occasionally frequently receive comments and e-mails from readers who are looking for a dimly-remembered book. I know this pain! While I have been able to help in a few cases with coming up with a title and author, I want to open up the search to classic YA fans!
The following are descriptions I’ve received from readers that remain mysteries! See something you recognize? Share both ideas and sure-things in the comments!
If you have an unsolved ask that I’ve missed, let me know- I tried to collect everything I’ve received in the last 5 years!
Looking for a long-lost book? You can comment below or email email@example.com!
This list will be updated as the requests are “solved”!
1.“Girl has a horse that she loves, but must leave it to go to the home for unwed mothers. And it dies. Maybe from trying to jump out of a straight stall?”
Suggested title: But I Thought You Really Loved Me By Evelyn White Minshull Sounds like this is not it, keep those suggestions coming!
2. In reference to Just Friends: “at any point is it revealed that one of the characters has friends that are just in his head? I’ve been trying to think of the title of this book, but now that I see your description, I think I am mixing it up with another book from the 1980s.” Suggestion: Louly by Carol Ryrie Brink
3. We’ve ruled out Ann Landers Talks to Teenagers About Sex and Twixt Twelve and Twenty, and think it’s a male author: “Sometime between 1965 and 1968, my mother gave me a book that clearly explained sex. All text, no illustrations.” Suggested title: Girls and Sex, by Dr. Wardell B. Pomeroy
4. “I am trying to remember the name of a book that I would love to see you do. Probably published in the late 70’s early 80’s (I read it around 85/86):
It’s about a late teenaged (18/19) boy who lives in Colorado who is dying of cancer. Leukemia I think. The highlights of his life include; whining, going to Trader Vic’s for Tiki Drinks and I seem to recall fishing. He was a real hit with the ladies until the whole, ya know dying thing. But I think there is a loyal girl who stands by him. Blah, blah, blah.” Suggested title: May I Cross Your Golden River? By Paige Dixon or Eric by Doris Lund
“This YA novel is about a teenage boy (an only child) who goes to summer camp, and finds out once at camp that his parents, in exchange for external youth, have signed an agreement to sacrifice every child they have together at age 18 at this same camp. The boy had an inkling as to what was going on prior to this, as he found a photo album in his parents’ attic of their past children (although he didn’t know that they were his dead siblings at the time.) The failed sacrifice (he escaped) occurs in some sort of cave, and his parents were there, and they spoke a lot about the last child they sacrificed, a daughter named Meg, with long, curly eyelashes, who didn’t have a clue what was going on until the very end. They also had a cat clock at their house, the ones where the tail swings back and forth.” Only Child By Jesse Osburn, thanks to Lost Classics reader Majenta!
The first book wasn’t so much a continuous story as each chapter was its own little tale but with the same characters (though I think it was still a linear story). I think it took place back in early-to-mid 1900s and it was about a girl who lived in this big old house on a farm with her aunt (or great aunt – maybe grandmother?). I think there was a chapter about a big thunderstorm and ghosts; another was about a pie baking competition. The girl might have been named Emily (or not). Pretty sure this was written in the 80s.” We seemed to have reached consensus that this is Beverly Cleary’s Emily’s Runaway Imagination!
7. “I don’t remember the title or author but I think it was young adult. It was about a young couple who got married young. The book starts out with both of them telling her parents about getting married. The girl mentioned something about her sweater. I think the couple were hippies and they were living out in the woods. I don’t think she got pregnant until after the marriage. I remember she went to a class at the hospital and made a friend there. The girl had a baby boy they named feather. It is not the first part last. It was published either in the 1970s or 1980s. I think the couple in the book had problems getting along after she had the baby. If anyone can give me any help, I’d greatly appreciate it! I’m thinking I dreamed this book up and am fairly desperate to find it.”
“We read this YA novel as a class assignment in 8th grade (1975) so it was probably a Scholastic publication. Girl has a hobby of raising pet birds (canaries?) and cares for sick birds. She has a glass-enclosed birdcage for this purpose, which is the only detail I really remember. She befriends/dates a “bad boy”. I’m very vague on the plot, but I think he is accused of doing something bad, but is innocent, and she stands by him. In the last scene, at her house, they kiss and she hears a bird singing “or maybe it was my heart”. The Troublemaker By Robert McKay thanks to reader Sylvia!
9. “I’m looking for a book, I think a Whitman classic, about a figure skater who used to practice on a pond. Now her family has moved to a city with a big rink, and she is assigned a small patch of ice. Or maybe it’s the other way around.” Suggested title from Lost Classics reader Tracy: The Silver Seven by Rita Ritchie.
10. “A YA book starring three brothers named Harley, Davidson, and Mott, being raised by their dad after their mom either leaves or dies (if dies, possibly in a motorcycle accident–well, judging by her sons’ names, “she died doing something she loved”. But maybe she just rode off with someone else? I KNOW I’m not making this up. I KNOW those were the three sons’ names. I just don’t remember anything else offhand.” Suggestion: Hey, What’s Wrong with This One? by Maia Wojciechowska
11. “One starring (first-person narration) a girl known as B.J., which stands for–are you ready for this? “Baby Justine.” Suggested Title: The Hocus Pocus Dilemma
12. “Then there’s one set in a girls’ school which I remember only by a chapter starting with the headmistress or just a teacher saying that a guest lecturer “will be with us on Chuesday week.” [“a week from this Tuesday”—in an ultra-twee accent.] Suggestion: Is That You, Miss Blue? By M.E. Kerr
Updated 3/25/18: Mama’s Bank Account by Kathryn Forbes.
“It was a YA or an adult book, a memoir, so I tried to be very secretive when I read this one at age 10 or so. (That would’ve been the late 90s, but the book was probably older.) It was in first person, I think, and it was the story of this girl growing up in the late 60s or 70s, and it was mostly about sex. She eventually gets pregnant, goes to college, gives birth, gives the baby up for adoption, and Begins To Move On. Things I remember vividly: Boys cornering her at a park or in the woods, getting her blouse open, and writing “SLUT” on her breasts in permanent marker. The main character marking out when she could and couldn’t have sex in a calendar. One of her friends writing something like “nothing lezzie but I love you” in her yearbook. Her getting pregnant, wanting no one to know, and taping her stomach down with duct tape (?). She gives birth, gets to see the baby girl once (even though she’s not supposed to), and mentions how weird and empty her stomach feels just after it. And then, she joins her college campus newspaper, and one of the stories they’re running when she first goes in to ask about joining is called something like “Incest: One Daughter Speaks.” The cover was maybe a buff colour, and I can sort of picture a silhouette of a woman on it, but I don’t know if I’ve got it correct.” Confirmed: Grown-Up Fast By Betsy Israel
14. “I don’t remember the title or author but I think it was young adult. It was about a young couple who got married young. The book starts out with both of them telling her parents about getting married. The girl mentioned something about her sweater. I think the couple were hippies and they were living out in the woods. I don’t think she got pregnant until after the marriage. I remember she went to a class at the hospital and made a friend there. The girl had a baby boy they named feather. It is not the first part last. It was published either in the 1970s or 1980s. I think the couple in the book had problems getting along after she had the baby. If anyone can give me any help, I’d greatly appreciate it I think the baby was lost at one point or around a lot of people. I’m positive the baby was named feather.”
“I read this paperback book in the 1970-71 school year, when I was eleven. A mother was escaping the Nazis with her three children; I don’t remember where the father was. The mother had a carriage for the baby, and I think had to store other supplies such as food and clothes in the carriage too. At one point they were on a train packed with others attempting to escape. In order to fit more people onto the train, a man tried to throw the carriage off, but the baby was still in it, and the mother had to fight to save the baby. (This scene really scared me, which is why I remember it.) At the end the family somehow made it safely to Switzerland, where they were taken in by some relatives. The book was my introduction to the horror of the Holocaust. I think it was written in the first-person by the mother, but whether it was true or fictional, I don’t know.” Ordeal by Fire by Anne Wahle and Roul Tunley
“I’m pretty sure this one’s from the early 2000s. It’s historical fiction set after the Vietnam war. A boy in middle school learns to play chess from a teacher who was a veteran of the war. The boy had a baby sister called Cassie who died, possibly in a car accident? He remembers she had hair like peach fuzz. I can’t remember if the teacher ends up dating his mother or something, maybe that happened? It was one of those quiet, slice-of-life-y novels that I ate up well after I was supposed to be too old for midgrade novels, and I’d like to reread it.” A Long Way Home by Nancy Price Graff, at last found by the original requestor, Miss Amy!
17. “I am pretty sure it was a Whitman hardcover about two sisters traveling to somewhere. The older sister had just started driving and maybe they are driving an old Volkswagon? They end up staying in an old house and there was a painting on the one wall they find out later had holes where the eyes were for spying. The cover was purple-ish with possibly the painting on the front. I can’t remember what the mystery was about. There may have been a grandfather in the story too or some type of older relative.” Update: possibly Spirit Town by Suzanne Roberts, maybe combined with plot elements from another book.
18. “Does anyone remember a story from a grade-school or junior-high language-arts textbook (that’s where I remember it from) about a young girl who travels the world and ends with her realizing that a comb she thought she lost is on Guam. That’s how it ends, I think: “It’s on Guam.” Does anyone remember reading anything like that? Thanks!”
