This time, it's not All Summer in a Day
January 24, 2012 10:02 AM   Subscribe

A familiar story: I read a young adult novel when I was a kid. I can't remember the title or most of the plot, but I remember enough details that it drives me CRAZY.

I probably read this book in the early 90s. It was a fantasy/ghost story about three siblings who possibly travel through time. I'm pretty sure that the book is written either in first person, or third person limited.

The main character is a male middle child, in late childhood or maybe early adolescence. He has no paranormal abilities that I recall. Both his younger brother and his teenage sister can see ghosts, although you don't find that out about the sister until late in the book. While the book is told from the middle child's point of view, I think that his younger brother primarily drives the plot.

The older sister is somewhat of a stock Annoying Teenage Girl character. She tells a story about seeing Native American ghosts in her laundry room when she was a small child. The younger brother is also kind of a stock character. All young and wise and gifted and a tad mysterious because of it. A little Charles Wallace-y, but not as fleshed out.

The plot may center around the brothers traveling through time. I don't think their sister gets involved until far into the story. And the main character is put out that he is the only sibling who isn't paranormally gifted. He spends much of the book gobsmacked at everything that's going on.

I've rendered a sketchy likeness of the book's cover! Or what little I think I remember of it. The Native Americans could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure the placement of the kid is correct.

Does this ring a bell with anyone? I have searched every resource I can think of, and have run it by everyone I know. Don't know why I'm so fixated on it, because it was just an okay book. It's probably that I'm haunted by the cover, with the kid's flying butt.

posted by Coatlicue to Media & Arts (13 answers total)
Regarding your Flicker link, all I got was "You must be signed in to see this content."
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:07 AM on January 24, 2012

I think the use of the word "ass" in your drawing set the content filters; I'm logged in but had to click through a warning to see it.

(Sorry, can't help with the original question.)
posted by maudlin at 10:10 AM on January 24, 2012

Response by poster: Hmm, let me see if my lame brain can fix that.
posted by Coatlicue at 10:11 AM on January 24, 2012

I too had to click through my safe filter to view the picture (which was a pretty fabulous drawing by the way).

On the question of the book, would this search page help?

There is also this.

Apparently there is quite the market for half-remembered fiction books from the young adult days.

Good luck!
posted by Leezie at 10:13 AM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: To save on frustration while I kick my Flickr around, here's a sad tinypic link.
posted by Coatlicue at 10:19 AM on January 24, 2012

Oh dear god, I have read the book you are talking about but I cannot remember it. It would've been during the early to mid-90s.

Are we sure it wasn't a Choose Your Own Adventure because I'm getting that kind of feeling for when I read it? It was certainly in that section of the library.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 10:27 AM on January 24, 2012

Response by poster: Leezie, I hadn't ever seen those sites, and I'm combing them now!

OnTheLastCastle, you are now the first person I've spoken to who has heard of this book! I don't remember it being Choose Your Own Adventure, but it could be. I could go either way on that.
posted by Coatlicue at 10:31 AM on January 24, 2012

Best answer: How about Voices After Midnight?

This alternate cover looks a lot like the one you sketched.

Funnily enough, I found this via a Google search (for "time travel siblings") that led to this thread where someone remembers the other cover.
posted by Betelgeuse at 10:33 AM on January 24, 2012 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Voices after midnight?
posted by prenominal at 10:36 AM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: HOLY MOLY. THAT IS IT. Look at that kid's butt coming for us! I'm so delighted right now I'm actually laughing!

Thank you, Betelgeuse and prenominal. You have solved one of the most annoying half-remembered-book mysteries in my life. Good god, I'm happy.
posted by Coatlicue at 10:42 AM on January 24, 2012 [4 favorites]

whoa... Glad someone found the book, because as soon as I read the question I knew I had read the book and not knowing the title was KILLING me. I vividly remember a scene involving the old 1888 wirecage elevator.
posted by Wretch729 at 11:37 AM on January 24, 2012

Yay! I am so happy too! Your drawing was hilarious.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 11:43 AM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Oh man, Wretch729... you mentioning that elevator brought a flood of even more memories of this book back into my head!
posted by Coatlicue at 7:54 AM on January 25, 2012

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