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

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SOLVED: Children's/YA > SOLVED. Young adult series about a orphaned teenage boy and his younger sister [s]

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message 1: by S (new)

S | 17 comments This mystery has plagued me since I was a kid. In the late 80s early nineties I read two-three books about a teenage boy who lost his parents to what I believe was a car accident. He somehow ends up living with another family (not relatives) who has three kids all around the same age as him. He had a younger sister but I can't recall if she was staying at the same home as him. Another detail I remember was that he ate bananas and drank milk a lot because his stomach was hurting. It was later discovered he had ulcers due to all the stress he was under. I don't remember the books being light-hearted more heavy . And I don't know how the series ended so I feel I didn't get to read the last book(s). Any assistance you could provide would be greatly appreciated.


message 2: by Tab (new)

Tab (tabbrown) | 4723 comments Do you remember what time period the books were set in?
Anything about the cover?


message 3: by S (new)

S | 17 comments It was present day back in the 80s. No I don't remember anything about the cover :( I know I don't have a lot of information, but I've thought about these books constantly since I first read them and have been trying to figure this out for years. I know there had to have been at least 2-3 books in the series if not more.


message 4: by S (new)

S | 17 comments Maybe I could start with just reviewing a list of YA series back in the 80s & 90s? Would anyone know if a comprehensive list like this would exist?


message 5: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 36934 comments Mod
You might be better off asking a real librarian that. Do you belong to a good library?


message 6: by SparksofEmber (new)

SparksofEmber | 943 comments Actually, Cliquey Pizza has several detailed lists of old 80s & 90s YA books. You might have some luck there. There's also a few listopia's like this one...


message 7: by SparksofEmber (last edited Jul 27, 2014 08:28PM) (new)

SparksofEmber | 943 comments Maybe Hold Fast - first published in 1978. OrDirt Bike Runaway? Except I don't think either of those is a series...

Do you remember what happens in the books? Are they mysteries?


message 8: by S (new)

S | 17 comments They aren't mysteries. Novels. I'll try asking a librarian and checking out the suggested lists. Appreciate the help!


message 9: by S (new)

S | 17 comments SparksofEmber,it's not Hold Fast, though for a minute I thought it could have been :(

So close! In this story the young man had a younger sister and the family he went to live with were good people.

Definitely not Dirt Bike Runaway.


message 10: by SparksofEmber (new)

SparksofEmber | 943 comments Aaron's Door, possibly?

Aaron huddles on his bed, desperately shutting himself away from memories of his mother and foster homes; from the only person he trusts, his sister; from the people who have offered him a home. Unable to adjust to the idea of being adopted and having a new mother and father, Aaron locks his door against the world.


message 11: by S (new)

S | 17 comments Thanks SparksofEmber, no I don't think this is it. It's hard to tell without more description and my google searches aren't coming up with additional details. The main character in my book, the teenage boy, is in high school and I don't think the house he went to live in was a foster home. It was a family he knew and he was old enough where the parents of the new family weren't trying to be his new mom and dad.


message 12: by SparksofEmber (new)

SparksofEmber | 943 comments The Truth Trap - parts fit but other parts...

Matt's parents were killed in a car accident. He and his little sister Katie, deaf since birth, have come to Los Angeles to escape the authorities who want to put Katie in a home. Hiding in an abandoned theater while Matt looks for work, Katie is brutally murdered. And Matt's nightmare begins.
He is accused of killing his beloved sister, and before he can defend himself, he is thrown into jail.

A few days later he is released -- confused and alone in a strange city where the only people who know him suspect him of murder. His chances for a new life depend on the two policemen who first arrested him: Tony Prado, who sees through the proud, hot-tempered, very scared young man to a boy who needs to be trusted and loved...and Les Ryder, who sees a juvenile delinquent who probably killed his own sister.

Matt must prove that Tony is right. But before he can do that, he has to learn to believe in himself again.


message 13: by S (new)

S | 17 comments Thanks the Truth Trap! Sadly this isn't it either. This is more of a coming of age story, not a mystery.


message 14: by S (new)

S | 17 comments Can anyone else help? I went to the Houston library and no luck :(


message 15: by SparksofEmber (new)

SparksofEmber | 943 comments Up from Nowhere?

Maybe something by Gary Paulsen or Richard Peck or P.J. Petersen?

Check this list and the other lists at the bottom?


message 16: by S (new)

S | 17 comments Coming back to this post, unfortunately SparksofEmber, none of those authors wrote the series :(

If anyone else has any ideas or suggestions I'd appreciate it!


message 17: by Kris (new)

Kris | 30933 comments Mod
Sherry, did the boy move to a large city, small town, farm, etc.? In the U.S.?