19. I’ve got another anthology that I’ve been trying to track down- it was from the very late 1980s or very early 1990s and was short stories and excerpts from novels, and I want to say that it had a title like “A Child’s Treasury of Humor”. The two pieces I specifically remember are Shirley Jackson’s short story “Charles” and the chapter from Lake Wobegon Days about the Boy Scouts. It was a thick (600+ pages) oversize hardcover. Anybody remember this one?
20. I’m piecemeal tracking down the YA romance books I loved reading and rereading in the ’80s and there’s one whose title I can’t remember–it’s really stumping me! It’s about a girl whose family moves from Arizona to Minnesota, and she has a really hard time adapting to the cold and snow. She’s always complaining about how things are so much more perfect back in sunny, warm AZ, which, needless to say, doesn’t go over very well with her new classmates, who basically tell her to GTF away from them if she hates them and their state so much. I think she had a boyfriend back in AZ who she was pining for as well. Ring any bells for anyone? Suggestion: The Year My PArents Ruined My Life by Martha Freeman
21. My memories of it are pretty vague. The paperback cover featured a red-haired girl in a green dress. I believe it was about a teenager who moved to somewhere very green and mysterious, perhaps with castles…maybe Ireland? And there were always white swans on the lawn. I believe the girl’s name was Phillippa. I got it in a box of my older cousin’s stuff…in the late 1980s, so I believe it was published some time in the mid-eighties. Any help would be appreciated! Suggestion: The Fortunes of Philippa by Angela Brazil
22. I read this in 1965 and was under the impression it was pretty contemporary. The story concerns a young teenage girl whose family spends summers somewhere on the Atlantic coast. This particular summer they have an older teenage girl board with them and she’s a bit rough around the edges but is kind and wants to improve he self and her circumstances. She has a buttery soft yellow leather jacket that the younger teen admires. The older teen gets into some sort of scrape and decides to move on as she believes it to be in everyone’s best interest. She quietly leaves behind the yellow jacket as a gift to her young friend. I remember the cover depicted ocean, pier, maybe an old house, and a bit of stormy weather. Suggestion: The Sea Gulls Woke Me by Mary Stoltz
I’m hoping someone can help out with this one. It probably would have been published sometime in the ’60s, but possibly earlier. It’s about a brother & sister named Mary Jo & James who are accidental stowaways on a ship headed to Germany. They’re caught almost immediately & have to work for their passage – Mary Jo by peeling potatoes & James by shining shoes. The local bad girl – who I think was named Lizzie – was responsible for them being stuck on the ship in the first place. Mary Jo & James have been hanging out with Bad Girl Lizzie because they’ve been temporarily sent to live with a (very unpleasant) neighbor due to their younger sister being sick with something – possibly scarlet fever? – & they will do anything to avoid being in the neighbor’s house. That’s about all I remember except that I think there’s something about one of the sailors from the ship coming to their house for Christmas at the end. The Surprise of Their Lives identified by Lost Classics reader Norma!
I am trying to remember the title and author of a book I read in c. 1986, when I was about 11. It was about a girl who goes to stays with her relative for a period of time. She meets a woman who, it is revealed later in the book, is her recovering alcoholic mother. She befriends an elderly man who has a German Shepherd named MacDuff. MacDuff is swept out to sea when the girl almost drowns, but is later found safe and brought home. Now Is Not Too Late by Isabelle Holland identified by Lost Classics reader ninyabruja!
I am looking for a “teen romance” from the 80’s…it’s about a girl named Callie who falls for a lifeguard at the local pool named Kurt, who does not reciprocate her feelings. She has a little sister named Tessa and a good guy friend named Rusty, who she ends up realizing her feelings for at the end. I cannot remember the title! The cover shows a girl standing at a lifeguard stand looking up at him. Thanks for any suggestions! Why Am I Too Young by Alida Young found by Lost Classics reader Laura!
26. I don’t really have a lot to go on, but when I was in 6th grade (so around `94) I read this scifi book my teacher had and literally all I can remember is they travelled from at least one planet to another, and there was something to do with a green stone and it may or may not have given the heroine special abilities. I’ve been trying to search for it for years, as I believe this may have been one of the catalysts for my interest in the scifi genre.
Can’t remember title. YA book from late 1970s or early 1980s. Wren and her sister Francesca meet a girl named Anna Ferris. Anna is a budding singer. Anna has a brother, Travis (I think). Anna meets Tony and gets pregnant. Wren desperately tries to find a place to send Anna over the summer for the pregnancy so that Anna doesn’t lose her future. Wren’s mom is dating someone named Mr. Montcrief. Help! I can’t think of the title, I’ve searched the internet and nothing! Sycamore Year by Mildred Lee identified by Lost Classics reader Susan.
28. I’ve been looking for a certain book for years, maybe someone here can help.
It was a young adult novel about two teen girls. They were friends, spending time together before the new school year started. There was an annoying little brother who pestered them constantly.
One of the girls wore glasses, but was getting contact lenses for the first time. She wanted to be prettier for the new school year. They called the makeover “Operation Chrysalis” or “Project Metamorphosis” or something like that. I think I remember them sitting in the backyard discussing their plans, with the brother spying and teasing them.
One of the major plot points involved the girls finding out that one of their distant, elderly relatives had died. The family drove to the relative’s house a few weeks/months later, and found that all of the furniture had been stolen. They eventually found it being sold at an auction, and were able to identify it as theirs by bite marks on one of the chairs.
At some point, the girls found an old diary with a pretty drawing inside. It appeared to be just a pretty pattern, but upon further inspection, the girls noticed it was actually a monogram of someone’s initials. It could have been hidden inside a desk?
At another point, the girls were cooking something with syrup. The little brother made a mess licking the bowl clean. The girls tried to tell him that he needed to use soap to clean it, but he insisted that syrup is made of sugar, which is water soluble and can be easily cleaned by licking it. He licked his finger and touched a napkin to prove he wasn’t sticky, but the napkin stuck.
I read a lot as a kid, so it’s possible I’m combining parts of several books. Most of the books I read were written from 1950-1995, and I would guess this one was written around the 60s. I thought it might have been one of the Trixie Belden books, but I’ve looked through most of them and couldn’t find this story. Suggestion from Lost Classics Reader Kelly L.: The Mystery of the Singing Mermaid By Ann Young
29. I’m trying to remember the title of a book that I read, probably as a tween in the late 70s, early 80s. It was set in the first person, I think, and it was meant to be more funny than dramatic. The main character was maybe 11-13. She was shy, maybe a bit of a social outcast and hated school. It seems to me that her home life wasn’t that great either. I think I remember that she was sent to the AV closet at school to retrieve something and found a place where she could hide and watch TV all day. She did this every day. Nobody seemed to miss her and this went on for quite some time. Eventually she was discovered by a guidance counselor and she agreed to stop trying to escape her problems and stay in class. It might be a Scholastic book, and I have this memory of an orange and pink cover but I don’t remember anything else about it. I’m Canadian so it might have been Canadian and style-wise, I think it was maybe from the mid 70s. It would be great if someone could prove that it isn’t a figment of my imagination.
30. I only read the 1st few chapters of this one; it had been left in the lounge at my local YMCA and wasn’t there the next time I went. A Jewish American girl gets a letter from her German boy cousin describing how he’s being bullied at his school after Hitler comes to power. I think it was published in the late 70s/early 80s.
I’m looking for a teen/young adult book that follows a group of girls in Jr. High adventures. Read it in the 80s. The only adventure I clearly remember is a team gymnastics competition where the girls squirt ink on a competitors leotard- that girl and her twin sister had been switching places in their best gymnastics events, so their team always won! (Yes, a huge crime.) Then the ink-stained girl and her twin had to finish the competition with no cheating, and they lost. (Justice prevails.) If anyone can help, I’m desperate to find this one. TY in advance! The Rascals from Haskell’s Gym, by Frank Bonham ID’d by an Anonymous Lost Classics reader! 🙂
This has driven me nuts for decades – I had a gritty YA realistic fiction teen peril kind of book from the 70s or 80s in which the main character got to know another young woman in her small town who had a bad reputation for being promiscuous and was thus known by the nickname “Everybody’s Evie” or “Everybody’s Evy” (but I am pretty sure this was not the title of the book, nor am I talking about ME Kerr’s Deliver Us From Evie, which is newer and different). If I recall, this was one of those moralizing types of books, like don’t sleep around or the town will cast you out, but I also seem to remember that it might have been a little more progressive than that and the main character got to know Evie/Evy and learned she hadn’t really done the things that earned her this reputation, but rather was just kind of a rebel nonconformist who didn’t give a crap and was therefore being stigmatized and marginalized unfairly. Still, I have the haunting remembrance that the ending wasn’t so happy. Nobody knows what this book is and I am going nuts, please help! Did I dream it? Lost Classics reader Miss Amy alerts us that this one was solved over at Goodreads: Everybody’s Evy by Rose Blue
I’m pretty sure it was written/set in the 80s because I swear I remember the mention of a pork pie hat (which at the time I didn’t know what that was :)) The main character is a high school boy who I think is new to town and makes friends with another boy and maybe a girl (love interest?). The main thing I remember is that they have a young, pretty, female English teacher who is being sexually harassed/threatened by a student in their class. The harassing student is really big and tall and he makes a photocopy/xerox of his hands and leaves it on the teacher’s desk with a misspelled note saying “these hands will be all over you”–the main character and his friends come across the teacher right after she finds the note and she’s really shaken up and upset. I think they come up with some plan to get the harassing student kicked out of school? Though I don’t know why the teacher wouldn’t have just reported him…but anyways. I think that maybe the main character is also part of the school play (a small part, not a lead role) but I could be wrong. Remembering the Good Times By Richard Peck, identified by sheesh and Majenta.
