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Can we have a 'Does Anyone Recognise this Book' thread?

(146 Posts)
deleted203 Mon 22-Oct-12 18:46:28

I know lots of us have vague memories (particularly me, as I get older) of much loved children's books we can't remember the title of. Thought we could post and see if anyone else can help.

I am desperate to know the name of a book I read in probably late 70s aged about 11-ish, that I only remember faintly.

There was a girl who went to stay with her aunt/godmother who was a witch and so were the rest of the village women, I think. I can't remember much about it except that her aunt upset the others (who I think were bad witches) and they were more or less trapped in their house being beseiged by the bad witches. There might have been ravens/crows involved. It would have been set in England.

Ring any bells anyone?

DeWe Tue 23-Oct-12 09:12:51

Having looked at the views I think it might be the same book under a different title.

The boy and a double decker bus sounds familiar. I can even picture the cover. It was next to the Nobby Clark Cub Scout books in the library. <unhelpful>

EmpressOfTheSevenScreams Tue 23-Oct-12 09:18:51

If it's not the same book, Amazon have it in paperback for £15+postage.

FireOverBabylon Tue 23-Oct-12 09:19:07

DeWe was your book Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson? The plot sounds the same - he's kidnapped by an uncle and escapes from him. It 's a good adventure story!

DeWe Tue 23-Oct-12 10:05:37

Fire I don't think so, because I know we had that at home and the one I remember was definitely a library book.

It's probably nothing like as violent as I remember. Certainly when I watched Bedknobs and Broomsticks as an adult that was the case. grin

StellaNova Tue 23-Oct-12 10:23:31

Children of the Dust gave me nightmares from the age of 11 to, er, now.

Book Sleuth is great but it has never been able to help me find my lost book. I only ever read an extract because it was on a comprehension exercise at primary school, and all I can remember is: boy, girl, go down "tunnel" of rhodedendrons in park or country house garden, find pool, there is an altar stone and a knife, when they throw the knife into the pond it hisses.

I always wanted to read the rest of the book. People have said Alan Garner before, maybe The Moon of Gomrath or The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, but while it is very, very similar and when reading it I kept expecting to find that scene, it isn't there.

KeithLeMonde Tue 23-Oct-12 12:00:09

Does this ring any bells with anyone?

Girl befriends strange boy from school. Boy lives in isolated place with his mother and baby sibling, abject rural poverty. I think someone from the family is deaf, or has a disability of some kind. He takes her to show her a place where he says a spaceship has landed - he claims he is from another planet and not actually part of his family.

The boy and girl become some kind of lovers (can't remember whether they actually sleep together or just share a kiss or what). She takes photos of his family for an exhibition. He is angry because he thinks she's exposed them to public ridicule.

I don't think it was an English book, because of the big woods and the descriptions of rural poverty. Assumed it was american or canadian, but it could have been australian, or a translation or anything really.

KeithLeMonde Tue 23-Oct-12 12:02:46

Oh, and I think the boy was called Adam.

KeithLeMonde Tue 23-Oct-12 12:07:46

How bizarre, typing that brought it back to me that the title contained the name Adam. Put it into Amazon and drilled down to teen fiction, and I found it! Have been trying to find the book for years. Thank you MN grin

Idontknowhowtohelpher Tue 23-Oct-12 12:11:29

GoldPlatedNineDoors - was it Marianne Dreams?

Amazing story but quite scary

GoldPlatedNineDoors Tue 23-Oct-12 12:15:26

No, sorry. It was younger. A big square hardback, paper pages, bright pink colours.

Idontknowhowtohelpher Tue 23-Oct-12 12:36:39

That's ok. I want to buy Marianne Dreams for dd2 now - but I think it will be too scary! I'll have to wait a few years...

BonzoDooDah Tue 23-Oct-12 13:02:42

StellaNova is yours Borrobil ? I distinctly remember the tunnel of hedges up a hill and magic ...

StellaNova Tue 23-Oct-12 13:04:33

Ooh, it may be, that hasn't been suggested before! I will check it out!

shrinkingnora Tue 23-Oct-12 13:14:53

DeWe - I think your kidnap one may be Eighteen Desperate Hours by Roderic Jeffries. I can't find any online descriptions but I think it's at my parent's house and I'm going there later so will have a look!

gottasmile Tue 23-Oct-12 13:16:31

I've been trying to think of the title of my favourite library book for years and years.

Here goes (fingers crossed)...

It's about a boy who was going around painting things (houses maybe?).

After a few days whatever he painted turned lovely and multi-coloured.

The King asked him to paint his castle but got angry when he saw it was a horrid brown colour. He was going to chop the boy's head off, when ta-da! It suddenly turned into a lovely multi-coloured castle!

Does this sound familiar to anyone??? Thanks if you can help!

jeee Tue 23-Oct-12 13:21:46

DeWe, could the kidnapping book be "The Boy Next Door" by Enid Blyton?

BonzoDooDah Tue 23-Oct-12 13:32:31

Alright while we're on this mine is:

Merlin is being kept locked up in cave or cell by some odd man who has him hooked on heroin or something so he does his dirty work with magic.
Read it in the 80s (teenager)
It sounds like Robert Westall (I read a lot of his) but I haven't been able to find the story. It might have been a short story in an anthology ...

jeee Tue 23-Oct-12 13:35:56

Bonzo - your book is Peter Dickinson's "The Weathermonger". It's part of a trilogy called "The Changes".

shrinkingnora Tue 23-Oct-12 13:37:32

DeWe, I'm wrong I think. Sorry!

MorrisZapp Tue 23-Oct-12 13:40:15

Doing this the wrong way round, but does anybody remember the Strange Affair of Adelaide Harris? It was a book and a telly prog. About a foundling baby? Perhaps with posh/ poor mix up. Victorian setting.

There was a boy/ man with LDs who kept saying 'where you going now?'. I think.

shrinkingnora Tue 23-Oct-12 13:56:32

Remember it well. Also at my parents' house!

RubberNeckNibbler Tue 23-Oct-12 14:06:35

Oooh you geniuses may be able to help with mine:

A girl and companions she meets (maybe a love interest somewhere) travel to strange lands by somehow using strange patterns based on set theory - like mandelbrot sets. Sounds wierd but I was transfixed as a child. Think there was more than one book.

jeee Tue 23-Oct-12 14:15:30

RubberNeckNibbler - could be "A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeleine L'Engle?

DeWe Tue 23-Oct-12 17:55:28

Morris The man with LD who said "Where you going now?" was the Machine Gunners by Robert Westall. Also a BBC drama. It was John who said it, who was dragged into it to do the building of their machine gun defense.

BonzoDooDah Tue 23-Oct-12 19:29:45

Jeee- thanks - the blurb doesn't sound familiar at all but I'll look out the books from the library and have a read.

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