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

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UNSOLVED: One specific book > Mid-late `80s Childrens'/Young Adult Fiction; Rural setting; Plot detail: young boy accidentally shoots a bird named "Fanny" with BB gun

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message 1: by Alexis (new)

Alexis (Nidhogg) | 43 comments My first time posting here; I hope I've followed the suggestions for requesting a book ID.

Book was read between the years of 1986-1988 at best estimate. I assume it was recent for the time based on the condition when I briefly got to hold it. Was read over several days to a group of students as an evening activity during a Chesapeake Bay (Fox Island, Maryland) outdoor excursion summer camp.

Plot centered around a boy and his friends and their childhood adventures in a rural area. None of the style was particularly fantastic or imaginary. I know this is vague and I apologize, but it is all I can remember except a few vivid portions that have remained:

The quoted portions are verbatim as far as I can remember:

(Boy requests and receives a BB rifle for Christmas and, upon opening it Christmas Day, immediately snatches it up and aims at the star on top of the Christmas tree)
"Ping! Ping! Ping! I wondered where the BBs were."

(Later in book, boy and friends are playing by a creek when a large bird, probably a crane, lands nearby. This bird is familiar to the boys and has been nicknamed "Fanny" by the local residents.)
(Trying to dissuade his friends from borrowing his BB rifle and killing the bird.)
"Aw, you don't wanna shoot old Fanny."
(Soon after, succumbs to peer pressure and takes a careless shot at the bird without aiming. Ends up killing Fanny with a BB to the neck. I want to say this chapter's title was "Birds of a Feather.")


I'm afraid that's all I can remember and I have tried and failed to figure this out online and at libraries over the years. The writing style is reminiscent of Willie Morris, but is more pedestrian and less given to fantasy than his "Good Old Boy," which I own and love. Given what little I have provided, I will be amazed if anybody recognizes this, but hope springs eternal. Thanks in advance!


message 2: by Kate (new)

Kate Farrell | 4070 comments Mod
Alexis --
You can bump your thread every month or so. This puts your book back at the top of the folder instead of on page 23. More people and newer eyes will see it and perhaps know your book. Good luck!


message 3: by Alexis (new)

Alexis (Nidhogg) | 43 comments Thanks, Kate. Will do. Appreciate the "free" bump.


message 4: by Alexis (new)

Alexis (Nidhogg) | 43 comments Back to the top with you.


message 5: by Alexis (new)

Alexis (Nidhogg) | 43 comments Bump.


message 6: by Alexis (new)

Alexis (Nidhogg) | 43 comments Bump.


message 7: by Alexis (new)

Alexis (Nidhogg) | 43 comments Bump.


message 8: by Rainbowheart (new)

Rainbowheart | 16897 comments One-Eyed Cat has a boy who accidentally injures a cat, not a bird, so I don't think it's your book.

Do you remember anything more about the time period? Was it contemporary to the '80s or set longer ago than that? Did the kids have cars, electricity, etc.?

Maybe Soup or one of the sequels by Robert Newton Peck? Or something in The Great Brain series?


message 9: by Alexis (new)

Alexis (Nidhogg) | 43 comments I'm really excited about the Soup lead because something about the "Thoop" detail is really clanging in my memory. I've read a couple of The Great Brain books, but remember them quite differently from the few scattered scenes left by the mystery book.

I want to say that it was set before the 80s, but not too far ahead of that. I can't definitively remember Xmas tree lights in that scene with the BB gun unwrapping, so can't really comment on electricity or automobiles.

Will definitely grab Soup and One-Eyed Cat as soon as my library can get them to me. Thanks for the leads!


message 10: by Rainbowheart (new)

Rainbowheart | 16897 comments I did a little more searching, and I wonder if it could be Soup on Ice.

I found a review that mentions a BB gun....

https://www.writework.com/essay/soup-ice


message 11: by Adele (new)

Adele | 1208 comments Soup on Ice is available on openlibrary.org and it is not it though there is a BB gun given at Christmas. It could be one of the other Soup books though.


message 12: by Alexis (new)

Alexis (Nidhogg) | 43 comments Just sped through Soup on Ice and it is not the one I remember, but I wouldn't be surprised if one of the other Peck books will be the one.


message 13: by Rainbowheart (new)

Rainbowheart | 16897 comments Still looking?


message 14: by Alexis (new)

Alexis (Nidhogg) | 43 comments Yes. I've exhausted the Soup leads that I can easily acquire.


message 15: by Tab (new)

Tab (tabbrown) | 4967 comments The Drowning Boy by Susan Terris has a rifle incident in it. It's available at OpenLibrary.

Do you remember the cover?


message 16: by Rainbowheart (new)

Rainbowheart | 16897 comments Still looking, Alexis?


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