34. 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. Partial update from Barbara: the specific story, “In Tempo” by Sue Moskowit, has been found in another collection, A Matter of Choice, but we’re still on the look out for another short story collection in which it appeared!
35. Our teacher read us this book in 7th grade (so 1985). A boy wants to ride the family’s riding lawnmower, and dad says no. For some reason, the boy is home alone (the family is away for the day). The boy gets on the lawnmower, falls off, and dies when the mower goes over him. There is a younger brother in the story also. Can’t remember the author or the title. Suggestion: Nobody’s Fault? by Patricia Hermes
36. Ok, I think the title was maybe about sixth or seventh grade, or possibly hairspray. Protag befriends an artsy loner weirdo who introduces her to the concept of third eyes and gets bullied by Xan (maybe Zan) the popular girl. At some point they have to paint sets, and Xan gets paint all over herself, either by accident or on purpose? Can’t quite remember.
37. Looking for a YA book that may have been published in the 60s or 70s. About a girl in college who has to choose summer internships/placements in public service. I think she wanted to go to a settlement house (like Hull House in Chicago) but instead goes to an orphanage and does good work there. So then she is given an opportunity to go to her preferred next placement, but decides to stick with working at the orphanage. Any ideas??
I have been searching for a book of short stories for girls from the mid 1960’s. I am guessing that it is a Scholastic book, as I am sure that I bought it at a junior high school book fair. I remember details of 2 stories in particular. I remember a high school girl who wanted new clothes so she would become more popular; she wanted “shoes that look like ballet slippers…and a string of pearls!” Another story was about a girl whose father said that she may not be a pretty girl, but she was going to be a beautiful woman. Do these sound familiar to anyone? Grateful for any help that you have to offer. Thanks so much! Sometimes Magic Edited by Hallie Burnett, solved by Lost Classics reader Jennifer!
39. Hello. Pls,I’m looking for a book. Its about a teenage girl who is a candy striper at a hospital. She meets a guy she likes but doesn’t know he’s a celebrity. Suggestion from Lost Classics Reader Julie: Could the Candy Striper book be the one by Lee Wyndham?
40. Sometime in my junior high years (mid 1970’s) I read a book about a girl named Connie whose family had a sudden financial crisis. They moved to the poor side of town to live with Aunt Berta. Connie often returned to her former neighborhood, which was ruled by a stuck up snot named Leora Hyde. The only part I remember is Leora’s father trying to commit suicide in the garage, and Connie found him and pulled him out of the car. Suggestion from Lost Classics Reader reshpeckobiggle: Connie by Anne Alexander
41. So, there is a book I’m trying to find. I’m afraid that I don’t have much to go on. All I remember is that it was a thriller plot, and that the protagonist girl was missing one finger. It was something she was embarassed about, and she was a loner at school, not wanting anyone to know unless they were a good friend or family.
At one point during a thunderstorm outside, she looks out her bedroom window and thinks there is somebody spying on her next to a tree.
This book would have probably been printed in the late 80s, possibly 1990 or so. I read it in my elementary school class around ’91.
The book I’m looking for is a YA diary-type novel. I think the main character is named Sarah or Sara. She has an older sister named Deirdre (called Didi). I remember the cover is a girl with brown hair wearing I think a white t-shirt. She is sitting in a purple background. I don’t remember much about the plot except she doesn’t get along with her family and there is a line something like, “You can tell what their expectations were, naming her Deirdre, and me, just plain Sarah.” It was definitely from the early to mid 1970s. Solved by an Anonymous Lost Classics Reader: Diary of a Frantic Kid Sister by Hila Colman….. there was also a sequel, Nobody has to be a Kid Forever.
43. I am looking for a mystery book I read in the 80’s from the local library. The book is probably older, maybe 50’s, 60’s, or 70’s. Children find a scrap of metal. They find out that years before a woman stole a hurricane lamp or a spirit lamp from a local shop keeper. When she tried to light it she set the building (it might have been a lighthouse) on fire. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you!
44. I am trying to remember a book but can’t find it. All I remember is the plot.
It’s about a girl named Harriet who meets a gambler named Jake who takes her money. She goes on his boat cause she hasn’t got anywhere else to go. She gets stranded on a island where she is forced to marry a rich old man and gives birth to Jake’s baby on the island. She names her Victoria. Jake comes back for her. The old man dies leaving Harriet his fortune. She builds an empire. In the end her and Jake get back together. I think this came out 80s or 90s. This is a 2 part saga.
I hope you can help! It’s driving me nuts!! Suggestion: A Promise of Gold By Joan Druett
45. In 1959 my family moved & I did not to finish a library book I was reading. No title or author so slim clues but here goes: A boy, about 10 or 12, goes to live with his grandfather due to his Dad being made a manager at a soft drink plant (Coca Cola?) in the Philippines. His grandfather lived in desert, seemed like Arizona or possibly New Mexico & I believe it was a trailer a good ways out from town & boy rode bus to school. He had a friend nearby, a girl, & eventually they met an Indian boy who lived close by. They would slip out at night to watch the stars & just hang out together as kids do. One night they caught sight of what they were sure was a UFO landing out in the desert & they planned to head that way & see where it landed. That’s as far as I got! If this rings any bells with anyone, would appreciate a clue. It must have been a mid to late 1950’s book & I believe it was hardback, don’t remember a book cover if it had one. Thank you!
46. I am remembering a book I read in the mid-90s, when I was around 10 years old. It’s about a teenage boy who either lives in or moves to a small town in rural California (I feel like I remember there being a line about “there was a sign on the road out of town where it said Los Angeles 567 miles [or some large amount] and someone had crossed it out and written 1,000,000 and honestly it might as well have been.”) Someone in his community teaches him and the other youths how to “witch for water”, or use a dowsing rod, and nobody is successful except him. He can feel the water through the rod by a sensation in his wrists and arms. Later on, he feels the same sensation without the rod, and discovers that he is essentially a human lie detector. There is a scene where he goes to help a friend’s dad as a border patrol officer on a state line, and helps them to confiscate illegal fruit that can’t enter the state for some reason (a big carton of cherries in one case, and like two apples in another.) The fruit-at-the-border isn’t the main plot thrust, but it’s the part I remember!! Thanks for the help :):)
47. Looking for a fiction book I read in 1971 or 1972 about a teenage girl who gets pregnant. She and the baby’s father try to figure out how they can keep the baby, then decide to give the baby up for adoption. The girl gets through the pregnancy by telling herself it’s not HER baby; she’s having this baby for someone else. Any ideas?
48. So I wish I had more information about this one because it’s been driving me crazy for years. A friend gave it to me when I was probably 8 or 9 (so first half of the 90s), but who knows how old that copy was at the time (definitely second-hand). I remember very few details other than it involved a village near a crescent shaped valley and at the climax of the book everyone went there in the middle of the night and some beings appeared (aliens? fairies?). I feel like maybe there was something about missing children tied in with that (maybe they were what appeared)? I remember how I felt reading it (slightly confused, slightly creeped out) more than I remember the book itself and I wondered if it was a title translated from another language – although I don’t have anything really to pin that on other than I found the people weird and decided they must live somewhere else. I remembered the title as “The Valley of the Crescent Moon” but that doesn’t get any results that seem right. I might be inclined to think I dreamed it if I didn’t remember being annoyed that my friend misspelled my name inside the front cover. Suggestion: Born INto Light By PAul Samuel JAcobs
49. I’m junior high school I read a teen romance mystery novel about a high school couple who were torn apart by a boy and a girl. It was also Halloween and they were all trying to set up a haunted murder scene that took place many years ago. In the end both the bad boy and girl got busted for trying to harm the nice girl. I also think that there was something with a dress that used to belong to the murdered woman from many years ago and was worn by the nice girl. On the cover is a guy and girl holding each other. I would guess that this book came out in either the 80’s to early 90’s. Thanks.
50. I’m dreaming of finding a book I read in elementary school and lent out, but sadly never got back. Young adult, published before 1983 for sure. A boy from a small town was somehow lost, maybe on an island, and was alone for a while, unable to get home. Somehow he got back to his hometown, and on the day he arrived back, there was a town fair. He went up to the girl he had liked when he was younger who happened to be at a kissing booth at the fair, she didn’t recognize him, and he kissed her and said “you taste like strawberries”, and then she recognized him and was happy to see him again after so long.
51. Looking for a book that’s like a kids version of A Simple Plan, where two boys find a briefcase or duffle bag full of money in the woods and start spending it on things like a trip to an amusement park, but eventually a bad guy comes looking for it. Would have read it late elementary school or early middle school in the mid to late nineties. Reader suggestions: The Runaways by Ruth Thompson and Millions by Frank Cottrell Boyce.
