I am looking for a book I read as a teen circa 1999-2001. From what I remember, it was an autobiography written by a woman who fell into drug use and ended up in a cycle of addiction and prostitution. The book seemed dated even when I read it. The author mentions breaking open Benzedrine Inhalers and chewing on the cardboard on the inside. She also discusses how her boyfriend had to hide his drugs in a shampoo bottle so she would not find them. I am pretty sure she wound up in prison at some point because she discusses sending secret letters to the men’s side of the prison during movies. I do not remember where the book takes place, making things a bit hazy. I think it may be Christiane F, but decent copies of that book are pretty pricey, and I’d love to know if that is the one I need before I buy.
My mother does not remember what the book could have been, but I remember seeing it whenever we moved because I always helped her restock our bookshelves in the living room. It was pretty beaten up, which points me right back to Christiane F because many of the copies I see online have not aged well.
It is not Go ask Alice.
Thanks for any help, I know this is very vague, but after 24+ years, things are hazy for me.
I am looking for a book that I cannot remember the title of, that I read in sixth grade, 1979/80 school year, in Macon, Georgia. I would like to purchase a copy.
Subject: Middle Grades or YA- African American Female – Fiction – Coming of Age – African American Female empowerment- Mystery
Published: 1970-1980, but I believe closer to 1979
Synopsis:In the 1970s, an African American girl of about ten years old, from a close knit, education supporting, financially struggling family, is left an orphan, along with her teen brother, after their parents die when their Northern city apartment complex burns. I believe that she is burned. She is uprooted from a Northern progressive city when she goes to live with a wealthy middle class aunt and uncle who live in the deep south, in the country, in a house that is disappointing on the outside, but fantastically remodeled on the inside. For the first time she has her own room, beautiful clothes, amusements, books and plenty of delicious food. She is painfully shy and has PTSD from the death of her parents and the fire. She attends a school that is racist and newly desegregated, yet segregated in the classroom by putting all African American students in a low learning group. She has to learn to be assertive to her very racist and patronizing vapid young teacher in order to be placed in a gifted learning group. The aunt is very wise, loving and encourages her niece to grow in confidence, independence, love and learning. The uncle is sullen, intimidating, quiet and grieving over his own private matter. There is a mystery about a pregnant teen girl runaway, who is hiding out in an abandoned church in the woods, somehow related to the uncle, whom she finds when playing in the woods.
This booked moved me and was written in a way that allowed me to grow with the character. It was bold in its description of racism and sexism and the need for individual female power through self confidence and self acceptance and assertiveness. It was a book that sought to enlighten and build a bridge between the racial and gender divides of the 70s post desegregated South.
This book was recommended by my middle school librarian, who was very progressive and excellent at ordering and promoting to every student multicultural African American books. She placed it in a book grouping display, so it may have been a book award nominee or showcased as African American fiction. I believe that the author was an African American female.
Let me know if I need to amend or refine this description. I’ve exhausted Google and the library librarian.
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.
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 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.
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.
I read this book as a teen in the early 1970s. It had a typical teen book dust jacket design from the 70s: pen/watercolor painting of profile of boy with blue hair (I think) and I have a memory that it was called “The Blue Boy” or something similar but all searches have turned up nothing appropriate.
Anyway, this memory is decades old, but what I recall is that this teen boy (probably orphan? no parents present in the story that I can recall) is somehow involved with a gang of bad people. Perhaps boy has magical abilities that they are taking advantage of for ill-gotten gains? Perhaps boy has blue hair as a gimmick? Maybe there is no blue hair but I swear there was. In any event, boy decides to escape from his situation and is pursued by bad guys who want to recapture? kill? otherwise cause problems for him. Boy is on the lam and has an unexpected mysterious ally who brings him food and perhaps finds him safe spaces to live. In my memory this ally is a talking mongoose, but crikey, how does this narrative even make sense? The boy is astonished to get ripe mangoes when in his world (the world of our narrative), mangoes are still green and unripe; months and months away from ripeness. It turns out this ally is from a parallel world, and the book ends with the ally helping our boy escape his pursuers by moving to the parallel universe. In my memory, book ends with boy on a sunrise-shining beach in this parallel world.
I read it in English, but nothing about the story seems to be set in North America (mongoose and mangoes, or at least mangoes even if the mongoose is a figment of my imagination or faulty memory).
Hello, Stumpers. To the best of my memory, this is a Children’s Paperback Picture Book, circa 1980.
It was set in a woods, populated with monsters, near a lake that featured heavily. I think our protagonist – a girl monster whose face resembled a purple baby dinosaur, and who wore a red dress with puffy sleeves – saw her reflection in the water and got scared, or didn’t understand it was her.
It was beautifully illustrated line work, trying to make things look realistic with texture and shading, versus the looser style and flat coloring of a Mercer Mayer or Richard Scarry.
Teenage girl somehow loses family in big city, sets off to relative’s home in another state on foot sleeping in barns, scraping together coins for food along the journey. Read in the late 60’s early 70’s school library.
I had this paperback children’s book in 1970. It is probably from the 60s. It is an American book with words. The illustrations were line drawings.
All I remember is that an old man lived possibly on a hill. The town was having a cleaning contest, and he cleaned every bit of his house, and I distinctly remember he even cleaned the cobwebs out of the corners. The people came to judge his house and he won. This may not be right, but my memory comes with the color yellow. Maybe the cover- or maybe the man wore yellow. I’ve tried and tried to find this book.