles used to illuminate it.  It is possible, however, that this memory might be from another book…

343Q: Boy Collects Golden Dragon Scales to Make A Dragon (Solved!)

Here are the details of a book my dad read around 1960 (possibly as late as 1963, but unlikely).

Plot elements: A boy (named maybe Ling or Lo, or a hyphenated name with one of those syllables) goes on a long quest collecting golden dragon scales that in the end fit together like a puzzle and make a dragon.

Genre: kids chapter book

Publish date: likely late 40’s early 50’s (my dad’s best guess—it was a library book)

Physical description of book: blue cloth hardcover

Illustrations: he remembers an illustrative motif of cranes, like on chapter headings maybe

Some books he claims it is NOT that I’ve found:

  • Loot of the Flying Dragon (by Kenneth Payson Kempton)
  • The Pink Porcelain Pipe (by Pauline Scott)
  • The Overcoming of the Dragon (by LC Sturgis)
  • The Last Dragon (by Dan Totheroh)

Many thanks for whatever you can do! I’ll at least know I tried my best after gnawing this bone for decades.

339M: OLD book with uncolored illustrations where a girl saves 3 other girls from a dragons belly

I’m guessing it was from the 70s or 80s, maybe earlier. softcover, fairly thin, and beautiful uncolored illustrations inside. From memory, it was about a girl who lived out of an old single carriage (starts with an illustration of her standing next to it) and traveled, with short stories of her adventures.

The one I remember best is her going to three towns, singing in one and being told singing is banned because a dragon took the towns best singer, dancing in another town and being told the same, and (I believe) telling a story in the third town? Later on, she finds the dragons cave where he has the three stolen girls in his stomach, and from the best of my memory, the three girls in his stomach tell him a story and sing him to sleep, then dance in his stomach until they’re spit up, and the main character saves them? I perfectly remember there’s an illustration at this part with all 4 girls escaping on a horse together, and I used to stare at that page for so long.

Later on in the book, all I can seem to remember is another point where she’s in a forest and meets some kind of shapeshifter / kelpie or similar creature… but that’s all I’ve got. I believe the girl is on the cover, and I seem to remember the cover art being very neutral/earth toned. I re-found this book on amazon years ago, but now I can’t find it again and cannot for the life of me remember the title or author. It was my absolute favorite book and i’d love to be able to find it again.

 

336V: Funny Dragon-ish creature (Kaz?)

I think the book was to be one of a series, but I only read the first one. It was set in a land with a limited map, like a world within a land, and the people who lived in the land where unaware of the wider world.

There was a red dragon or lizard named Jaz or Baz or Kaz who was funny and the best friend of the human, who I believe was female.

The cover had the lizard-type creature perched on a roadside boulder, with the road winding down a hill and maybe clouds around the edges.
I believe I read it in the 90’s or 00’s

 In addition, my son says this:
Kaz is the name of the dragon for sure. The land is separated by walls, and one or some start breaking down and that’s the main conflict. Later they find out that the world is set up that way because of fantasy space computers.

328M: Adventures Of Royal Fairy Family (Solved!)

I am trying to remember a book I read back in about the late 90s. Here is everything about the book I can recall.
The book was printed in green ink, to include the illustrations.
The story was about a fairy (I think) that was able to ride on clouds. I think the name was Mica or Micah. He went to a kingdom of humans and met a princess. The princess’ kingdom had lost a war with the other kingdom and was being taken to be married to the ugly princess of the other kingdom.
The fairy arranges the escape of the princess and takes her to his world. While there, they arrange to get married.  They have two children, a son and a daughter.
The book continues with the lives of the children. The son ends up saving a princess from a curse and marries her. The daughter makes friends with a knight and a dragon. An angry mob goes after the dragon. The knight helps defend the dragon. The knight and the daughter marry.
It was a bit of a strange book.
The writing level from what I remember was the same as the Harry Potter books.
I wish you luck.

326D: Air Force Pilot Takes On Dragon In Storm Cloud

Short fantasy/sci-fi story in an anthology aimed at young readers in the late 70s/early 80s - I seem to remember reading it in late elementary school, though it could have been middle school. Story was about an Air Force pilot who lost a friend to a dragon in a storm cloud, but no one believed him, so he stole a plane and went back up to kill the dragon. He was catatonic and white-haired when the plane landed, and everyone thought he was just crazy, until they watched his gun-camera footage of his attack runs on the dragon.