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

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UNSOLVED: One specific book > Old Children's book. City family (boy girl & parents?) moves to house in country which has African-American servants. Told from adult's and child's viewpoint/POV. Read mid-1960s but from 1940s/50s.

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message 1: by Rene (new)

Rene | 14 comments This book was from my elementary school library, read around 1967. The book was older, 1950s or 1940s. A family that was either down on their luck, or through an inheritance, move to a house in the country that came with African-American servants. This might have been in the South and it seems as though there was an adjustment. I recall food scenes, such as how much the family enjoyed the fresh baked biscuits. This might have been their first encounter with them. In another scene, the mother twists her ankle while walking through the garden and sits alone until she was found because she was in too much pain to walk. What struck me was that this was the first book I read that was told from both an adult and a child’s viewpoint. There was a mystery involved too but I don’t recall whether the house was haunted. May have contained hidden passage ways.


message 2: by Tab (new)

Tab (tabbrown) | 5054 comments Do you remember how many people were in the family? Were the children boys, girls or a mixture?

Any pets, friends, neighbors, villains, etc?
Anything about the cover?
Part of a series?


message 3: by Rene (new)

Rene | 14 comments If this was part of a series, I am not aware. I seem to recall a boy and girl. Mom stayed home and dad may have worked away from home. Perhaps a pet dog sat with mom in the garden. Plain cover, no dust jacket. I thought it might be the Ghost of Follensbee Folly but wasn't. The books, however share similar elements and a similar tone.

Is there a way to search books here by both genre and decade written? I'd like to be able to read descriptions of all children's and young adult books written in the 1940s through 1970s.


message 5: by Rene (new)

Rene | 14 comments Thank you for the suggestion, but not Katie John.


message 6: by Rainbowheart (new)

Rainbowheart | 21141 comments Was the house a big manor-style home, like maybe an old plantation?


message 7: by Kris (last edited Jul 25, 2020 11:39AM) (new)

Kris | 36615 comments Mod
Rene, I added some plot details to the topic header, so your book might be recognized from that description alone. Many members only read the headers.

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. (On the Mobile website, there's a "Desktop version" link at the bottom of the page.)


Worldcat.org is a good site for find old children's books. For example:

Search = https://www.worldcat.org/advancedsear... > Keyword: family plantation ? | 1935-1960 ? | Juvenile | Fiction | Book | English


message 8: by Rene (new)

Rene | 14 comments It might have been plantation style. Thanks for the suggestions!


message 9: by Rainbowheart (new)

Rainbowheart | 21141 comments You Shall Have a Carriage?

Story of the river bottom lands in the deep south, of how a flood brought destitution to many and opportunity to a youth and his mother, who took a long chance and acquired possession of a plantation infinitely better than the scrubby place that had been destroyed by flood. A curse hung over the plantation and they undertook to lay the ghost and to rebuild relations with their people.


message 10: by Rene (new)

Rene | 14 comments This looks like a book I would love to read now, but not certain whether it's the one I read as a child. The title doesn't read like one that would have attracted me in elementary school. Back then, a catchy title or interesting cover would have been the basis upon which I would decide whether to open a book.


message 11: by Rainbowheart (new)

Rainbowheart | 21141 comments There's not much info available about it online, unfortunately.

When I was searching, I found several books about children visiting plantations, like Sycamore Silver and The Secret of Peach Orchard Plantation. Are you positive the family had moved there for good and wasn't just staying there temporarily?


message 12: by Rene (new)

Rene | 14 comments The Secret of Peach Plantation looks like a book I would have read, but it's too new. Now that you ask, no, I am NOT certain the family stayed there. Thanks for asking AND for all the trouble you are under-going for me!


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