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Customer Discussions > Children's Books forum

Help finding a couple of books from my childhood.

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Showing 1-25 of 26 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 15, 2012 8:24:20 PM PDT
Marie W. says:

I am trying to figure out the titles for a couple of books from my childhood. I read these probably around 1998 or before.

The only thing I can remember from the first one is that the main character was a boy and the story included his class having a sleepover at their school.

The second one I am sketchy on the details. I know it featured a homeless lady (or bag lady as referred in the story?) and she told the main character his fortune or cursed him or something. He might have time-traveled. I can't really remember a whole lot and I might be mixing up two different stories on this one.

Any info would be greatly appreciated. I have been trying to do searches on Amazon but I have not had any luck. It might be because these are older so there is no info listed in the product description.


Posted on Apr 15, 2012 9:21:16 PM PDT
Wayward says:
Were these chapter books or picture books? Do you know what age range they were intended for? (Kindergarten? 2nd grade/easy reader? 5th grade/chapter? YA; light romance included?) Were they older books or contemporary when you read them?

I can think of lots of bag ladies and time travel...Sleepover sounds maybe more promising.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 15, 2012 9:55:23 PM PDT
Marie W. says:
These were chapter books intended for YA. I think they were pretty contemporary when I read them. Maybe written in the 5-10 year range before I read them. I can sorta of remember that the bag lady was on the cover of the book, and there might have been a spiral pattern on the front (like going into a time warp). Thanks for your interest!

Posted on Apr 18, 2012 11:27:50 AM PDT
Abigail says:
Could the second one be Johnny and the Bomb? It has parallels to what you're describing and was written in 1996.

Johnny and the Bomb (The Johnny Maxwell Trilogy)

Posted on Apr 18, 2012 11:43:52 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 18, 2012 11:52:54 AM PDT
Cobra N says:
Sorry, didn't read the thread properly and thought it was one of the others I'd looked at earlier but seemed dead - ignore me.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 18, 2012 2:29:21 PM PDT
Marie W. says:
Abigail, I don't think that is it but thanks for the info. It does seem like it has some parallels though.


Posted on Apr 18, 2012 6:38:20 PM PDT
Bronwyn says:
Bag lady and time travel hmmm- reminded me of 'A Wrinkle in Time' by Madeleine L'engle (sp?)

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 18, 2012 9:41:23 PM PDT
I was thinking of 'A Wrinkle in Time' as well.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 19, 2012 3:33:57 PM PDT
Marie W. says:
Bronwyn, I have read that series and it is great, but it is not the one I am looking for. I am pretty sure the protagonist was a boy of maybe 11 or 12. I just wish I could remember some more details! It was so long ago.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 19, 2012 7:18:44 PM PDT
Shellra says:
I have found Chilrdens Librarians to be very helpful with these types of questions. There was a book my Mom loved from the 50's but she couldn't remember the title. After calling the Children's Section of the Main Branch Nashville Library, someone got back to me with the answer in a cuple of days. I was able to track down a copy, and my Mom was very surprised one Christmas. I would call the Children's Library of your Local Library, they will probably know.

Posted on Apr 20, 2012 12:38:28 PM PDT
Have you tied Loganberry Books Stump the Bookseller? Google it, they are VERY helpful for find older books based on very few details of memory.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 20, 2012 3:00:06 PM PDT
Marie W. says:
Bookworm, I have never heard of them but I will give it a shot! Thanks so much :)

