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

UNSOLVED: One specific book > Kid's SF, Psychic Powers, Dangerous Grandma. Spoiler ahead.

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message 1: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Lambert-Maberly (ashleytylerjohn) | 20 comments I read it in the mid 1970s, as a tween, but it's probably earlier. Hardback, no dust jacket, purple?-ish illustrated cover. NOT by anyone famous at the time (e.g. Scott Corbett).

A boy with psychic powers on some planet, slaving away at someone's farm, unhappily, runs away and joins a circus. I remember almost nothing about the middle of the book. At the end, the kindly old lady reveals she is his grandmother, but she's not nice at all, and threatens to "fry" his girlfriend if he doesn't do as she commands. Luckily he uses his psychic powers to teleport him and his gf to safety. By now his powers have grown so much that he can use ESP to connect with his parents, and they resolve to find him, hence a Happy Ending.

I remember being startled by how mean, hard-boiled, and ungrandmotherish that character was! Plus, I love circus stories, esp. SF or fantasy circuses, and would dearly love to find this one again.

message 2: by Ann aka Iftcan (new)

Ann aka Iftcan (iftcan) | 6981 comments Mod
No idea what this one is Ashley, but as soon as it's id'ed I'll be finding a copy to read too. Combines my love of sci-fi with ESP and even circuses.

message 3: by Etta.n (new)

Etta.n | 93 comments This sounds like it has elements of both Galax-Arena and The Green Futures of Tycho...

message 4: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Lambert-Maberly (ashleytylerjohn) | 20 comments Neither of those, as I read it 40 years ago, I'm afraid!

message 5: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 37385 comments Mod
Ashley is still looking for this book.

"This is NOT a big famous book by a famous author (e.g. Sturgeon, Bradbury) ... this is probably a workmanlike book by a pedestrian kid's writer, but it touched a chord with me.

What I can remember:

It's a novel, a chapter book, for kids (tweens, I guess, not that we called them that then).

The plot:

The beginning: an "orphan boy," working at a farm on some planet, runs off to join the circus (which I think is elsewhere, like its own travelling spaceship). He gets a girlfriend.

I cannot remember the middle of the book, but the ending is clear!

And a spoiler, I guess, so here come the blank lines:

At the end, he learns that the old woman at the circus is his grandmother, and she knows all about his psychic power, and she's not nice, and threatens to kill his girlfriend if he doesn't do what she wants--once she turns mean, she talks very hard-boiled which quite impressed me as a child (I think she threatened to "fry" the girlfriend!) Instead, and this is about three pages from the end, he teleports to safety with his girlfriend because his powers have finally kicked in. Furthermore, he can telepathically communicate with his family (he's not really an orphan, yippee) who are coming to get him now that they can sense him. (Like Escape to Witch Mountain, only not).

I read it prior to 1978, and suspect it's written in the 1960s or early 1970s. The cover was purpleish, but that may be the under-the-dust-jacket cover and not the dust jacket itself. I read it in Canada, but it could be from anywhere written in English (and felt American).

If you've read this totally obscure kid's book, I would be overjoyed to know what it is. "

Ashley says this book is not "The Dreaming Jewels."

message 6: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 37385 comments Mod
Ashley, are you still looking for this or did you find it?

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