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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?

302E: The protagonist, a scarecrow, was stuck in a garden

I’ve looked everywhere online for a book I read as a child.  It would have been published in the 50s or early 60s; I read it when I was in the first to third grades which would have been 1964-1967 or 1968.  I’ve forgotten the title and author but remember the story line vividly.  The protagonist, a scarecrow, was stuck in a garden or field and wanted more than anything to be free.  When autumn came and the garden had been harvested, the farmer began to burn all of the refuse, including the scarecrow who, at last, was turned into smoke and was finally free to drift through the air.  It’s a beautiful book and I’ve searched for so long but am limited when I can’t come up with a title or anything else to aid me in my search.  If you could find the book, I’d be very grateful and would even be happy if you could come up with a title and author.

302D: A pound with all different kinds of dogs

This book I am looking for is about a pound that has all different kinds of dogs in it waiting all day for their new master to come get them.  As the day goes on one by one a person shows up that looks identical to one of the dogs in the pound and that dog gets to go.  The book is from the perspective of one dog in particular and as every person shows up the dog says “ are you my master?” or something like that “Are you my guy?” or “is this my guy?” and each time it’s not his guy it’s another dogs guy.

And as the people show up one by one, as a kid, you KNOW what dog they are coming for because the person looks identical to the dog.

The day goes on and on and it’s finally dark, they are closing, and this one dog who is narrating is the only dog left.  No one has come for him and he is all alone and very sad.  Finally just as they are closed, HIS GUY, or HIS BOY, shows up and they are identical looking and the dog and the boy are overjoyed that they have found each other and he gets to go home with the boy.

It is driving me crazy that I can’t remember the name of this book or how to find it.  I am 53 so it was probably written in the 1960s.

I’m not sure how to pay for this but Ill go back on the website and make sure to pay but please post this I promised my Mom that I would try to find it!!!

302B: A hedgehog named Harriet

I am looking for a children’s picture book about a hedgehog named Harriet. The thing that I remember best was that she wore red high heels. This was my baby brother’s favorite book in the 70’s, so I am guessing it was released in the 60’s or 70’s. I don’t think that it would be older than that based on what I remember about the pictures. He recently passed away and my mother would really like to find a copy. I have done a lot of searching and have not been able to find even a clue. Please help!

301Z: A boy searches for his father

I remember reading a picture book when I was a kid, it was a story about a boy who lived in a snowy area and he was searching for his father. Along the journey, he defeats an animal and uses its horns/claws/teeth? And uses them to skate across a frozen lake bed and finds his father. The boy was relieved to find his father, but the father told him that it was too late, that he had run out of time or something. The book was fairly short, unfortunately that’s all I remember from the story. I remember reading it sometime around 1992-1999, when I was in elementary school, but no idea when the book itself was published. I have always remembered the book every Christmas, but could never find it.

Other details that I can think of is that the story initially starts off with the boy and his mother in a wooden cabin as she is preparing dinner(?). The boy asks the mom where the father is and eventually goes out to look for him.

Please let me know if you require any more details, I will be sure to let you know if I can remember anything else.

301Y: This is not the Laura Ingalls Wilder story

The book I am looking for is one I checked out from the Louisville free  public library in the 1960s.

The story  was about a family moving west in a covered wagon. (This is not the Laura Ingalls Wilder story)

The family faced hardships and trials. It was a children’s chapter book with an orange cover that I believe had a covered wagon on the cover.

I know chimney rock was mentioned as a landmark in the book. I have looked many times for this book and would like to read it again. In contrast to the little house books, it was a bit more graphic, mentioning things like animal skeletons and tombstones along the trail.

It was fascinating and dramatic. I know this is vague, but would truly appreciate if you could find it. It has been gone from LFPL for many, many years.

301X: Shoes that looked like ballet slippers and a string of pearls

The book that I have been unsuccessfully searching for is a book of short stories for girls that was published in the mid 1960’s.  I recall purchasing it at a school book fair, most likely in junior high.  The stories were mostly coming of age stories for teenage girls.  One story told of a girl who did not fit in in high school, and she wanted new clothes that she believed would help.  I remember she wanted to buy “shoes that look like ballet slippers and a string of pearls.  I seem to recall that she also played the piano.  Another story was about a girl who felt very unattractive and her dad said something to the effect of she was not a pretty girl but she was going to be a beautiful woman.  I have searched for this collection of short stories for many years and have found many collections, but not this particular one.  I would be very grateful if you might have any information about this elusive book.  Thank you for any suggestions you may have.

301V: Two girls and a worm monster

For years I’ve thought about a short story I read some time between 1997 and 2007.  I’d estimate 2000 – 2006.  I imagine it was in Harpers, Atlantic, or New Yorker.  I’ve never been able to find it.

In the story there are two girls.  I think English, maybe Canadian.  They are in the woods and they see some horrible creature.  I think a worm, a giant worm.

Then it’s 60 years later and the narrator sees the girl, now all grown up, at a sight-seeing visit.

The atmosphere really affected me.  I was reminded of Alice Munro and then I suppose later of “My Brilliant Friend” by Ferrante.

I can’t find it because googling ‘worm’ or ‘monster’ or ‘two girls’ gives too many silly hits.

Any sleuths out there?