Tag Archives: House

356L: Middle grade novel — girls fix up old purple house for brother

This is a short middle-grade novel which I read as a library book in the late ’80s or early ’90s, but may be older. A group of female friends (I think three) fix up and decorate an old house for the older brother of the narrator. He is just getting out of the hospital, either for mental illness or a suicide attempt, and they want to give him a nice place to feel at peace. They paint the walls purple. The brother may be named Joe. When he sees the house (or maybe it’s just a room?), he seems underwhelmed and doesn’t say anything. The main character is very disappointed. Later she goes back to the house and discovers the plants have been watered and the brother has been using it after all. But there’s a sad tinge; maybe the brother has gone back to the hospital or disappeared? One of the girls is Japanese-American and gets romantically involved with one of the older boys who is helping, and the main character is jealous. The illustrations are kind of trippy, showing the girls with very long hair. The cover or illustrations are purple, or possibly the word purple is in the title.

356B: Scary Jack Frost and the Girl Kidnapped by Trolls

I read a book as a young girl and the little girl in the book’s parents are divorcing or some similar childhood trauma. She has a red backpack (not illustrated). She notices on the ceiling some snails and somehow (?) is turned upside down and finds herself on the ceiling with some little trolls that ride snails and they’re cold! to touch. She is kidnapped. She also meet some good elves/gnomes? The plot is around Jack Frost coming to freeze the pipes and flood the house but the nasty trolls are cutting the insulation from around the pipes and Jack Frost is a big scary entity. Any idea??

355Z: 1940s or 50s U.S. Chapter Mystery – Kids, Summer, a ‘Chateau’, a Diamond Necklace?

When I was in about 3rd to 6th grade in the early 1970s, my favorite book in my NJ public school library was a hardcover chapter book about kids on summer vacation, possibly in upstate New York, who get involved in some kind of mystery involving a neighboring house they call the Chateau.  I think a diamond necklace came into it, and I’m pretty sure the children of one family joined forces with a boy from another family (maybe living in the Chateau?) to solve the mystery.  Either Chateau or Diamond Necklace might have been in the title, but I’ve had no luck Googling for it.  It was an old-fashioned story at the time, probably could have been written any time from the late 1930s to the mid 60s.  There were illustrations, but a limited number, and I think they might have been listed by caption after the table of contents. I think it was the first time I had heard of a “Porte cochere”, which I had to look up. I think the binding was red, and may have had an imprint illustration of a country house on the cover — but I could be making that up!

I loved it and probably read it four or five times, but these scraps are all I can remember!  I’d dearly love to find a copy.

354D: YA mystery on a farmhouse/orchard? with a secret passage part of the underground railroad

It may have been published in 1980s/early 1990s, maybe on a Scholastic list, set in the 1800s, a boy visits his ?aunt/uncle one summer, on a farm or apple orchard in New England (maybe Pennsylvania). There is a secret passage used for the underground railroad that is discovered by the boy in the house he is staying at, near the end of the book, when someone is hidden there. Someone may have gotten shot near the end of the book. Boy felt aunt/uncle he was staying with were strict and had a strained relationship with them until their aid to this person near the end of the book changes this. Can't recall the title, but it was long-ish. Cover may have had farmhouse/farm landscape.

353L: Victorian house with dog and dumbwaiter

Dog lives in a mysterious old Victorian style house that has a dumbwaiter, possibly has puppies to care for, and the book is for young adults, may be a chapter book with several illustrations. Art style and spirals on the ends of letters suggests mid 60s to mid 70s. I checked this book out from a library in San Diego around 1988.

352L: Storybook with Dragons, Circuses, Witches, The House that Jack Built

I seem to have misplaced my favorite storybook from my childhood. So here is your challenge. It includes the rhyming story "The house that Jack built." The cover is blue with red lettering and a white bearded wizard. It is at least 25 years old. Hardbacked. There are stories of dragons and circuses, and witches.

351O: Mr Widdle and the Sea Breeze? Woman Builds Odd House

I have a children's book stumper to solve. I remember a book from my childhood (born in 67, so the book must've been published before 1977 or 78). It was about a woman who built a house and painted it gray with pink shutters. Or maybe pink with gray shutters! For some reason I associate this memory with Mr. Widdle and the Sea Breeze by Jo Ann Stover, but I don't have a copy to check if it's the one. Thanks for any help!

350D: Shannon’s Job in the Historic House Run by Two Sisters

Years ago, I read a mystery about a college student named Shannon getting a summer job at an old house run by two old ladies (sisters). Students dress as Gibson girls & do tours through the historic house. Shannon befriends another girl student. There’s a guy that took a summer job there too. He’s a writer, I think his name is Michael. A relative of the Sisters also lives there. She likes caramels. There’s a murder. I think the Sisters names are Cora & Lanie or maybe Lennie.

349Z: Shadow people in the backyard of a big house

Around 1975 my teacher read the class a story about a family that moved into a huge house.  Their children discovered a family of shadow people living in the backyard.  The living children can see the shadow people because of their size – the shadow people can only be seen by living people whose size is smaller than their own.  I couldn’t get the concept of the book and my teacher, whom I adored, was a large woman so she used herself as an example of why the living adults in the big house could not see the shadow people.  I have fond memories of the feeling the book imposed but that is all I can remember of the book.


348M: Kids Timer Afterlife House Purgatory

I read this book maybe around 2010, and it follows a duo of kids – I think they were brother and sister. At the start of the story there was some accident like a plane crash or something and then they are like taken to a different world. They are taken to a super awesome house, were they can get whatever they want, though at some point they realize a man who had a box with a timer on it like dies or something when it expires. This causes them to panic and travel to a purgatory type place where people go so their time stops. While they are there, time seems to like pass weird and without realizing it, 2 weeks pass and they are still there. The whole place is known to give off like bad energy so its just fill of miserable people moping around not doing anything – too afraid their timers will expire. There was one specific part I remember and that was the girl talking about how one of the girls was eating a sandwich with mustard, and I just always thought it was gross the way it was talked about.