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,
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.
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).
I have a query for you: I was delighted in a seek-and-find book as a child in the mid-1990s which, if my memory serves me correctly, followed a globe-trotting aunt. The reader was always one stop behind her, and to try to catch her was required to find objects and people in each image spread.
The book was large, slim, hard-backed, and had relatively little text. As usual for this genre, the images were visually busy illustrations in a reasonably realistic style. I have no memory of the title nor the author, but I do remember that some of the locations included an Australian beach (with people wearing white sunblock on their noses), a wet market in Asia (lots of produce and people wearing straw hats) and an airport scene with a man tearing up his tickets. I am fairly certain there was also a scene of people at a ski lodge with lots of snow and chair lifts, but that image is less clear than the others. Each of these scenes took up a full two-page spread.
I read it between 1994 and 2000, although I do not know if it was published before that.
Here is the description:
I am trying to locate a children’s illustrated book that i had in England, that was likely published in the 1980’s , but definitely not after the early 1990’s. It had beautiful detailed illustrations, and was about 2 sheep investigating different areas, such as beaches and tidal pools. The illustrations were amazingly detailed, for instance, the tidal pools would be covered in rocks, bottles, animals, sea weed, plants etc- you could look through the individual pages for hours on end, but the stories always involved the two white sheep. They were drawn realistically, and not “cartoony” at all. I believe it may have been a series of books. Please let me know if you have any information!
>>>> -About 2 sheep exploring new places
>>>> -realistic and extremely detailed illustrations
>>>> -Likely part of a series of books
>>>> -Purchased in England, likely a European publication (but not sure)
>>>> -Printed circa 1980’s-early 90’s if not earlier
Please please can you see if you can identify this for me? I would love to be able to show my own children this!
Please let me know if you need any further information! I also commented on the Disqus back in august 2018 but it is so far back I could not locate my comment. It’s possible someone may have replied