Help me find my long lost book about a girl that enters a fantasy primative world via a tree!
September 4, 2008 11:03 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a book I read as a pre-teen around 1977. It was a coming of age story about a girl who was having problems so she went to this big tree and I think she pressed against it and then went into some fantasy world where she became some kind of indian girl or primative girl and she went on adventures. I always wanted to know the name....can anyone remember this book? What I remember most was that the tree was the secret gate to moving back and forth into these two worlds. And also that as the indian, she had to live a very rustic life. Thanks. Lynn
posted by lynnie-the-pooh to Writing & Language (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Tuck Everlasting involved a tree.
posted by Ostara at 11:24 PM on September 4, 2008

It sounds kinda like The Ancient One, but it looks like it was totally written at the wrong time.

Can you remember any other details at all?
posted by rivenwanderer at 12:05 AM on September 5, 2008

This reminds me of some books I read as a kid by Alexander Key (the guy who wrote Escape to Witch Mountain). There was at least one book that sounds a lot like what you're describing, but it was a boy as far as I recall. Maybe there was a similar one about a girl?
posted by Theresa at 12:18 AM on September 5, 2008

Tuck Everlasting didn't involve a tree, it involved a creek.

Maybe it was "An Acceptable Time" by Madeline L'Engle? The main character, Polly, slips back into another world in the woods, although I don't recall any pressing of bodies to trees.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:57 AM on September 5, 2008

Oops, sorry, missed the '77--I think Acceptable Time was published in the 80s. :(
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:58 AM on September 5, 2008

Best answer: Saturday the Twelfth of October by Norma Fox Mazer!
posted by peep at 8:31 AM on September 5, 2008

A little blurb from here:

from the dustjacket:

Loonies, Zan thought, her throat tight. Loonies! Crazies! She had never seen anything like the boy and girl who faced her. Naked, except for flaps hanging down from the front of woven belts, the two of them fingered, sniffed and tasted everything Zan wore, down to her dirty old sneakers. Loonies!

But even as the thought came to her, Zan rejected it: there was another explanation, one that made her recoil. The terrifying "storm" that had wrenched her out of Mechanix Park on a Saturday morning in October had set her down in this meadow lush with strange foliage and teeming with birds, insects and animals she couldn't name. Something awesomely out of the ordinary was happening to her, and the two naked kids poking her and chattering in an unfamiliar language were further evidence of just how far from her normal existence she may have been swept.

At first Zan cannot accept that there is no way back. And then she finds herself irresistibly drawn into the gentle community of cave dwellers. But even as Zan settles into the rhythms of life with the People, she clings fiercely to her own memories of home. All that she has to remind her of civilization is a button, a key, a safety pin and a jackknife, which she guards jealously. Only Diwera, the wise woman, senses the threat Zan poses to the ages-old life of the People. And it is Diwera who takes it upon herself to rid the People of Zan.
posted by peep at 8:33 AM on September 5, 2008 [1 favorite]

I was thinking Saturday The Twelfth of October by Mazer as well. One of my favorite books from that era, because it was pretty darned deep reading.
posted by lleachie at 8:43 AM on September 5, 2008

Yep, I was going to vote for "Saturday the Twelfth of October" too - I picked up the book at the library as a preteen, intrigued because October 12th is my birthday, and it ended up being one of my favorites.
posted by jenbeee at 12:11 PM on September 5, 2008

Response by poster: Thank you Peep and everyone else! Saturday the Twelfth of October is the book! I can't believe you guys knew this! I wish I could write to the author and let her know how this one book had left an impression on me---the LOVE of reading. And I sure wish it would be re-printed so I could buy it new. I'd love to let my daughter read it when she is older.
Thanks again. You guys are awesome!!
posted by lynnie-the-pooh at 6:41 PM on September 5, 2008

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