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?
This is a book that may be British. It may have Rebecca or Dreams in title. Or Emma or Milly. It’s a chapter book with some illustrations. A girl visits a dream world where there are friends or helpers. One is a tall man (maybe a giant) with a large furry coat. It may be yellow. There may be a room she’s in that’s like being inside a globe, with lots of locks. Also, she may have to solve a series of puzzles to go through this world.
This was a young adult novel about a group of children who are compelled to walk from New England to D. C. as a form of protest (maybe echoes of nuclear war?). One of the kids is, I think, the granddaughter of the president but keeps that a secret. As the march continues, more children join in. There’s some sort of mystical element. I read the book in the mid-1980s.
What I remember: I read it before Borders bookstores closed. I picked it up in paperback on a display that said this type of book was not the author’s usual style. It was long.
Plot: a guy in the south (maybe Georgia?) thinks he kills his secretary and rolls her in the rug and takes the rug to the dump. The reader has the idea she’s alive, but the hero goes on the lamb in a convertible — I think eventually ending up at his dad’s house.
I also remember at scene where he accidentally sees the neighbor’s wife in a revealing outfit and it causes a family rift. There is a teenager daughter. Maybe he works at a furniture store? I would call it a archetype = hero’s journey
Thanks for any help!!
Characters include a man with one arm, a woman who is a champion swimmer who is in love with the one armed man, and I think a young girl. I got to the point where the swimmer is killed, and lost the book. I think it was published in the 1980s.
I would have read this book in the mid to late 1970s and I am pretty sure it was published around then. It was about a woman who owned a diner, but she was a terrible cook. Her customers all complained about the horrible food — I remember one diner saying, “This tastes like a burnt tire!” Somehow she finds (traps? meets?) a genie who promises to help her. He makes delicious spaghetti and meatballs that everyone loves, but the magic he used to make it goes out of control and fills the diner with spaghetti and meatballs until everyone floats away on a river of pasta. I seem to recall that the illustrations were primarily in black and white with splashes of color. The drawing style was sort of crude and comical — heavy, rough lines and the faces of the characters were somewhat grotesque. The main character’s name could be Frieda? Possibly. Also, this is definitely not Strega Nona which has a similar magical spaghetti pot.
Where is Grandma’s House (this may be the title, or similar). A little boy is looking for Grandma’s house. He goes to many places looking for her. This children’s book is illustrated with full-page paintings or lithographs with unusual “noise” in all of the colors: many tiny particles of different colors within each main color, as though covered in non-shiny nano-glitter or mini-crystals of multicolored salt.
A fighter pilot crash-lands on an island and is sucked into a whirlpool of sand, finding a civilization deep inside the Earth. He is imprisoned there and manages to escape with a few others after a long time. When he describes what happened, no one believes him.
Back in 1952 or 1953, when I was 4 or 5 years old, I adored a book we took out from the Brooklyn library. I cannot remember much except that there were illustrations of a fisherman with nets full of bright colorful fish. It’s not Scupper the Sailor Dog. I was a bookseller for over 20 years and I was never able to track down this book.
Young Adult Horror Anthology
Paperback about 5 in. x 7 in. x .25 to .50 in. thick
Read between 1989-1993
The book included multiple legends, such as a traditional re-telling of the Warsaw Golem and the Wendigo. I would guess it was written in the 80’s because it already had creases and tape on the spine when I read the book. The cover contained a boy sitting in a chair, whose hair was standing up on end, with a monster behind him; reading a book with the exact same cover, which had the exact cover, etc. I remember it being similar to Bruce Coville and Beverly Cleary and R.L. Stine books, though I think this book was written prior to Stine. It is not any of the “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” series.
The main story I remember is set in a western town, possibly a cowboy/farmer town. It centers around a young boy who is mistreated by his older brother. They both work as farmhands and the older brother fall asleep under a tree. The young boy sees this baboon-looking creature with long hair sneak up behind the brother and attack the brother.
This baboon creature, who I remember as a witch with long hair and red skin for some reason, rides on the brother’s back and sucks his life force out. When the younger brother tries to help, the witch sinks her claws deeper into the brother’s back. No one notices this creature but the young boy I think.
Eventually, the brother gives up and commits suicide by throwing himself over a cliff. The boy looks down as the witch lets go of the brother. She looks up at the younger brother and starts to climb up the cliff’s side as she tells him to wait because she is coming for him.
I am looking for a book that, of course, I lent to someone and never saw again. It was an alphabetic listing of poetic forms drawing from cultures all around the planet. I really need the book for a writing group I do with children.
Thanks so much.