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

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UNSOLVED: One specific book > Teen/Pre-Teen Fantasy, spooky, pre-1970s. Two boys go into a room or old abandoned house which is entirely black and white inside (color disappears). There's a library. Title like The Velvet Room?

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message 1: by Emi (new)

Emi (emibee) | 18 comments My mom read this when she was a kid, but she doesn't remember if she's getting it mixed up with another book she's read haha. I'd like to find it for her, and surprise her with it, but I can't find anything similar.

She thinks the main character is a girl who goes into a house, and either the house or a specific room is entire black and white when she goes inside. Like all the color is suddenly gone in the world. She also thinks that there's a huge library in this house and the house is abandoned, or seemingly abandoned. She keeps thinking the title is The Velvet Room, but I know it's not that story because I read that book, and The Velvet Room (Zilpha Keatley Snyder) and her mysterious book do seem to have the library and the abandoned house in common, but there's nothing about all the color in the world suddenly disappearing.

She would've read this around the 60s-70s, so it could really be anytime before that. She would get books at the bookmobile all the time, so not sure how often they kept their stock updated. She also lived near Chicago as a child, so it might be a book that was just published in that region? Chicago seems to have it's own media haha.

I'm also thinking that the book is a novel, not an illustrated book, but I could be totally off base. tbh, I'm interested in finding a book where the setting is in black and white, because I've never found a book like that before.


message 2: by Gillian (new)

Gillian Wiseman (gillianwiseman) | 186 comments Not the book you're looking for, but "The Giver" by Lois Lowry has a "black and white" setting - people don't "see" color because it can allow them to perceive people as "different" from each other. A dystopian story about a boy growing up in that world.


message 3: by Emi (new)

Emi (emibee) | 18 comments Gillian wrote: "Not the book you're looking for, but "The Giver" by Lois Lowry has a "black and white" setting - people don't "see" color because it can allow them to perceive people as "different" from each other..."

Oh, I totally forgot about that book haha. That was a good book! I wonder why there aren't more books with black and white settings.

From how my mom described her book, I got vibes of 60s/70s spooky fantasy, if that helps any.


message 4: by Emi (new)

Emi (emibee) | 18 comments Talked to my mom again and she said that the book was about two boys, not a girl, and they went into an old house, where everything turned black and white.


message 5: by Kris (new)

Kris | 35768 comments Mod
Thanks for the update, Emi. I added "two boys" to the topic header.


message 6: by Kelly (new)

Kelly (khek) | 270 comments The Red Room Riddle, by Scott Corbett?


message 7: by Ann aka Iftcan (new)

Ann aka Iftcan (iftcan) | 6967 comments Mod
[book:The Red Room Riddle: A Ghost Story|875972 the click for Kelly's suggestiton.


message 8: by El (new)

El | 502 comments The Red Room Riddle: A Ghost Story (since Ann's link didn't quite go through) :)


message 9: by Emi (new)

Emi (emibee) | 18 comments Thanks Kris for updating the header!

I found The Red Room Riddle on archive.org to read, and itt doesn't look like that's it. There's nothing about the house turning black and white, but there is a red room. Thanks for the suggestion!


message 10: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 39882 comments Mod
Emi, are you still looking for this or did you find it?


message 11: by Emi (new)

Emi (emibee) | 18 comments Nope never found it. I’m wondering if it was a book just published locally in the Chicago region that was just forgotten to time?


message 12: by Rainbowheart (new)

Rainbowheart | 20361 comments It sounds really familiar to me. Most publishing in the USA is national, so I doubt it would have restricted to Chicago only, unless it was put out by a small local press.

How old are the boys in the story, teenagers or younger children?

Would your mom have read this 1979 at the latest?


message 13: by Kris (new)

Kris | 35768 comments Mod
I added some plot details to the topic header, so your book might be recognized from the header alone. Feel free to update it by clicking the small "edit" link after the header. This only works on the full Desktop website – not the Mobile website or app.

Is this book for kids, teens or adults?


message 14: by Emi (new)

Emi (emibee) | 18 comments @Rainbowheart: there were a few books that she read as a kid that were just put out by smaller publishers who, from what I can tell, just distributed them in the Chicagoland region through the school book sales and libraries. I've been trying to buy a few for her online, and they're near impossible to find since they didn't print that many.

Yeah, it would have to be way before 1979. She was a kid in the 60s, a teen in the 70s, and from what she told me, I believe she read this before she was 14. She got books through school, bookmobile, and yard sales, so it even could be an older book, from the 40s or 50s.

She's not really sure how old the boys were. From what I gathered, it sounds like a book similar to the Hardy Boys in age range.

@Kris: Thanks! :) I'm guessing it's a pre-teen/teen book. Definitely not a little kid book, but also not an adult book.


message 15: by Kris (new)

Kris | 35768 comments Mod
Thanks. I updated the genre in the topic header.


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