What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

SOLVED: Children's/YA > SOLVED. Possibly 70s children's book series about a schoolboy with special powers. [s]

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message 1: by Roger (new)

Roger Cope | 8 comments I'm looking for any titles in a childrens book series probably from the 1970s in which a young schoolboy discovers he has special powers. This is not a fantasy/magic book series in the conventional sense - the stories are set in completely everyday times and each story revolves around only one special power and the story arc returns the boy to normal at the end of each story. Like myself, they are British.

I was between 5 and 15 in the 70s and an advanced reader for my age. I believe these books were aimed at younger readers so they would most likely have been published prior to 1975.

However, a BBC TV series was made from the series (not hugely successful) and this could have been screened in the late 70s or the early 80s.

The story that sticks most closely in my mind is an experience that allows the boy to see his friends thoughts as if they were 'speech bubbles' above their head. Naturally, he thinks this is a great idea at first but learns better as the story goes on...

message 3: by Roger (new)

Roger Cope | 8 comments No, I'm afraid not. Tim and the Hidden People appears to be much more adventurous than the series I am thinking of: a Harry Potter of the time perhaps, whereas the stories I am thinking of a rather more like the cartoon series Mr Benn in tone (if that helps...!)

message 4: by Kelly (new)

Kelly (khek) | 270 comments The Trick series by Scott Corbett? There were quite a few: The Lemonade Trick, the Black Mask Trick...

message 5: by Roger (new)

Roger Cope | 8 comments This is much more like it... and with this clue I have also looked at the Danny Dunn and Henry Huggins series' via Wikipedia and elsewhere but all of these series have US authors and US settings, whereas I am pretty certain that my book series is English and the BBC Childrens series I mention is definitely set in classic English countryside (featuring a canal and barge...)

message 6: by N (new)

N (kaxxie) | 104 comments This may be a very stupid suggestion, and if it is please ignore and forgive, with my apologies -- but if you know it was a BBC tv series have you looked at lists of those, too, to see if you can id the series and then find the books? Ex: http://www.listal.com/list/great-brit...

message 7: by Roger (new)

Roger Cope | 8 comments I have checked out those lists (and more...), most of which I watched and enjoyed at the time but they catalogue the celebrated productions in the main and I'm afraid that the series I have in mind is an also ran.

I should say, for anyone interested in BBC Childrens TV, that I would place very high up in these lists 'Gods Wonderful Railway', from 1980 - which often seems to be forgotten but represents the pinnacle of the BBC giving children drama, history and decent production values...

message 8: by N (new)

N (kaxxie) | 104 comments Thank you for the recommendation -- I'll look for that!

message 9: by bookel (new)

bookel | 2106 comments The Tomorrow People???

message 10: by Roger (new)

Roger Cope | 8 comments Oh no... Tomorrow People is S-F. This boy and his setting are completely normal - it's just that extraordinary things occasionally happen to him...

message 11: by Roger (new)

Roger Cope | 8 comments Still driving me mad (has for years...). The premise is similar to the well known ITV Children's series 'Bernard's Watch'... except that in my case the book series came first by several years and each of the stories in the series has a different 'magical' property that drives the narrative. I am still thinking the books must date from the 70s...

message 12: by Shaun (new)

Shaun Hately (drednort) | 66 comments It doesn't fit that well, but just to rule it out - Chocky?

Chocky by John Wyndham

(I asked for you on a British children's TV group I am on, and this is the only thing people could think of there).

message 13: by Roger (new)

Roger Cope | 8 comments Sadly, no - but thanks for researching!

message 14: by Roger (new)

Roger Cope | 8 comments This is solved now... partially...

The book series is Bobby Brewster by H. E. Todd.

The Children's TV series appears to be a red herring in the sense that it definitely exists (title unknown at present) but doesn't appear to be based on the BB books, which are well known enough for the connection to be positively disproved even though I haven't identified the TV show.

Thanks all...

message 15: by Kris (new)

Kris | 34466 comments Mod
Glad you found your book series, Rogers. Here's the link for the Bobby Brewster series by H.E. Todd - https://www.goodreads.com/series/9105...

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