Welcome to the new(ish) Stump the Bookseller blog! If you’ve been here before you will notice things look different. We hope this has solved some of the technical difficulties we have been having!
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?
I hope you are all doing well as we approach the holiday season. It has come to my attention that G Mail often does not let our e-mails through. For those using G Mail accounts, if you have submitted a Stumper and have not received an e-mail from us after a few days, please check your spam folder prior to contacting us.
Thanks and take care,
The book was a large full-color graphic novel. It probably would’ve been published between 1990 and 2010. It was about this girl who lived in a huge palace with a very strict and secretive ‘mom’. This parental figure is rarely around and the girl is often taken care of by random people the lady employs. She gives the girl run of the place but tells her never to venture over the wall outside the palace. One day she gets mad and does it anyway. To her horror, she sees a desolate almost apocalyptic world and hundreds of slaves her ‘mom’ keeps. At first one of them was going to take her back to the palace but she persisted and found out her ‘mother’ is a very powerful sorceress who keeps the whole world under her control. A woman shows up and sees the girl standing by a man from the palace. She asks him point blank if this girl is her daughter that the sorceress took away from her. He basically says he can’t tell her then says something that strongly implies the answer is yes. The sorceress comes and finds out and drags her to the forest. She encases the girl in a small pod-like home grown into a tree where she lives trapped for years until her late teens when she escapes. She gets help from a boy about her age and goes back to the palace and defeats the sorceress. There was some part where they got help from a man a few years older than her who the sorceress had raised under similar circumstances and kept in the palace. He’d tried to defy her but it hadn’t worked. I don’t remember much else but it was long and had big pages.
I’d read this in the 8th grade which I’d loaned from my schools library but it’s about this young white girl who attends an all boy’s calligraphy school at the calligraphy teacher’s farm home. I don’t remember how she got the chance to attend the school but I remember she’s not well off and her youngest brother is sick. Before she leaves on the train to the school her older brother buys her a grey wool bonnet and writes to her while she is away.
There was a page of the book that had shown one of her brother’s letters written in the crosshatching/ cross writing technique. While at the school the girl has an assignment that a boy in her class sabotages by spilling ink on it. Little details i remember are her needing a stack of bricks for her to place her feet on because she cannot reach the floor white sitting on her desk, the girl helping a woman remove garden peas from the pod, and her getting ready for a fourth of July festival in the town her school is in. There’s also a mention that her teacher has written his calligraphy in his own blood.
I believe this was set within the late 1800’s – early 1900’s in the United states.
I’ve been looking for this book for years so any help whatsoever is appreciated! Thank you so much!
In 1975 I read a young adult novel about a city boy sent to stay the summer at his grandmother’s house in a small town. He doesn’t want to be there and expects to have a boring time, but stumbles across a mystery that he decides to solve. None of the adults in town believe him, but he eventually solves the mystery with the help of an older, wisecracking boy from the town. I don’t remember any details other than that the town was very small and along a small river or large creek and his grandmother’s house was at the edge of town near the river. I think the story was set in the generic “midwest” or “northeast”. The book was probably written in the mid- to late 1960s or early 1970s. I don’t think it was part of a series.
This white boy grows up in 60s/70s NYC slum and renews contact with childhood bully. Long novel with fake? music history, maybe published in the 90s/00s.
Thank you so much!
I read this library book as a teenager in the mid-1970’s, and it’s one of the last books from my childhood that I haven’t managed to track down, so it’s always lingered in the back of my mind. In fact, I may have sent a Stumper before, and it might even have been solved, but I can’t remember!
The plot involves a teenage girl -a young woman – on the cusp of adulthood anyway, who I believe is sent to live for a summer with an older woman in a rural wooded area, possibly in England, possibly in the US. She might be an orphan, this might be her aunt or some kind of guardian. Or maybe she is the maid?
I think a traveling caravan full of circus performers and a fortune teller comes to town and she falls for a young man, the leader, who is exciting with an unpredictable whiff of danger about him and this is where the novel becomes a fantasy as I think he may be a fairy prince. I seem to remember the caravan exists in two worlds – the everyday, and then a dark/dream world, which maybe the girl can only access by drinking a tea or some such. She develops a relationship with the fortune teller also. It might be that her lover becomes ill and she nurses him and earns the gratitude of the others, maybe a disapproving mother?
The older woman warns her to be careful, but eventually the caravan moves on and the girls turns up pregnant, but I think this is only hinted at. She pines for her dark (fairy?) prince. I think he eventually returns, to find she has a child, and maybe there is a happy ending? She doesn’t regret what’s happened and still loves him.
I think there is a ballad that provides a theme for the book, and something about corn. Summer of the corn? I think the legend of the “Green Man” might be an underlying theme. The book is written in the first person. Maybe called “Corn Summer”?
It’s very possible I’m confusing the plot of two books here. Fantasy romance was right in my wheelhouse back then (still is.) But I’ve never forgotten the hold this book had on me and would be happy to rediscover it.
Thank you so much.
I can’t remember whether the stories are related or unrelated. A girl named Erika/Erica presents something to her class (I think it was a poem or short writing), but her name is not revealed until the end of the story/chapter, when the teacher calls her up to the front to present. Another character figures out how to hypnotize people to bawk like chickens or do other things. The book is relatively short (probably around 100 pages) and I read it around 5 years ago. The stories were quite unusual, and I first found and read it in an elementary school classroom.
I read this book as a kid in the 1970s. I don’t remember much, except that a teen boy wakes up in the morning and soon realizes that nobody can see him. He thinks he’s dead. He can’t really interact with the world, but he does manage to ride a bus without falling through the floorboards. It might be that he never existed–I seem to remember that people weren’t wondering where he was. It might have the word “disappear” in it.
I have this vague memory of a book from my childhood, might be made up or even a dream or……
All I have to go is a little girl with a fried egg sandwich with her dog going on a picnic and maybe getting lost in the woods and them sharing the sandwich???
Good luck and thanks
Description: immediately post 9/11, in New York (I think), 3 women meet to “brainstorm” what/how to tell their children about that event. One woman is a Christian, another a Muslim and the third is Jewish. Their meetings continue as they compare and contrast how their religious backgrounds lead them to view both current happenings and each other.
Looking for a pre-teen girl book I read in the late 80s/early 90s that was already really dated. The girl in the book is going through puberty and gets her period. But the maxi pads still have the belt and the hooks. My friend and I just saw Are you there God? and for the life of us we can’t remember this book. They may have also been a part about keeping notes in a notebook about puberty.