I am racking my brain for the name of a young adult book (fiction) 1980s-maybe Scholastic-I remember it was about a girl (Jen or Alison?) who meets a new beautiful best friend; Eventually Jen/Alison transforms herself and gets the guy. I remember one of her parents was a surgeon and made some comment like “I am a surgeon not a chef”. Weird what I remember lol. Thanks for your help! The Best Of Friends by Jill Ross Klevin (part of the Wildfire series) solved by Lost Classics reader Sheesh
53. Can anyone track this book down? Set during the Great Depression. Main character is a girl (Meg?) who becomes friends with a new neighbor (possibly Gwendolyn?) who is very snooty because her father has a good job. She has a fancy dollhouse with furniture and a scrapbook of the British princesses (Elizabeth and Margaret) they are both obsessed with. Later in the book, it gets found out her father’s good job was something illegal and he gets arrested, so they have to sell their belongings, are very poor, and leave the town in disgrace. Before leaving, she gives the doll house icebox and scrapbook to her friend, and apologizes for being so snooty.
I read this in the 80s, but it was an old book so could have been published in the 60s or 70s. Suggestion: The Majesty of Grace by June Langton
My partner remembers one of his favorite books, as a kid, was about a boy whose parents are grifters… his father sells “miracle cures” and they have to skip town and can’t settle down anywhere. At one point, his parents steal a trailer and the boy can’t take the lifestyle anymore, so he runs away to live with his grandparents. Then, his father invents something that makes him wealthy, and the boy must decide whether to stay with his grandparents or go back to his parents. My partner can’t remember any of the characters’ names, but he thinks the title sounds something like “Outside, Looking In.”Also, the cover had a boy looking out a car window. And my partner read it in 4th grade, he thinks… so probably in 1988-ish. Outside Looking In by James Lincoln Collier submitted by Lost Classics Reader daisyporter
55. Looking for a teen reader book from 70’s
The girl was coming of age, “Freddie” for short for Fredericka. Went on vacation for the Summer to the beach, Mother paints.
56. I’ve been searching for a book i read in the 70’s possibly 80’s. I think the book cover had a hunter and a deer or stag on it. The book starts out with a man walking through or hunting in the woods and he ends up in another world or dimension. He meets a wizard or magician and at the end of the book the wizard turns himself into the deer or stag and sacrifices himself for the hunter in exchange for his help when they were in the other world.
57. I read it in 7th grade lol.its about a girl,I can’t remember if she was a spy or had abilities,but some powerful people find her and she runs.finding out that the guy she likes isn’t who she thought and neither is she.i remeber reading that they stop and play a jukebox at a diner.
58. I am looking for a book I read in the late 80s-early 90s. It was about a 6th grade (I think) class that was terrible. They ran over teachers, subs, etc. until this teacher came in and turned thing da round using magic. Almost like a Mary Poppins or Nanny McPhee situation. I remember crazy situations about spitballs or something similar and snippets of old childhood songs like “row, row, row your boat gently down the stream, throw your teacher overboard…” and “miss Suzy had steam boat, the steamboat went to…hello operator, give me number 9…” please help!
Reader Suggestion: Thirteen Ways to Sink a Sub By Jamie Gilson. Update from requestor: the suggested title is, sadly, not the book I am thinking of. Another detail that I seem to remember is that it wasn’t just a sub. I seem to remember that it might have been a husband/wife sub duo???? Maybe….
59. I read a novel in the early 1970s about a white teacher who moves to the inner city to teach at the all Black high school, He is a single dad with a high school age daughter who will attend the high school. It is about the friends she makes, living as the only white people
60. Hoping someone will remember this one! It’s a historical mystery that takes place somewhere in Scotland. The main character’s name is Phoebe, and she goes to visit (or possibly live with) her sheep-farmer relatives in the Highlands. She has twin cousins named (I think) Ronald and Gavin. There’s a mystery about a castle on a nearby mountain where a Very Bad Man called (I think) the Monster of Something-or-Other used to live, and he either stole all the money belonging to everyone in the surrounding village or forced them to give it to him. Everyone is now extremely poor. The castle is either haunted or they think the Monster still lives there… anyway, everyone is terrified of it and stays far away at all times. Phoebe’s cousins have been absolutely forbidden to even mention it, but of course they do. When Phoebe hears the story, naturally all she wants to do is visit the castle and solve the mystery, even though her cousins try their best to talk her out of it. They do end up solving the mystery. I don’t remember all the details, but one part I remember vividly is that they find the Monster’s skeleton sitting on top of a chest containing all the missing money. I believe there’s also a section where Phoebe’s aunt teaches her to use a spinning wheel. The version I had was a paperback, and I read it sometime in the mid-70s. If anyone remembers this, I would love to track it down and reread it. Thanks!
61. I remember reading this book in the early 2000s. it was about a rich couple, I think the wife wanted to be a singer and perform. there were many mentions of a briefcase if I remember correctly. there was a driver with a town car, I think a rolls Royce or Bentley.
please help! thank you in advance!
62. I came upon your website as I was searching for a teen lit novel I read, probably in the 1980s about a teenager (boy?) who adopts a bat, which changes his life and the perceptions his friends and family have about bats.
63. I remember reading a book in the 70’s. Young girl on a solo adventure through rugged terrain (maybe mountains). At one point in the story she becomes very ill with diphtheria and is helped by a stranger who nurses her through the illness, and somehow even uses a straw like instrument to remove the cob webby coating from the back of the girl’s throat. That’s about all I remember. Any thoughts? Suggestion: Merlin’s Keep by Madeline Brent
64.I probably read this book in the early 80s and I think it was new. A teen girl living near Gardiner, MT is the main character. Her family has horses, maybe a ranch. Her 16th birthday is coming up, and her older sister Althea (I think) disappeared when she was 16. The main character’s father is suddenly encouraging her relationship with a boy. Her mother is kind of upset about that, because she knows why he’s encouraging it.Turns out that the women in the family are given a choice at 16: to go on with a normal life or join some kind of magical society living deep in the forest. I’ve googled everything I can think of and can’t find this book!
65. I just discovered your website and thought I’d inquire about a book from the ’70’s that has eluded me for many years. It is in the supernatural/mystery pre-teen catagory. The main character is a girl named Dorcas who has a special power that is triggered by her spinning top. She is able to predict things that will happen in the future. There is a gentleman sympathetic to her circumstances ( I believe she is an orphan ) who gives her a scarf (red?) at one point. The plot involves a nefarious character who, she discovers, is not the upstanding person he appears to be. Near the end, he traps her in a cave where he tells her she has made her own grave, now she can die in it. Naturally, she is rescued by the kindly fellow who gave her the scarf. I thought the title was “The Spinning Top” and that the authors last name started with an “S”, but I have had absolutely no luck in tracking this book down. It was a favorite from my childhood, one I checked out many times from the library. I would appreciate any help in locating this book.
66. The book is about the blitz in London. A boy and a girl meet in the underground tunnels as they take shelter from the bombings during WW2. I think fire is in the title. Suggestion: Fireweed by Jill Paton Walsh
67.There were two stories I read right around 1980, books I checked out from my library, and I’ve never been able to find them in recent years. One or both of these stories may have been in a collection of stories, rather than a full kids’ or YA novel.One was a story about a boy whose family had moved into a house that had a big scary tree in the backyard. Each night the boy saw that the tree’s shadow crept closer and closer to his bedroom window. Finally in the end there was some conflict re a witch, and they chopped the tree down and filled the hole where the stump was with concrete.The other story was about a boy who loved next door to an old man, but it turned out the man was a vampire, and he trapped the boy in his basement, where there were coffins filled with dirt, I think.
68. I was born in 1958 and I remember a book that I read over and over when I was a young teen. I was wondering if you could help me find it.
It was about a girl, I think her name was Amanda, (because I liked the character so much, I always liked that name after). She goes to visit her fiance’s family for the first time, and they live in a big house on the Hudson River. I keep thinking the title is “Anead on the Hudson,” or something similar.
I would love to find that book again. If you know of the book, it think you do, I would really appreciate any help in finding it!
69. I’m looking for a book that I checked out of the junior high school library in the mid-70’s. It looked new. I can’t remember the cover. I remember a scene where a teenage boy, who was the main character, and a teenage girl were running through a castle. The girl had a Scottish accent and she was in love with him. She died, maybe from falling off a ledge. He felt guilty because she had died trying to help him and he hadn’t returned her romantic feelings. He had just considered her to be a friend. I think that he was involved in some political intrigue. He may have come from a different time and place. Please help!
70. Cover -features a blond boy talking to a girl who’s irritated…she has on an early 80’s ruffley blouse and he has on a striped polo type shirt with a collar. She’s listening to the boy talk and is annoyed. Plot: she (maybe her name is Tracy?) is going to be in a speech or drama class taught by a charismatic, well-known teacher and Tracy gets into the class and the popular kids are in there. The blond boy on the cover is Wylie and I think his girlfriend is Andrea…So Tracy gets paired up with Wylie and there’s a love triangle and I think Tracy has a makeover and becomes more attractive? She and Wylie wind up together. They have to come up with skits for the class and they bond over the skits?
