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

UNSOLVED: One specific book > Children's book with soap carving

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message 1: by CLM (last edited Sep 03, 2018 05:23PM) (new)

CLM | 302 comments When I was buying soap today, I was reminded of a book I read as a child in intricate carvings made from soap (almost like scrimshaw) played an integral role. This is all I recall: does it ring any bells? Read around 1970, probably. Thanks!

message 2: by Lisa (last edited May 26, 2008 09:43PM) (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1396 comments Not To Kill A Mockingbird, is it? Not that integral a role I guess, but one (or more?) of the items the kids find in the tree?

Edit: Well, not a children's book either, although I read it for the first time when I was 12.

message 3: by karen (new)

karen (karenbrissette) | 58 comments unless you are an infant, its probably not "soap lady" by renee french. but its good anyway...

message 4: by CLM (new)

CLM | 302 comments No, neither of these... I know the soap was important. Perhaps they were carving keys? I guess it will come back to me.

message 5: by Joanie (new)

Joanie | 66 comments This probably isn't it but didn't they make molds of keys with soap in Flowers in the Attic? I think that's how they got out.

message 6: by Bree (new)

Bree (coffeebeanbookshelf) I know I read the same book as a child, around 3rd grade, because I specifically remember having to take a bar of soap and do carving for our art classes that week. But I don't remember the book. LOL!

message 7: by Nancy (new)

Nancy | 67 comments How long ago are we talking? Fiction? Nonfiction?

message 8: by Angel (new)

Angel (mnemosyne) | 25 comments Echoing the "Flowers in the Attic" suggestion. The kids were locked in the attic by their grandmother, but they stole the key for a few minutes, pressed it into a bar of soap to make a mold, carved a new key from that mold and escaped.

message 9: by CLM (new)

CLM | 302 comments Definitely not any of these but I appreciate the suggestions. I probably read it in the late 60s or 70s.


message 10: by Amber (new)

Amber (ampatt) | 3 comments Ruby Holler

It's got two kids from a foster home with bad foster parents that go to live in Ruby Holler with nice older people, who teach them how to carve..

message 11: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa | 15 comments What about the Brownie/Girl Scout manual from the early 70's? I remember my sister was a Brownie in 1971 or 1972 and my mother was the den mother and the troop had to do soap carving as a project and there was a whole section in the manual about different things you could carve.

message 12: by HeavyReader (new)

HeavyReader | 450 comments Thought this was an interesting one to bump to the top of the list.

message 13: by D.M. (new)

D.M. Dutcher  | 340 comments The Great Brain at the Academy involves soap carving, if I remember. He uses it to make keys to escape a Catholic Academy in the evenings for his get rich schemes.

message 14: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 39641 comments Mod
CLM, are you still looking for this book?

message 15: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 39641 comments Mod
No response, moving to Abandoned.

message 16: by CLM (last edited Jan 14, 2015 07:46PM) (new)

CLM | 302 comments I am still looking for this! Sorry, I missed the note from Lobstergirl. It's not any of the ones suggested. It was children's fiction and I probably read it about 1970 but it might have been much older than that.

message 17: by Wendy (new)

Wendy | 52 comments I think there was soap carving in one of the Peggy Parish books about Jed, Bill, and Liza?

message 18: by Ket (new)

Ket | 164 comments Doesn't the girl carve soap in Little House in the Big Woods?

message 19: by Gabs (last edited Jan 15, 2015 07:33PM) (new)

Gabs  | 127 comments Becoming Naomi León? soap carving is the girl's hobby and plays a MAJOR role in the book.

message 20: by CLM (last edited Jan 16, 2015 09:48AM) (new)

CLM | 302 comments I have certainly read the first two but it's not those and Becoming Naomi Leon is too recent, although I appreciate the suggestions. I think the soap might have been used to make keys to help the characters escape. The book was probably a Middle Grade chapter book.


message 21: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 39641 comments Mod
Made me think of this thread where keys are made out of stale bread -


Peppermints in the Parlor

Is it possible you're misremembering about the soap?

message 22: by CLM (new)

CLM | 302 comments Possible, but I read Peppermints in the Parlor for the first time fairly recently and it wasn't that one.

message 23: by Anne (new)

Anne (weeble) | 13 comments Something about this is tickling my brain cells. Do you remember anything about the soap carvings dissolving when they get wet? Or the carvings losing their details when they get wet?

message 24: by CLM (new)

CLM | 302 comments It doesn't strike a chord but it's possible... Thanks for pondering.

message 25: by CLM (last edited Sep 03, 2018 05:33PM) (new)

CLM | 302 comments While searching for this book, I learned that Fran Lebowitz has a collection of soap carving books which is pretty funny. I wonder if she owns the one I am thinking of or if hers are instructional?

message 26: by Rainbowheart (new)

Rainbowheart | 19675 comments Haunted House?

The kids do find carvings hidden in a tree. I can't remember if they were soap or wood, though.

message 27: by SamSpayedPI (last edited Sep 04, 2018 08:52AM) (new)

SamSpayedPI | 2071 comments Like Bree, I read this or a similar book in school, and we all carved soap for art class. Unfortunately I have no memory of what the book is, although I think he carved a bird in the book. Or maybe it was me who carved a bird for art class.

Was it a duck? We specifically had to bring in a bar of Ivory soap so it would float, I remember.

message 28: by Kelly (new)

Kelly (khek) | 270 comments Paddle-to-the-Sea by Holling Clancy Holling?\

message 29: by Rosa (new)

Rosa (rosaiglarsh) | 5211 comments Paddle-to-the-Sea for the link.

message 30: by CLM (new)

CLM | 302 comments None of these so far. Bump!

message 31: by Rainbowheart (new)

Rainbowheart | 19675 comments The Master?

"People use soap for making keys."

"Yes, they do. They steal the key and press it on a bit of soap and then they have the impression of the key and . . ."

"I know all that, you oaf, but you can't make the key out of soap. All you have got is the impression."

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