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 Mon 22-Oct-12 19:49:59

The only crows I remember were from Noggin the Nog <unhelpful>

Could it be a Diane Wynne Jones? I'm not sure when she started writing, but it doesn't sound too far away form her style.

One I'd like to trace is a book we were read at school:
It's about 2 girls, one must be a run away or something because she lives in a disused house. They get interested in a local baby they think is being abused. Then the non-run away girl is playing with the baby and notices huge bruises all over his back, and takes him to hide with the other girl. After they've had him for some time they see a discription of the "missing" baby-which includes large bruise like birthmarks on his back and realise he's not been abused. (why they didn't notice he still had the "bruises" is beyond me) At that stage we came to the end of the school year and didn't get the rest of the book. grin
Any suggestions?

shockers Mon 22-Oct-12 19:53:39

Was the girl called Arabella?

sarimillie Mon 22-Oct-12 20:07:18

Can't place those books, sorry, but I'd love help with a book for young children in which the main character was a squirrel - Mr something or other - think he lived in Hyde Park. The word quizzical appears in it - first time I'd come across it. Not much to go on, but I'd love it if someone could identify it!

DeWe Mon 22-Oct-12 21:07:14

Shockers was that to me or OP?

She could have been Arabella, but I don't remember any name particularly.

I've got two more books I'd like to identify too.

One was in a set of 6 books, which I think were translated from something like Swiss. I think the main character was called Anna and the books were all called "Anna and XXX".
She was an orphan who looked after a poor man's children. She at some point in the books (didn't have them all in the library) got discovered to be the local rich man's granddaughter (or something) and taken to live with them.
She then discovers the poor children have been boarded out round the village to cruel homes and takes them to live with her. I think at some point the poor man dies and she finds him. And there's a lady/girl in a wheelchair at the rich house who is usurped by Anna, so is horrid to her. Eventually though she saves Anna's life by getting in the way of a charging bull (?) and is killed herself, hence is redeemed. grin

The other is a very very long shot because I got terrified (I was easily terrified so may well not have been that bad)very early in and stopped reading and sent it back to the library. Whereupon my dsis told me it was a really good adventure and I regretted it.
It's about a child (can't even remember whether it was boy or girl) who is kidnapped and the chap who's got them is really cruel, keeps hitting them if they don't obey. I gave up when he took (I think) his belt to them. I have a vague memory of him insisting they pretended to be parent and child at one point, but that may not be that book. Always wondered how they got away (Assuming they did).
I'd guess it was published in 70s or earlier, but I don't know.
It's not "On the Edge" by Gillian Cross. I've had that suggested before and it isn't but is quite similar.

Any suggestions.

BonzoDooDah Mon 22-Oct-12 22:04:30

If you're really desperate to find a book and know this level of detail I'd suggest you got to Abe - Booksleuth - make a thread title with a detail from the book as they get loads of "help find this book" titles which make refinding your thread a bit difficult. The people there are brilliant and can find your book the same day sometimes - it's like a hobby for some. I found my childhood memory book "Fly Away Peter" that way. I was thrilled!

SummerRain Mon 22-Oct-12 22:52:10

God, I've read all of these and can't name any of them blush

I read one when I was ten that I've always wondered about... It was set in a post nuclear apocalypse world and was part of a series but I only read one as the library didn't have the others. There were only kids left (or mostly kids?) and they were developing special skills like telepathy and telekinesis. Can't remember much more other than it being quite dark

BonzoDooDah Mon 22-Oct-12 23:11:57

DeWe - I vaugely remember the Baby story - but I don't know if it was an episode in Grange Hill or similar - or a short story. It seems very familiar <<wracks brain>>

MooncupGoddess Mon 22-Oct-12 23:22:28

Oh I loved the Anna books! Didn't she grow up in a very poor family with a violent father? And she was amazing at cooking, housekeeping and childcare despite being about eight when the series began.

deleted203 Mon 22-Oct-12 23:35:44

grin....lots of us here with vague memories I see!

Mine's not a Diana Wynne Jones, unfortunately, because I've got all those. I've tried BookSleuth in the past without joy sad.

SummerRain I think yours might be 'Children of the Dust' by Louise Lawrence.

I don't know the Anna books at all, I'm afraid. (or the squirrel in Hyde Park)

TheDeathAndGlories Mon 22-Oct-12 23:36:42

Was there a dog in the baby book?
Two girls and a secret or something like that?

TheDeathAndGlories Mon 22-Oct-12 23:39:21

Three girls grin

deleted203 Mon 22-Oct-12 23:52:12

If it is 'Three Girls and a Secret' it's on Amazon for 1p! (plus postage) grin

SummerRain Mon 22-Oct-12 23:52:21

Ooo, thanks sowornout... I half thought id imagined it!

TheDeathAndGlories Mon 22-Oct-12 23:57:34

I don't remember any bruises in it though its years since I read it. I'm sure there was an Alsatian called Ajax though and an old man

Princesspond Tue 23-Oct-12 00:12:45

DeWe it's 'Una and grubstreet' by Prudence Andrew I think. I loved that book when I was younger. Una is being brought up by her father who has a new girl friend so is feeling ignored and thinking the baby of a neighbour is being hit, she kidnaps him (?her)and tries to look after him herself in an empty house with the help of her friend, who was a boy I think?

Sarahplane Tue 23-Oct-12 00:29:18

I'm looking for a book about a teacher who was an alien. Set in Britain. Not my teacher is an alien by Bruce colville which is all I can find when I google it. My primary school teacher wrote it, and read us a chapter a week as he was writing it, but I'm sure I remember coming across it either as a book or tv series later on.

Sarahplane Tue 23-Oct-12 00:38:10

Sorry posted too soon. It was written in the mid 90s if anyone can help. This is a great thread.

Ponders Tue 23-Oct-12 00:38:54

summerRain, there is a John Wyndham about telepathic kids post-apocalypse - the Chrysalids? I don't think it would be a 10-year-old read though

It was on the radio recently, I haven't read it for years & had forgotten about it

SorrelForbes Tue 23-Oct-12 00:42:39

Oh my, Una and Grubstreet. I'd forgotten all about that book. I thought the description sounded familiar!

Ponders Tue 23-Oct-12 00:43:01

The Chrysalids - it's a good read

Chocky has some mind stuff in it too but is a less harsh story

TheDeathAndGlories Tue 23-Oct-12 00:45:29

My search is for a book about a boy (Charlie?) who went on holiday with his family on a double decker bus. The bus was painted all weirdly and wonderfully
(Not Joan Aiken)

HanSolo Tue 23-Oct-12 00:59:55

soworn- it's not Lizie Dripping by Helen Cresswell is it? No-one believed her about the witch...

Ooh good idea for a thread though I dont know any of the ones above.

Mine is an old.book from.mid eighties, which came with a cassette, which played the story too and music. It had a patchwork farm on the cover, and im almost certain it was about a dream. I remember it had purple sky.

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

Thank you for Una and Grubstreet anyway. Unfortunately the only copy I can find is going for £107 sad, but I've found one by the same author called "Una and the Heaven Baby" which was only £5, so I've ordered that.

And having searched I've found a previous thread aboiut it www.mumsnet.com/Talk/childrens_books/600477-una-and-grubstreet-by-prudence-andrew/AllOnOnePage
If only I'd been on mn then I wouldn't have had to ask smile

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