71. Sometime in the ’80s, I picked up a book that I am almost certain was a Silhouette Romance novel. But the cover touted that it was part of a “new line” of books that were more “mature” (i.e., more graphic). The characters were definitely post-high school age. All I remember about the plot is that a girl goes to Florida to stay with an older relative (grandmother?) in a brand new development that is still under construction. She meets a handsome young guy, maybe at the pool, and he turns out to be a carpenter working on the development’s construction. She can’t invite him home for some reason so they meet up at night in a gazebo. Their encounters are pretty steamy! The only other detail I remember was artificial orange trees near the gazebo, which seemed an odd, tacky touch for Florida.
72. Looking for a book I read as a teen in the late 90s most likely. Probably published between 80s-99. The cover was a picture of a teenage girl.. dressed kinda funky in converses(?) and a plaid skirt(I think!). So it’s a lighthearted YA romance… the main character is MacKenzie(?) think.. and her best friend is Devon. She is in love with her neighbor… he only sees her as a close friend bc he’s a little older. So she sets out to make him fall in love with her by trying to be like any girl he’s currently seeing.. she gets into a lot of awkward moments. I remember random pieces like she buys a sweater dress and uses socks for bust enhancement.. which fall out when she is with him. Her friend always complains about her thighs. They were both only children and their families are really close. Please help.. searched for ages and no luck. Thanks!
I am looking for a book that I would have read probably in the mid to late 1980s. A teen girl feels like a misfit. She somehow gets a job taking care of animals (snakes, maybe?) for a magician. I think she might have been skipping school to hang out at his house while he was gone? Eventually she ends up becoming his assistant for some big show and learns how to do some impressive trick. I remember the book describing the outfit she wore during the magic show, maybe that it looked like green shimmering scales. At one point she says something about how she can’t reveal the secrets of tricks but that it was pretty uncomfortable being squished into half a box for the “saw a lady in half” trick. It is definitely NOT the Magician’s Assistant by Anne Patchett. Tarantulas on the Brain By Marilyn Singer identified by Lost Classics reader KD
74. Hi, I read a book in 2017 that was a summer reading book back in highschool. I don’t remember so much about it but I’ll say what I remember. It was a young adult book.
The book started off with these group of kids in a lighthouse, these teenagers did criminal acts and our main character, male, stole a bike so he was put their as another option of juvenile detention. Between the middle of the book he’s driving a car with this other kid with him, also male, off to a beach where they could make a bonfire and eat the food they’ve stolen. Our main character went to set up the bonfire while his friend went out to look at the ocean, only to turn back to ask what he wished to eat and see the guy gone. Following the footsteps that lead straight into the ocean, he knew his friend died walking into the vast cold sea at night as he had problems with his will to live.
75. I’m looking for a book that I read in the late 80s or early 90s, which I *think* was pretty contemporary.
It was one of a series of books about a group of teens or young adults who solved mysteries. The one bit I remember clearly is that they found an old house with a river landing stage, and an old lady who lived there by herself. At one point, one of the girls finds and tries on a dress that they have seen in an old photograph…something to do with the old lady’s lost first love.
It’s possible that they solve the mystery of why her lover went away? I sold the book shortly after, and I’ve always regretted it.
76. Reaching out and hoping someone might know this one… I’m not sure if it was published in the mid/late 80s or early 90s – I remember reading it when I was 10 or so, and that would’ve been 1995, but it belong to my older sister, who was 15 in 1995 so I think it must’ve been late 80s or first part of the 90s, as she wasn’t reading it around 15. It was a fantasy novel, something about a young girl who goes on a journey (I don’t remember what for!) but I know there was some time where she was riding a horse (or maybe a unicorn), and there’s a scene where she’s crossing a big field, and I’m thinking there might have been a dragon in it somewhere. I actually can sort of see the cover in my head too… it was a metallic sheen – green/tealish and had a girl (and maybe the horse/unicorn) on the cover. I LOVED that book and my searches have led to ZERO results because it’s so very vague.
77. A book about a magic faded purple mailbox with stars on it. I would have read it in 70’s or 80’s.
78. A high school library book I read several times during 1980-1984. I thought it was titled twins. Twin girls, one was dead and a ghost. A tragic accident. A comment towards the end something like, A ghost is just a memory (or soul) that has just not been forgiven. Suggestion: THe Stranger With My Face By Lois Duncan or Twin Spell AKA Double Spell By Janet Lunn
79. About a cowboy that dressed in outlandish outfits and solved mysteries. People underestimated him because of the way he was dressed, but he could hold his own in a fight.
The story takes place during World War II. In an elementary school class, the rich girl’s family loses their money and become poor. She was the most popular girl in the class and loses all her friends. The family moves in to a trailer, and another girl whose family was always poor becomes her friend. I thought the author was Constance Greene, but I can’t remember the title. Wild Violets, by Phyllis Greene found by Lost Classics reader Sandra
81. There were (I think) a series of books in the 80’s/90’s about a group of teens (possibly in Australia) who found some technology and set up groups of other teens around the world and would communicate with them. Possibly to solve crimes but not 100% sure. Think it was also a tv series but not sure. Vague I know but any ideas welcome! Suggestion from Lost Classics reader beholdthething: either the Internet Detectives series by Michael Coleman or Cyber.kdz series by Bruce Balan.
82. Looking for the name of of YA book I read in the 80s. This book was part of a book club that sent me books every month. High school girl who plays basketball and goes on to play at University of North Caroline (I think). Her boyfriend also plays basketball. Not much to go on.
83. I’m looking for a ya novel 1970s/1980s about a teen who wanted a band called the Jersey Turnpike. There was a love story, too. The title had one word, I think.
84. The plot was of a teenage couple who fell in love but their story was complicated by the fact that the boy’s mother had killed the girl’s sister in an automobile accident. I don’t remember everything but I think the mother had maybe been driving after a work holiday party, and it was raining, and the girl was riding her bike and was hit by the car. The young teens who fall in love don’t know about this connection at first, then when they find out it pulls them apart. That’s all I remember; I don’t remember how the story is resolved. From the early-mid 1980s Solved by the original requestor When We First Met by Norma Fox Mazer.
85. A friend is looking for a book she read in the late 70s/early 80s. Here is what she remembers:
I’m trying to remember the name of a book that I read when I was growing up so it hadn’t been written in like the 70s or early 80s. It was about a girl that grew up in a family they didn’t have a lot of money but they weren’t super poor I think she babysat for somebody and she sometimes pretended that that family was hers and somebody had a miscarriage but I can’t remember if it was a family she babysat for her her own family. And she may not have babysat. Sugesstion: Claudia By Barabara Wallace
Unpopular girl in high school befriends a beautiful popular girl who sews her own clothes & wears red-stiched cowboy boots. I think the unpopular girl plays the flute and gets a makeover by the beautiful girl. I remember remember them going to the mall to splurge on an orange julius. The Best of Friends By Jill Ross Kelvin (Wildfire) solved by Lost Classics reader Sheesh
87. I read the first few chapters of this sci-fi book in 1985, when I was 11 or so. I feel like it’s a slightly older book, maybe from the 70s. Maybe older, but I don’t think so. A scientist is building a doorway to another reality in his laboratory. This is in his house and his neighbor is a nurse, a little pushy, crushing on him and always coming over. Well, he gets the doorway working one day when she comes over with a casserole (I remember this specifically) and when they go through the door into this new reality, they eat the casserole on the banks of like, a creek or something, with their hands because they have no utensils. That’s as far as I got before I lost the stupid book and it’s been driving me crazy for years! What was it called!
88. I am looking for the title of a book, I would have read it probably in the mid-to-late 70s, about a girl who was a budding tennis star and she was on the tennis competition circuit, but also coming of age and starting to have regrets or wishes she could be a normal kid. I distinctly remember a part in the book of the girl prepping for a tournament and having steak and eggs for breakfast, because it was high protein to fuel her. She wore her hair in long pigtails (as I did during that time). I don’t remember much more. The girl may have been blonde, but I don’t remember that either. Suggestion: When No One Was Looking by Rosemary Wells
89. There is a book that I read in Middle School(97-2000) that has been driving me nut to find. I believe it was published in the 70s but can’t be sure. It was mystery/ghost story. I can remember the plot but not the title or author.
The plot centers around a young girl who lives with her father in this big house with bogs nearby. She finds this really old locket which had belong to a young girl who died many years before and whose spirit uses that locket to lure other young girls into the bogs. What happened to the spirits in her life was that she fell in love with a boy who gave her the locket but her father forbade her from being with the boy and she eventually tried to run away or something but got caught in a bog and died. And so her spirit lingers. I believe the protagonist almost dies in a bog but her father saves her. Of course it has my memory of the plot. Perhaps you can help me locate this book.
Woke up thinking about a book I read in the late 1970s I think where the protagonist was a ? Teenager boy who had been a bully and was trying to turn it around. I remember him trying to lose weight. He had parents who were trying to be supportive o think. That’s all I got:) The Bully of Barkham Street by Mary Stoltz, solved by Lost Classics Readers Sandra and Tracy.