Posted on Apr 24, 2012 12:17:10 PM PDT
LSG says:
I have tried my children's librarian with this request but came up short- I think they are too young! Does anyone remember a book (I think it may have had a red cover with a picture of a girl/witch with long black hair) it was a slim chapter book about a girl who was a witch. She had a black cat and she went to school with human children and tried to fit in. I think I recall her making cookies for a PTA function. I must have read it back in the late 1970's. Thanks for your help!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 24, 2012 4:22:58 PM PDT
hooligan says:
It sounds like a book I read back in the 70's called "A Resident Witch." It is about a girl witch who lives with her 2 aunts (and cat) who has just moved to a new town and wants to fit in with the local school kids. She befriends a girl while pretending to be the new kid in town. Her aunts want her to begin haunting and doing "witchy" things, but she just wants to be a regular kid. I remember how she magics her black dress and ugly stockings into an outfit that resembles the one her new friend is wearing. The scenes I remember the most take place at a fair/carnival. Hope that helps!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 24, 2012 5:22:19 PM PDT
Shellra says:
I think I know that book. It's called "Little Witch." The main character is Minikin Snikasnee, or Minx, who is the daughter of a witch. But, unlike her mother, she doesn't like flying around at night and she wants things to be clean and neat. She hates the fact that her mother turns people into potted plants. From time to time, she sees a beautiful woman in the mirror, but when she turns around, the woman disappears. She finally plucks up her courage and goes to school, where she meets and befriends some real children. Together, they use Madame Snikasnee's magic pot to conjure a fairy. But the witch returns and tries to bewitch Minx's new friends. At the last minue, the police come in the door and arrest the witch for turning people into potted plants. Minx finally discovers that the witch kidnapped her, and that the beautiful woman in the mirror is not only a fairy, but her mother. Its a really sweet book.

Posted on Apr 24, 2012 5:25:20 PM PDT
Shellra says:
Little Witch was written by Anna Elizabeth Bennet and was first released in 1969. It was re-released in 1990.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 24, 2012 6:00:24 PM PDT
hooligan says:
Wow! 2 books with the same type of theme, how cool is that? I had to pull out my copy of "The Resident Witch" to find the author: her name is Marian T. Place and the book was illustrated by Marilyn Miller. It was published by Washburn, Inc NY in 1970. Now I want to find the other one :)

Posted on Apr 24, 2012 6:00:52 PM PDT
LSG says:
Thank you hooligan and Shellra. I know I read both of those books and enjoyed them. I wonder if I am remembering a mixture of the two books? I guess anything is possible more than 30 years later... I'll just have to find them and read them again! I am really looking forward to sharing the books I loved so much with my daughter. I really appreciate your help. Glad to know these books were loved by many. I think I must have read every book in the library with witches in it in the 1970's! Thanks again.

Posted on Apr 24, 2012 7:56:47 PM PDT
AvidReader, the book you are looking for is Glenda Glinka by Janice Udry. It is about a wich who turns herself into a little girl and goes to school. She does indeed make PTA cookies, which have bugs and persimmon pulp in them and are purple and green. Needless to say, they aren't a big hit:)
Hope this helps.

Posted on Apr 25, 2012 3:54:58 AM PDT
hooligan says:
Bookworm Becca -- you got it!! I thought it might be the one I read because she does make treats for some school officials, but Glenda Glinka has got to be the exact one. Now I get to add a 2nd book to my list -- I never realized other people read those witchy books when they were kids too!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2012 7:01:32 AM PDT
Great! Glad I could help. BTW, did you ever read any of the Ruth Chew (Wednesday Witch, What the Witch Left, etc) or Ida Delage (Witchy Broom, Old Witch's Party, etc) witch books? They are GLORIOUSLY witchy as well:)
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In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2012 8:35:40 AM PDT
LSG says:
Thank you! That is definitely the book I was thinking of. Those PTA cookies made a big impression on me. :) I also LOVED all the Ruth Chew books and the Dorrie books too. I wonder what it was about all those witch books. Maybe because we all grew up with Bewitched?

Posted on Apr 25, 2012 5:56:39 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 25, 2012 5:57:04 PM PDT
JAScribbles says:
One way I look for books is using this method:

- Go to any Amazon product page with reviews.
- Find the search box near the reviews where you can search them.
- uncheck the box that says 'search only these reviews' (something like that).
- enter your search terms. It's best to be vague - homeless lady curse

I've used this many times for things like: retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, story of WWII children, main character Jenna, reminded me of Anne of Green Gables, etc.

These searches bring back lots of results and are so much more accurate than tags. Try it next time you're looking for a book or subject.

Posted on Apr 25, 2012 6:04:27 PM PDT
JAScribbles says:
Glad you found your books! My suggested method doesn't work 100% of the time, but I've found lots of titles that way. :-)

Posted on Apr 25, 2012 8:36:07 PM PDT
Jessi says:
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Discussion in:  Children's Books forum
Participants:  12
Total posts:  26
Initial post:  Apr 15, 2012
Latest post:  Apr 25, 2012

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