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Welcome to the Stump the Bookseller blog!  Stump the Bookseller is a service offered by Loganberry Books to reconnect people to the books they love but can’t quite remember. In brief (for more detailed information see our About page), people can post their memories here, and the hivemind goes to work. After all, the collective mind of bibliophiles, readers, parents and librarians around the world is much better than just a few of us thinking. Together with these wonderful Stumper Magicians, we have a nearly 50% success rate in finding these long lost but treasured books. The more concrete the book description, the better the success rate, of course.  It is a labor of love to keep it going, and there is a modest fee.  Please see the How To page to find price information and details on how to submit your Book Stumper and payment.

Thanks to everyone involved to keep this forum going: our blogging team, the well-read Stumper Magicians, the many referrals, and of course to everyone who fondly remembers the wonder of books from their childhood and wants to share or revisit that wonder.  Isn’t it amazing, the magic of a book?

189D: British Children’s Short Story Treasury from ‘80s or ‘90s

This was a large, white-bound treasury of short stories and craft ideas, likely published in the 1980s or very early 1990s. The stories were all in British English, but took place around the world. One story was about a brother and sister exploring Montreal’s Underground City during the winter (I believe the brother’s name may have been Sean, with an accent on the e). Another story was about a girl named Tracey who had a pair of silver sandals that never got used. The sandals were sad when they saw her wear all her other shoes day after day, but they finally got worn for a fancy party. I would love to find this collection again! Thanks for your help!

189C: Story about a woman turned into a mountain lion by a fairy

This is actually a short story, from a collection of fantasy/SF stories probably published in the early-mid 1980s, possibly a little later.

It’s about a woman who rescues a fairy from her cat. The fairy casts a spell that, at the next full moon, turns her into a mountain lion. She escapes from her house, leaving blood on the shredded sheets, into the country, where she learns to hunt for food and encounters a male mountain lion (and a zookeeper) at a zoo. Meanwhile, stories of her disappearance center around an animal attack. After another cycle of the moon, she turns back into a woman.

189B: Children Abandoned on farm

Oldest sister (story is her perspective) of I think 3 siblings keeps up appearances – keeps everything running so they can stay together. Careful not to let neighbors know they are alone, they make excuses why their mom has not been seen. They stretch the money they have, sell what they can, order clothes from Sears Catalog. The Story ends when the mom comes back. And although oldest is angry, she is relieved she is back in the end.
Young adult / teen coming of age fiction book, I read in the mid 70s.

189A: Princess, a rose, sheet music in the book

I’m looking for a slim paperback, probably from the late 1970s early 1980s, possibly from one of the Scholastic book fairs. It was about a princess, I think secluded in some castle, and I recall it being a romance. A rose featured prominently in the story, and the most specific part of the book that I recall was that there was a song included in the back of the book, in sheet music for the piano, that was about the rose. I remember trying to play the song on the piano as a child…I believe that there were only a few illustrations, and those were in pen / ink…not colored. Thanks for any help!

188G: Children’s book about a boy who learns about different secret codes from a mentor

I believe I read this book in the sixth grade (which would have been late 1970s). I got it from the school library. I would guess it was written prior to the late 1970s because we never had any new books at the school library. In the book, the boy meets a man who teaches him about different kinds of codes and how to break them. It included info about how people used to wrap paper around a cylinder and then write messages on the spiraled paper (so the reader would need a cylinder of the same radius to read the message correctly). It also had a tic-tac-toe type code (Different squares of the tic tac toe shape would represent different letters so an A would look like a backwards L and a B would look like a U). It also talked about E, T, A, and O being the most common letters (in English) so when you are trying to decode a message, the more commonly used symbols probably stand for one of those letters.

188F: Kids on spaceship schoolbus accidentally knock it off course and end up on strange planet

A kid/teenager’s book about three kids that are on a spaceship school bus that is taking them home (the last three kids furthest away from school) who mess with the autopilot and end up loosing control of the spaceship. It ends up at another planet altogether where there are people dressed in fur.
It might have been published in the 80s. It had images for each chapter.

188E: Bike Possessed By Horse

I read the book in elementary school, it was in the beginning of the fiction section, so i assume the name of the author came mid to early in the alphabet. It was about a kid whose bike is possessed by a horse or that they think it is? the cover has a large black horse rearing up on what i think was a leafy bg or a canopy of trees… i believe the bicycle was also on the cover?

188D: Western book read aloud in class

It is an old west book and all i can remember is in the end, the wagons are circled and the main character hides beneath a wagon or something and when an indian crawls under to kill him, he sees who the main character is and basically wont kill him because the kid somehow impressed the native americans sometime in the book by killing a buffalo i believe? i am inclined to think it is a buffalo bill book – but i cannot seem to find the book itself. it was read to my class in fifth grade and we read it again in sixth, if that helps at all.

188C: searching for remembered anthology

I am looking for a favorite children’s book. Here is all I remember about it:

1) I think it was a Reader’s Digest anthology, but since I have not been able to find it, perhaps it was another common name from the time that sponsored the collection.

2) I believe the cover was blue–but I could be completely wrong about that.

3) I am quite sure that it was at least 9×12, possibly 10×14. It was large enough that I recall the depth of the book (spine width) being only an inch and looking thin in comparison with the rest of the book.

4) I read it between the ages of 6-12 (1960-1966).
5) The stories had enough words that they were either directed toward young adult readers (high school) or junior high.

6) My most compelling memories are of two stories in the anthology:

The first was about a family crossing the desert in the American southwest. Their car broke down and they had to survive by collecting condensation on parts of their car, which they dismantled. They also created signage so that a plane could see them.

The other story was about a pony or colt with a broken leg. The family suspended the colt in a hammock while its leg healed. The vet had told them it would never work, but it did.