350M: Boy Trains With Magic Sword

I’m looking for a book I read sometime between 2005-2011. The cover was mostly blue and had a sword hilt on it I think. In the book a kid from our world somehow goes to another world. In this other world, the people fight with swords that the blade only actually exists if you believe? Little hazy on that part. I remember a scene where the main character loses a foot race to a younger kid from this other world. The people train using the swords by swinging them at giant boulders. The sword blade can heal any wound when pressed against it unless it’s caused by that type of sword. Might have had Christian themes. When in our world the main character was attacked by some sort of invisible monster that can’t be seen. Somebody saved him using one of the magic swords.

349Q: The Four Elementals and the Earth Children Raised in World with Magic

The book was a children’s/YA book published sometime between 2005 and 2012. It was meant to be a quartet. I know 2 came out and I was curious if it was ever finished.
It had two main characters, a boy on earth who was disabled because he born on a world with magic. And a girl who is from earth but was raised in the world with magic, she’s the only one who can’t use magic and is immune to it.
There are evil magicians who can travel between the worlds, but doing so damages the worlds. The two main characters can move back and forth together but it damages the worlds. They’re told the only solution is to seek help from each of four elementals, societies of magic creatures that, if all four can be convinced to help, can make a bridge between the worlds in a safe way. Both of the main characters have to go to their birth worlds or it’s bad for the fabric of the universe or something, and this can only be accomplished with their help. The bad guys use dark magic and want to hunt them down. The boy struggles to learn the magic of his birth world. The first book dealt with the water elementals and the second with the earth elementals, I think. I think the name of the magic world started with an F
There’s a scene where the girl is on earth for the first time while they’re on the run and they go to a McDonald’s and she experiences a soda for the first time. I think her name starts with a K (Kira?)and the boy’s might be Marcus.

349P: Forest Girl Falls in Love with City Boy

I read this as a young adult (I was born in 1976). It was a beautiful novel about a girl who grew up in the forest with little / no interaction with the outside world. I remember she had a vivid imagination and maybe had a magical lake or bog she would visit. She meets someone from the “city” and they fall in love. I seem to remember he gave her gloves and she didn’t know what gloves were. I now have teenage daughters and would love to share this novel with them.
I’ve done a lot of searching with the words girl, lost, forest, tree but can’t seem to figure it out.

348Z: The Griffins Who Loved Tragedies and Other Short Stories (Solved!)

Collection of magical and wacky short stories for children, I believe it was an anthology of different authors, but I’m not sure. The edition I read in the 2000s had a cover illustrated with dancing pumpkins entwined with various characters from the short stories. It was old, maybe 70s or 80s? One story was of the pumpkins, someone tended them too well and they danced around the town causing havoc, another involved too much bubblegum. The only story I remember in detail was one of an author who wrote comedies. Everyone loved them, but he dreamed of writing tragedies. Whenever he tried submitting tragedies to his publisher, he was turned down. Being the father of two boys, he can’t afford to stop writing his jokes. These two boys also wanted a swimming pool. One night the author threw his tragedy out the window, and the pages floated to the mountains. The next few nights he heard crying coming from the mountain – and finally he went to investigate. There he found a griffin, crying over a few pages of his manuscript. Griffins, apparently, love tragedies. So the author offers to write him more, and give dramatic readings, and the griffin brings his friends, and their tears flow down the mountain, and become a natural swimming pool for the author’s boys, who become the best swimmers at their school.

347E: The wizard, the chalice, and a wizardess that talks to trees

I read this circa 1997-98 and it was from a used bookstore even then. Unfortunately, I lost track of it around 2003 and I don’t recall the title or author but I remember the plot pretty well.

It’s fantasy novel about a wizard; book starts with his training difficulties and at some point he gets terrible burn scars on his back. Time jump to him on a quest with other companions in search of a chalice. A noblewoman running from home stumbles into the mess but her hidden gift allows her save his life when he’s overwhelmed by the chalice’s defenses, though they are now bound together. After they both recover (separately; she was returned to her family) in the capital city, the country is at war from an attacking neighbor. The noblewoman makes friends with a young girl with a large purple birthmark on her face; she has also developed more magic, though she had always been able to talk to trees (she had run away from home because of her abusive father who hated magic). When the royal family is killed by a poisoned mist, the noblewoman’s young friend turns out to be a princess and becomes the next ruler. The noblewoman finds herself elevated to royal advisor.

The previous king didn’t trust the wizard because he was afraid of him, but the princess-turned-queen will listen to him because she trusts the noblewoman. The noblewoman moves into the wizard’s tower to learn magic; meanwhile the war is still going on.