91. a collection of short stories of the mystery/suspense genre. In one story a teenage boy gets involved with a crime he’s trying to solve and in the end I’m almost sure he gets shot in the shoulder but lives. I can clearly remember his description of the girl that helps him solve the mystery. I think her name is Sybil. “Nose a little too small, mouth a little too large, lots of freckles. Lots of guys fall for that type.”
92.A girl who is a flute prodigy finds out that she may have a different father than her siblings. They solve the mystery of a golden flute and the last sentence is something like, “she put the golden flute to her lips and began to play.” Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
Hi! I am looking for a book a read a lot as a teen that has not travelled with me in my many moves. It was published in the 80s, I believe. It’s about a girl who is a freshman in high school and wants to be a cheerleader. She has red hair, and older sister, and her family writes on their kitchen table. She likes a boy from another school. There’s a passage I remember when they were sitting on a couch and trying to figure out what it was, the conclusion was naugahyde, and she might have had a friend named Marcy. The cover is a girl jumping in a cheer uniform. Thanks in advance! I know it wasn’t a fever dream….looking forward to seeing if anyone else read it, or knows what it is! The Rah Rah Girl By Caroline Cooney identified by Loast Classics reader trinaclem
94. I have also been searching for a book I read back in grade 6, around 1984. I don’t recall the author, but I think the title had “secret” in it. The cover had the picture of a girl.
It’s about a high school girl (don’t remember her name, but let’s call her City Girl) who lives in the city. Her cousin lives in a small town, far enough away that City Girl stays for weeks when she does visit. The cousin had a boyfriend, but she believed another girl in school was trying to take him away. During Christmas break, City Girl and Cousin write a letter signed “secret admirer” to lure this boyfriend stealer away. They believe this girl went to meet this admirer, but there was a bad winter storm and she dies in a car crash.
The summer after Christmas, City Girl visits her cousin again because Cousin believes the dead girl is haunting her. Both City Girl and Cousin are threatened and almost killed, all along believing it’s the dead girl’s ghost. Turns out it was the gardener who loved this dead girl; he knew of this letter and was taking his revenge.
In the end, we find out that dead girl was never interested in Cousin’s boyfriend, nor did she go off to meet the admirer. Suggestion: A Room for Cathy by Catherine Woolley
95. Hi, looking for a book series where the main character is Tina, I think it’s a Christian romance. She lives on a ranch and is a pianist.
One of the covers I think is a blue car and a girl standing on a fence or leaning against it.
I think it is from the 70’s or 80’s.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
96. Looking for a book from the 1970s. It had life, beauty, fashion, diet etc. advice for teenage girls. Paperback cover has a young woman’s face, I think the whole cover was muted yellows and browns. A few things I remember reading-
If have more than 1/2 inch of fat you’re very unhealthy and should lose weight asap.
Don’t eat butter or cake because it causes acne.
How to dress, and it involved a lot of long skirts and scarves.
There were various charts..saying how much you weigh, what exercises to do, wardrobe staples, and a few simple drawings. Other than that it was all text.
By today’s standards it’s pretty bad/funny advice if I remember correctly.
97. I am looking for a book from the late 60s, early 70s about a group of people stuck overnight in a house with people (“hippies?”) outside pranking them, looking in windows, etc. Been driving me nuts for years! Suggestion: The HAunted Night by Joan Phipson
98. Trying to find the name of a book I used to take out of the library as a school-aged child in early 90s. I think it took place in 70s. I don’t think it was a chapter book, but it’s hard to recall whether there were illustrations. About a family that moves to a new big house (an old Victorian, I think?). And the little girl has her own room for the first time and writes in her diary and talks of feeling very grown up now that her mother lets her get dressed up for dinner. Getting harder and harder to recall the other details! Hoping your followers can help!
99. Please help.
Book I read in grade school, 4th grade maybe? Which means this would be 1983, 84.
Sisters go on a camping trip with a group. One of the sisters is smart and responsible, and the other sister is a bit spoiled. Very into her looks. On the trip the spoiled, and I think younger, sister goes missing. As the trip progresses little things at the campsite also start to go missing, including a set of the missing sister’s curlers. The older sister puts the pieces of the puzzle together and realizes her sister is sending her a message with these missing items. Turns out one of their crew kidnapped her and kept her hidden in these ancient Indian caves. The guilty party’s name is Michael Waverly.
Does this sound familiar to anyone?
100. I’m trying to find the title/author of a story that we studied in my 10th/11th grade English Literature class (1975-1977). There must have been a protagonist youth character..but the character that stands out was a soccer player with the nickname “Le Boucher”..the butcher..that the crowd would shout as a rallying cry. I know that isn’t much to go on.
101. I was wondering if you’d ever come across a book called something like “The Boy Who Would Not Come Clean.” I read it in my downtime in the classroom we used as a dressing room during high school theater and it was definitely an oldie in the early 90s. The plot was that some popular kids harassed and threw mud at an outcast girl who was kind of a witch (?) and she cursed the main character to never be able to clean anything off himself. So like he got jelly on his hand while eating toast and it wouldn’t wash off no matter what. As the days go by, he becomes more and more filthy and disgusting. As a person who takes hygiene seriously, this DEEPLY disturbed me as a teen and I have never been able to find it. Anyway, thanks for sharing all these books with us, look forward to looking for some at our town’s used bookstore next time I go! Cheers
102. I am trying to recall a young adult book I read about 50 years ago, about a young woman staying with her aunt, I believe in London. Next door stayed 2 men. One was a spy.
103. I have been trying to think of this book for a while. It’s a book for teenager from the 1970’s. The title is very long and it either has the word “zodiac”, “horoscope” or “astrology” in the title.
The cover, if I’m remembering correctly, was kind of a hippy theme – I think it might have been purple with astrology symbols or a sundial.
Please let me know if you know what I’m talking about – it’s been driving me crazy for years. Suggestion: Leo the Lioness by Constance C. GReene
104. I am in search of a book I read in 1979 when I was a high school freshman. I checked it out of our high school library and read it for a speech we had to do in English that year. I don’t remember the author’s name At the time I thought it seemed pretty contemporary, maybe written in the mid to late 70s.
I can’t recall the character’s names, but the story centered around a girl in either 9th or 10th grade. It may have been written in the first person or in journal style. It’s about what happens to her at school, what boy she likes, etc. I remember I quoted a line from book in my speech that either had “shit” or “damn” in it and I talked to my English teacher about it because it was important to my speech and the story, but was nervous about saying it in class.
I’m searching for two books, both in the Young Adult genre, and I read them in the late 1970s or early 1980s. From I remember, one book is about a teen boy who is in love with a blind teen girl. He covers his eyes (or something like that) to pretend to be blind for a day so he can relate to her. The title was something like “The Lost Sunday” or something like that. The other one, I think was “The Best Friend Breakup.” A teen girl loses her best friend when the friend starts paying more attention to someone else and they drift apart. The only part of it that I remember is the main character plans on cooking breakfast for her family, so she sets her alarm. However, she messes up the time and the alarm goes off at 1 or 2 in the morning. Her dad goes into the kitchen and asks why she’s up in the middle of the night. I’m so sorry I can’t provide more detail, but that’s the only thing I can remember. That entire YA book genre was fantastic, so if you could possibly find the name of the series, I’d appreciate it. Blind Sunday identified by Lost Classics reader Sheesh
106.There’s a novel I read as a teenager around 1977-1978 and I wonder if you could help me gather more info about it. It was a new book at that time.
I think it was called The Survivors or Survivors. It was a gripping and poignant novel about an African-American woman (maybe middle-aged) and her caregiving relationship with an African -American boy or teen. There was some kind of theme of adoption perhaps, or a family secret, or tragedy. It took place in an urban environment. Suggestion: The Survivors By Kristin Hunter Lattany
107. When I was maybe in 5th grade, so at least 20 years ago, I got a book from the school library that I have not seen or heard of since. The only thing I remember is that the main character (I think a boy) is looking for a missing covered wagon from the 1800s. There was maybe a treasure map involved, and I think he found it in the end, possibly concealed in a cave. I’ve searched a lot and can’t find it anywhere!
108. Ok this is a weird one. I don’t remember what the book was about. I remember one line, and it’s been going through my head. A chapter opens with a woman entering a room, described thusly: “Her nose leading, like the beak of a large predatory fowl…”
The woman may have been a schoolmistress or a spinster aunt, an antagonist but not necessarily a villain. And I have a vague feeling there was also a male antagonist, maybe her brother, who was waiting in the room that she entered.
That’s it. I can’t imagine why I am suddenly remembering this one line but it is driving me crazy. Suggestion: the character described could be Irma Prunesquallor, sister of Dr Prunesquallor in Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast trilogy.
109. I’ve been hunting down this book for decades to no avail. It’s about a group of teens who work at a tobacco-picking camp for the summer. One of the girls is named Kit Falcon. She’s beautiful and confident and has a summer romance with the bus driver. Kit befriends a shy girl who comes out of her shell. There’s a boy who falls for the shy girl and asks her out after the camp counselor gives him special acne-remedy “surgical soap.” It’s such a bizarre setting — kids picking tobacco — but something about it has stayed with me. Help!
110. The heroine was a girl in her early to mid teens. Her father was some kind of wealthy contractor. Her mother was an ex model or beauty queen. She had a younger brother who had “issues” that possibly involved mistreating animals.