How would you describe the boy's personality?
Did he feel guilty about his parent's death?
Did he have trouble getting along with the other kids or foster parents?


message 18: by SparksofEmber (new)

SparksofEmber | 943 comments Did you check that list and the others at the bottom.
80s books can be tougher to find. But it'll turn up eventually!


message 19: by S (new)

S | 17 comments I think he moved in with his Coach of a sports team- so it was still local to where he lived. He got along with the other kids - two boys & a girl (i don't know if they formally adopted him or if it was formal foster situation) .

He was a good kid, responsible and his primary concern was his sister. He was very grateful to the family that took him in.

I think he felt guilty about his younger sister, I think he wanted to care for her more and protect her but he couldn't because he was so young. I'd say he was at least 15 or older and his sister was in junior high or elementary school. It's possible that he had guilt over the death of his parents but not because he was responsible...

It's hard to remember a lot of the details because i read the books over 20 years ago.


message 20: by S (new)

S | 17 comments I think he moved in with his Coach of a sports team- so it was still local to where he lived. He got along with the other kids - two boys & a girl (i don't know if they formally adopted him or if it was formal foster situation) .

He was a good kid, responsible and his primary concern was his sister. He was very grateful to the family that took him in.

I think he felt guilty about his younger sister, I think he wanted to care for her more and protect her but he couldn't because he was so young. I'd say he was at least 15 or older and his sister was in junior high or elementary school. It's possible that he had guilt over the death of his parents but not because he was responsible...

It's hard to remember a lot of the details because i read the books over 20 years ago.

Also, definitely the US.


message 21: by Kris (new)

Kris | 30933 comments Mod
Thanks Sherry, those details are helpful.
What sport did he play?


message 22: by S (new)

S | 17 comments SparksofEmber wrote: "Did you check that list and the others at the bottom.
80s books can be tougher to find. But it'll turn up eventually!"


I did check it :( None of them seemed to be it. I'm not sure if they were considered 'hits' the subject matter was a bit heavy for kids that age. I wish I could contact some popular 80's author directly and see if they had any ideas.


message 23: by S (new)

S | 17 comments Kris wrote: "Thanks Sherry, those details are helpful.
What sport did he play?"


I want to say football or basketball. But I can't be 100% positive.


message 24: by SparksofEmber (new)

SparksofEmber | 943 comments You might try here, too.


message 25: by S (new)

S | 17 comments SparksofEmber wrote: "You might try here, too."

Thanks I just signed up and posted to the site. Thank you so much for being so helpful!


message 26: by SparksofEmber (new)

SparksofEmber | 943 comments Dead Birds Singing? "Matt won his race at the swim meet. On the way home, a drunk driver hits his family’s car. His mother dies. His sister is critically hurt. Matt is invited to live with his best friend’s family. Will his sister survive? Will life ever feel good again?"


message 27: by S (new)

S | 17 comments SO CLOSE. I don't think so because it's not a series. The young man in the book was also in high school. But I did just email the Marc Talbert, the author, maybe he will have some ideas.


message 29: by S (new)

S | 17 comments Back again! Obviously I can't quite let go of this one - putting this out in the community again with the hopse that someone might know this trilogy!


message 30: by Ayshe (new)

Ayshe | 4066 comments Touchdown for Tommy fits some parts but not all.


message 31: by Lsophia (last edited Sep 18, 2015 08:54PM) (new)

Lsophia | 153 comments Another book in the Truth Trap series fits, but not all. One of the protagonists, Will, does get an ulcer, from worrying sick about his younger sister and brother and does live on milk and bananas. Matt, another main protagonist, is a track star who lives with the guy who originally arrested him, and his family.

The book I'm thinking of is Losers and Winners by Frances A. Miller. Good luck!


message 32: by S (new)

S | 17 comments Oh my goodness, @Lsophia that's it! Thank you so much!!!!! I've been thinking about these books for over 20 years!!!!!

I remembered some of the details wrong, clearly, but this series must be it! Funnily enough SparksofEmber mentioned Truth Trap earlier in this thread, but it still didn't click. Your description above totally triggered it though. But thank you both!

Did you read these books? Is that how you knew about them?


message 33: by Lsophia (new)

Lsophia | 153 comments I'm so glad I could help - especially after 20 years! :)

Yes, I did read them, and I think I still have a few of them. They were and are a great series that stand the test of time.

If you can get your hands on the entire series, they're well worth a read, although I find The Truth Trap a very hard read. Aren't You the One Who- ...? is the second book in the series, and involves Matt meeting the Schuyler family and adjusting to normal life, while still being under a cloud. In the last book, Cutting Loose, Matt and Schuylers go back east to visit Matt's home town.

Enjoy!


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