In the end the wizard uses the chalice and sacrifices himself to defeat the enemy’s powerful mage. But due to the bond between them, the noblewoman-turned-wizard can still see him in the “other world” so she’s not alone.

Thanks again for your time!

347D: Cruel Soot Turns Good

Hello all. I’ve been racking my brain for years over this one and I need some help. I remember my first grade teacher reading this kids’ chapter book to us in increments during class in the mid-90s, but I can’t recall many of the details. It’s bugged me to death for years.

Here’s what I can remember: The protagonist is female, probably an older kid or teenager. The book is written in third person and in English. The setting was a fantasy pre-modern city or town. Could be Victorian-esque, but maybe earlier or later. The villain is a cruel, miserable guy named (or nicknamed) Soot who wears all black and is feared throughout the area. I think he drives some kind of carriage or wagon but I’m not sure. The story opens with a king taking his last breath and then dying. The story ends with Soot turning good and joining the heroes in some kind of magic they’ve learned, and the protagonist falls asleep listening to their incantations. I think said incantations involve groups of three unrelated words, and the very last one mentioned was “dictionary”. The most frequently suggested titles, Awful Auntie and Keys to the Kingdom, are not the ones. I know this isn’t much to go on, but anyone who manages to put this to rest will have my gratitude.

344S: Boy with a Magic Pencil?

I recall a young adult chapter book from my youth (late 1970s-early 1980s) about a boy with a magic pencil. It is used like a regular pencil, but it might have been blue lead. Like a regular pencil, it needs to be sharpened, and gets slightly smaller each time. I can’t recall the things he made or did with it. Some dramatic emergency with the last bit of pencil.  Apologies but that’s all I remember.

344N: Undercover Magical Woman and Her Moody Cat (Series) (Solved!)

It's a series about a young woman who was born into a powerful magical prophecy & a secret society was to murder her at her birth, but she was taken & given to a rich man in a different magical ability/ house/ guild who raised her to believe that she was weak in magical power, so she became a stiletto-wearing, marriage minded socialite instead. She just graduated from the academy(?), & her dream job/ life ambition is to be the magical administration building's reception hall's decorator so she can meet & marry a powerful man with the right status from an appropriate guild/family.  However, her secret boyfriend/ leader of the magical world/ head of the most powerful guild (whom she’s known & flirted with forever because of her high-status parents) gives the job to her bff (whom he's dating on the side & plans to marry because she's more magically suitable), & forces her to join a rough & dangerous monster/ bad guy/ naughty troll/ misbehaving goblin- hunting task force which is lead by the brother she didn't know her boyfriend had. So she does, in her stilettos, on her own terms, & with her funny & excessively pampered cat.


I think it's 3 books.


First one they end up undercover at a hotel, & the girl works with the big hunky brother guy (who is secretly not awesome, who likes to hook up with & wreck the women on his team, I think his last team hook up was another guy on the team’s fiancée & she died... and now that guy’s not on the team), a funny, charming guy who spends more time in the bathroom & on his hair than she does, who we find out in book 2 is pure awesome, & a huge & burly animal mage guy who soothes her moody cat. She & the brother work while while the 2 funny teammates chase pretty girls at the pool in their downtime.


I think she makes herself & the brother guy disappear at the pool at one point while they amp the volume on two bad guys’ conversation.

There may have been a potty-mouthed goblin issue in book 1 or maybe 3?

2nd book she & the awesome hair guy go undercover as a married couple to a haunted, murder Inn, where the cook/maid? Is a weather mage who kills off the guests & maybe the owner too.

I read these within the last 1-3 years, I believe. It’s all starting to blur together, & I can’t remember book 3 which is why it popped up in my literary Rolodex so I can now read it again! It was hysterical & I loved it & cant remember everything anymore!!! Huzzah for the rereads!  But I can’t remember the title or cover either so I can’t find it.

344L: Brother and Sister Run Amuck Through Restaurant

My book Stumper is a children’s book that I predict comes from the 90s (even 80s maybe). I had it read to me everyday when I was a kid (I’m 22 now).

I have no idea what it’s called, but the cover depicts night time (Navy blue) with a restaurant illustration! I remember the book being rather large and rectangle (long). To give you a visualization, it sort of resembles Van Gogh's “Cafe Terrace at Night” painting!

The book follows a brother and a sister who run amuck through the restaurant - they run through the chefs kitchen and hide under the tables. They also do a lot of magic tricks. I vividly remember a white rabbit in a hat and the extending handkerchiefs!

The girl has black hair in a short haircut, and I can’t remember what the brother looks like.

I suspect that it’s not a popular childrens book as I’ve looked at countless lists and it’s never been there!

If you can find this book, I will be beyond happy. I have literally been searching for it for YEARS!