Anyway, her grandmother (mother’s mother), no longer lived in the US, lived in Canada where there was no such thing as an “Uncanadian Activities Committee” and the grandmother was estranged from the girl’s parents. The girl’s mom had started winning beauty contests as a young girl which was why she didn’t turn out progressive like the girl and her grandmother.
The grandmother and the girl had a ruse going where the girl went every summer to what her parents thought was a special camp in Canada, but it really was just going to spend the summer with her grandmother. The younger brother had been on “the waiting list” for the camp for years, but of course, never got in (the implication was that his issues were more like being evil than having psychological problems).
Anyway, parents were paranoid anti-Communists, and the father had built their house (in Michigan maybe? Wisconsin) with a sort of safe-room area where the family could escape in case of nuclear war/communist invasion. The girl comes back from summer “camp” and finds there is a handsome boy living in the safe room— maybe a Vietnam era draft dodger? She has to bring him food etc, and make sure no one figures out he’s there.
I think this was probably published in late 1960s or early 1970s.
111. Here’s my book quest…a teen girl seems to have snuck off a bus or sway from a runaway shelter and lives inhills/ mountain near a sandy shore. Shes there for months it gets colder she sleeps in a cave or include in mountain.. She sneaks into a close by farm house to steal food & warm clothes. She meets a boy they have a trist. She eventually gets pregnant. She seems very naive about sex/body/pregnancy. he then leaves her promises to come back but never returns She makes a necklace to hold a pearl he gave her. She uses her long hair, braiding it to hold the pearl on her necklace. She ends up having the baby. I think stillborn, she ends up dying alone and something about the baby’s bones or her bones bleached by the sun on the beach. It was given to my by my English teacher in 1984. Could have been published 1960s – 1983. Thank you. Suggestion: A Wild Thing by Jean Renvoize
112. Looking for a YA book, written in English and published in the 1960s or 1970s. set in a London school with a gang named “nosotros”. Think they were a female gang. Remembered that was the first time I had heard the word “nosotros”.
113. Looking two different books one was about a couple of young kids that visited an old relative and he sent them back in time in their imagination and I remember they bought clothes online like we do now only this was like in the 70s so nobody did that and the grandmother ordered two small of shoes I remember that in school where they went was different they did it all at home and they read this old book at the neighbors and how they didn’t think these kids knew how much fun they got to have having school together it was really interesting but definitely a child’s book or young adult in the second one was a girl named Gabrielle her dad went to Iran or rack to get Arabian horses and he bought some and they came in and then the guy sent his daughter the princess of the 2 girls meet a couple boys and fall in love the princess guy turns out to be her fiance in secret. theres a girl called peaches in it as they go around to horse shows all summer and they are in murdo sd which has the time line down main street. hope someone can help with title/author! Suggestion: short story “The Fun They Had” by Isaac Asimov
114. I can’t tell you how glad I am to have found this page. The book I really want to find may have been written in the 50s/60s, I read it in the late 70s.
I think the main character’s name is Nancy. She has two friends, one of whom is the “pretty” one, popular, loved by all the boys. A new guy moves to town and Nancy starts crushing on him very hard. The popular friend goes after him (I vividly remember a scene at a party where they were dancing “rock and roll” style and the friend took her shoes off and was really getting into it with the new guy. Nancy the wallflower watches and is sad and jealous.
Nancy gets a job at some point. She makes friends with the new guy, who gets her interested in photography. She takes a picture of some flowers, that she calls “worms-eye view of asters” and the guy secretly enters into a photography contest, which she wins.
115. I have an odd situation here, because I thought I knew this one, but I recently bought a copy and reread it, and I was wrong.
This was a book that was read to us during library time in elementary school. That would indicate that it was published before 1989, but probably quite a lot earlier.
I’m pretty sure (but given the other mistake I made, I could be off on other things as well) it was from the broad genre of “story about a gifted young person, told from the POV of their more normal friend”. What I remember strongly is a scene where they go to a wholesaler, possibly a wholesale auction? I assume the gifted young person was looking to buy something for their exciting kids’ adventure story project. But the POV character learns what an aglet is, and noticing that her (or his) shoelaces are worn, tries to buy some. Only, being a normal sort of kid and thus not understanding how wholesalers work, ends up buying a whole barrel of them. (Or maybe that part is me confusing it with something else, and someone else buys the barrel of aglets, and just gives the POV character a handful?)
For years, I thought this was something that happened in Jean Merrill’s “The Toothpaste Millionaire”. That has a similar scene involving buying way more toothpaste tubes than intended, but nothing about aglets. I reckon this must’ve happened since I can’t imagine any other explanation for me knowing what an aglet is.
They end up dating and that’s how the book ends. If anyone knows, you’ll have my forever gratitude! Update from requestor: “I know that a character at the auction gives the girl a handful of bike chain links before she buys the toothpaste tubes, so maybe that’s being conflated with the aglet story?”
116. I’m so glad that I found this site and I hope someone out there can help me figure this out. It might have been written in the 70’s and was about this girl who moved into a town. She befriended the boy next door whom she’d developed a crush on. I only got about halfway through the book before I lost track of it but the distinct portion of the story that I remember is that she also befriended an elderly lady who she took a pottery class with and the lady told the girl that she work her heart on her sleeve. That’s all I remember. I hope you all can help, thanks!
117. I would love help finding a book that I can’t remember much about, and I am beginning to wonder if I combined two books in my head. But I read it in the late 80s or early 90s (though it could have been published before that). It was set in the 60s, though, and I feel like it was some kind of time travel. I want to say there were twins or sisters, and I thought it was something like the Banana Split Affair but they don’t time travel. I feel like there were two guys – one who was anti-war, and the other wasn’t, and the two girls ended up on both sides of a Vietnam protest? I think it was a romance, but there was a time limit because they had to find something. This is probably not even a real book and just a combination of memories of other books, but I read it a number of times. Of course, I can’t remember it for the life of me!
118. Hello! I am looking for a YA/teen romance book that I read in the late eighties, and possibly very early nineties, so 1987 to 1991, at a push 92. I don’t remember the title, or the characters names, or the author. So annoying, sorry!
So, a girl (child of a single parent?) wants to do a job she’s worried her parent won’t like? Journalist, or scientist? God knows why it was a problem but it was the eighties I guess. She meets a Greek? boy who works for his families deli. I remember this because living in the south of England, I had never heard of a deli He has a passion for sci fi comics but also wants a career that will upset his family as they assume he will work in the deli his whole life.
I remember she wears a raspberry hat or jumper, or something and I thought it was a bit of a fancy colour, not red, but not pink either. Raspberry. Who knew?
Thanks in advance! Suggestions: To See My Mother Dance or Alive and Starting Over by Sheila Solomon Klass
119. Looking for a book I read in the late 80s possibly 1989 that I got at the book fair. A teen girl had an older brother who loved his car, named EMMY. I think maybe her Mom was divorced and they lived in an apartment. She was always hanging at the pool, wearing shades because she liked people watching. Her Mom was maybe divorced and they lived in an apartment.
120. Looking for a Y/A book written in the 70/80″s about a girl who finally convinces her parents to let her go to an all-girls boarding school. I could have sworn it was written by Judy Blume but apparently not. Same type of style, though. She goes off to boarding school ( she mentions in the very beginning that her grandmother helped convince her parents to let her go). The book opens with the 1st person narrator describing her new uniforms and all her stuff being ready for the trip to the boarding school. The opening sentence is something very like, “Well, I’m finally doing it. Going to Boarding school”
She rooms with 3 other girls, I believe, one of whom is very well off. One sentence I particularly remember refers to her first tour around the school, led by a student. “She looked like she cut her hair with a razor and a ruler”. The tour proceeds up some stairs and the narrator says, ” ‘So that’s what threadbare means,’ I thought”.
I believe the book must have been written in the late 70’s or early 80’s because that’s when I read it. Suggestion from Lost Classics reader Julie W.: They’ll Never Make a Movie Starring Me by Alice Bach.
I’ve been desperately trying to find this wonderful book I read in the 1980s. The cover had a girl in a red sweater walking along with a boy. She was in high school & overweight. She joined a gym, lost weight, & tried out to be a cheerleader or majorette. She made it, & replaced the cheerleader who had moved away. This girl ended up getting a job at the gym, and they had to wear heels at work! She ends up with her male friend in the end. She also helped stopped a rumor from being spread about an unpopular girl. Meaning she was still nice even though she was now attractive & thin & a cheerleader.
Please Let Me In by Patti Beckman a First Love By Silhouette title, solved by Lost Classics reader Sheesh
122. How about a book about a dancer slave girl in maybe biblical times. She was well loved and recieved many gifts-loke about beautiful and unusual scarf. But she was kidnapped and hidden in a box with cut air holes. As the box was being carried onto a ship,, she heard her master’s voice and stuffed some of the scarf through an airhole. He saw the bit of scarf and saved her. I was remembering “Slave Dancer” or maybe “Dancing Girl” or “Dancing Slave”, maybe?
123. I think this is an older book… but I’m not sure.
It follows a teenage girl and her friend that’s a boy. There is an audition for a play and one (or both of them?) get parts in the play.
One day the boy goes to pick up the girl but gets in a car accident and dies. At the end she doesn’t go to the funeral and swings on a swing. Help! Suggestion from Lost Classics reader Julie: Say Goodnight Gracie by Julie Reece Deaver
124. I’m looking for a book from the 90s (possibly from the late 80s). It was a paperback, possibly published by Yearly or Scholastic. The cover featured a girl on the beach with her back to the viewer and wearing a white dress. The back of the cover featured a small picture of a starfish broken in half. I vaguely recall the cover having a maroon or purple border but I could be wrong. I don’t remember what it was about as it was above my reading level so I couldn’t read it but have been wanting to ever since then. Suggestion from Lost Classics readers Julie and Siri: Jacob Have I Loved by Katherin Paterson
125. I remember reading a book about a girl who lived in Florida, set in the summer before she went to middle school. The main character was Bailey, she had a younger neighbor named Frances, her mother was an alcoholic, her father was remarrying, and she had an older brother who had graduated high school and was joining the military. It was probably set in the late 80s-early 90s. I remember the line “lord help us Welawanee” as an inside joke amongst the family. Does this sound familiar to anyone?
126. I read a YA thriller/romance from my elementary school library – probably in about 1970/1972 – about a girl who is 16? and a competitive ski racer. She comments on carrying extra weight and how it helps cut the wind resistance in competition. She comes across some spies in a mountain hug while out on a trail, and winds up helping them (intelligence agents ), and develops a romance with a young man who’s one of them towards the end – also rescues him from danger. I would love to know the title! Something with “wind” in it, possibly?
127. I read this one in the early to mid 80s, I believe it was contemporary. A high school girl has a crush on her teacher, and they end up having an affair. This is NOT Love is One of the Choices by Norma Klein. I remember that she had a chess set that her grandfather (I think) had made for her. She brings that to school and they play chess. I think they go away on a ski weekend. The book was pretty racy for a YA book at that time! I feel like the cover has a picture of them embracing in the snow. I don’t think it was part of any series. Would love any leads!
128. The book I’m trying to remember is similar to #96 — typical information for teenagers on grooming, clothes, nutrition, manners, things like that. The ultimate goal of this one was for the reader to host a successful party and it had a countdown. Something like one month out, make a guest list, three weeks out, send invitations, two weeks out, make a menu and shopping list, one week out, pick out and iron your outfit, etc. It may have been affiliated with a magazine. Seventeen had several books of that genre but none of them that I’ve looked at online seem to be this one, so maybe Co-ed or American Girl, or maybe I’m mistaken about the magazine connection. I got it from the library around 1973 or 74; it may have been from then or from the 60s as it didn’t seem as old-fashioned as the 50s books of this type.
I’m trying to find a book I read several times as a kid, but can’t remember the name or author, lol. It’s about a boy staying in San Francisco with a grandfather? Uncle? who needs $$$. The kid finds money tucked into a book or books in the grandfather’s library. So vague, but I’d really like to find it. There’s a lot of information about the earthquake as well. Mystery at Thunderbolt House by Howard Pease
130. OK, very hard to describe this book that’s too vivid not to forget, a sense that it’s always been there, it has to be. It’s a children’s picture book. All I remember are the pictures. Wild exotic animals roaming around places around the city, like a park. One image that haunted me was a lion that was in a library. The art was gorgeous and felt intimidating. I had to be 3-7 reading this book in the early 90s. Book could’ve came out in the 80s or 70s but it didn’t feel old. Suggestion: Animalia, by Graeme Base
131. I have searched off and on for a book that I read partially back in the mid 1970’s (I read it in 1975 or 1976) and always wanted to find. It was one of those books that girls would secretly pass around school. It was about a young teen couple who got pregnant, married and tried to make a go of it living in a city – (NY?). They had a hard life. I remember the line “Tell me that you love me now.” and thought that was the title, but have never found it. I recently saw the book Forever, by Judy Blume, and thought that might be it as the timing was right, the author was big at my school at the time and it was controversial, but the plot was different (she doesn’t get pregnant and I think they split up in the end), so that isn’t it, but I think I recall that one floating around at the time too – I remember that title.
I don’t know why it bugs me so much all these decades later, perhaps because I never finished the book? It’s just always bugged me that I can’t find it. If you know what this book is, I’d appreciate it if you could tell me the title. It sort of reminds me of that movie Molly Ringwald did about teen pregnancy, but that isn’t the exact storyline either.
132. I am looking for a book I read in the 1960s about a girl, and a boy from England who moves next door. The girl likes the way he says ‘bath’ with his English accent. When getting ready for a party, the girl plaits her hair more loosely than usual so the plaits will lie flat when she winds them around her head. She leans over a steaming pot/kettle so that tendrils form around her face. I think the setting was rural. I borrowed the book from a public library in Chicago.
133. There was a series i read back in middle school and the only thing I really remember is this girl moved to (i believe) chicago,started making friends,and dates one of their brothers.she is a medium,and at some point she goes into a coma of sorts,and finds out this dead woman that she has know for years is actually her birth mom,and that she was adopted.Her birth mom’s name started with a B,i think.She breaks up with her boyfriend,and at some point,in another book,her adopted mom sends her to therapy for everything she sees,because her adopted mom doesn’t really believe her.I think this may be before she goes into the coma,not sure.In another book,after she broke up with her ex,her adopted parents send her to some type of medium camp to be around people who understand how she feels.She ends up meeting a guy,who wears gloves for a touch to feeling reason,i think,and they end up getting together,but before they do,they help spirits in the forest who are trapped-in a sense-move beyond to the other side.I know there is another book after that,but i can’t remember it for the life of me.
134. I’m hoping to find a book I read scores ago. Teenage girl with a punk rock/rock best friend (Renee?) and this guy who liked her possibly unofficial boyfriend. One day she sees her dad with another woman. She follows him one day and calls his office and the Secretary mistakes him for the other woman and jokes with her before putting the call through to him. I thought it was called Daddy’s Girl but nothing comes up with that name (that would be considered YA) The cover was a girl ina denim jacket watching a couple from a distance on a sidewalk in front of a store.
135. I’ve been trying to track down this book for a couple of decades. All I remember was it was a paperback published sometime in the 1970s or 1980s, the narrator was a teen girl and she had a brother who was around preschool age and disabled. The brother would regularly have physical therapy sessions in their home. I only remember one quote, when the brother said something like “my damned fingers won’t/don’t work” and the sister tells him “you shouldn’t say damn.” Suggestion: A Boy Called Hopeless By MJ By David Melton
136. Looking for a YA book about a piano player coming to terms with being adopted and her boyfriend takes drugs. The cover showed a girl at a piano in 60s style clothing
137. I don’t have much to go on. A kid/YA book that I checked out from my grade school’s library. Between 87-92. I remember reading it in earlier years, and I read it more than once. It was about a young girl who was solving some kind of mystery. Not sure if it was a game or a real mystery. And she was cracking some kind of a code in an old house. Like on a lock or safe or something. And the book showed dashed lines for the code like _ _ _ _ etc. And every time she found a letter, the book filled in the letters. ____S____E___
The code ends up being Chrysanthemum. And it’s IMPOSSIBLE to search for this because there is a book called Chrysanthemum.
138. I don’t have a lot to go on. But, I read this book in the late 80’s. I think the author’s name was Christopher Green or Christopher White.
I had 2 books by the same author. His name was embossed in gold on the cover.
A gifted boy, 15-17, was abducted and taken to an underground compound. Everyone wore jumpsuits, each colour had a different meaning. His best friend was a girl and she set out to find and rescue him.
She called him The Whiz, everyone thought it was because he was so smart, but it was because they had shown each other their ‘bits’.
She ended up finding him and they hooked up at the end.
Help me. I can’t rest until I find out the title, and hopefully find a copy of the book.
139. I’m going crazy trying to remember a book series – I remember six books, each spanning a year, grades 6-12. A female main character chronicling her dating over the years. I think she ended up with a guy named Lenny or Lonny? I think it took place in New York. One book she tutors a blind kid who touched a painting with texture at a museum to “see” it.
140. 70s YA novel. Main character is a teenage girl named I think Star or Starr. She’s a Rolling Stones fan, and often sings bits of the song Gimme Shelter. She also reads Rolling Stone Magazine. She spends her free time hanging out with these free-spirited/hippie types who have some mysterious coffee house. One of them wants her to pose for photographs. In contrast there are some mainstream high school students, one of whom is named Beth, who are Peter Frampton fans — that Frampton Comes Alive poster gets mentioned a lot. Beth’s boyfriend falls for Starr but doesn’t get anywhere. Starr tries to show them the hippie hangout but it’s empty and they think she’s weird. This is a very dreamy sort of novel where you’re not always sure what happens to Starr is real.
ALSO: A reader reached out to me on Facebook to see if anyone knew of any 80s-era YA romances that featured a makeover on a GUY. She has only turned up Presenting Superhunk, a volume in the Couples series. I feel like ther HAVE to be more out there, with this as either the main plot or a subplot! Any others come to mind, Constant Readers?
Also: Any Cherry Ames fans out there have info about an organization that does a convention or similar gathering? Drop a comment if you know of one!
Also: Lost Classics reader Tracy suggests this link for browsing pre-1979 Scolastic book covers!