Find this YA sci-fi book!
June 26, 2012 8:44 AM   Subscribe

Yet another name this 70s/80s YA novel question--illustrated underground city edition!

Asking for a friend:
A children's/YA novel with some black & white illustrations throughout (they have a creepy, nearly sci-fi Shaun Tan feel, maybe?) set in an underground city, or city under a city (maybe NY?). Cover shows a subway platform and maybe tiled walls -- or tiles make up the font? From 70s/80s? With a plain-spoken title like Under Ground or Under City or...a standalone, not a series. Not The Underland Chronicles, ‎"The City Underground" by Suzanne Martel, "This Time of Darkness" by HM Hoover, or "The Tutti Fruitti Connection" by Alan Cameron.
She says the author's last name might sound Russian/Eastern European but it's an American book.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Wouldn't be The Borribles books, would it? De Larrabeiti doesn't sound Russian or Eastern European but it would definitely register as non-Anglo to a kid and perhaps get confused?

Man, those were depressing books. I was down for a week when I read them.
posted by Frowner at 8:49 AM on June 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

It's much newer but The Invention of Hugo Cabret sounds a bit similar and the author is Brian Selznick. There are lots of B&W underground illustrations and I think there was a cover like that as well. here are some images.
posted by pointystick at 10:04 AM on June 26, 2012

This is somewhat of a longshot as I don't remember that it was illustrated, it's from 1999, and it's not YA per se. But it hits the cover and title so well and it's about a (fictitious) children's fantasy novelist, so...

Dark Cities Underground by Lisa Goldstein
posted by Zed at 11:21 AM on June 26, 2012

Another long shot as it's recent, butMind the Gap: A Novel of the Hidden Cities otherwise matches some of the points:
posted by DoubleLune at 1:35 PM on June 26, 2012

Rather, stick that link at the end and you'll see what I'm trying to say. Serves me right for copy/paste on the phone...
posted by DoubleLune at 1:36 PM on June 26, 2012

Total long shot, and admittedly doesn't meet many of your criteria, but The City of Gold and Lead?
posted by triggerfinger at 5:38 PM on June 26, 2012

She eventually found it--Downtown by Viido Polikarpus. Thanks for the help, guys!
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 12:49 PM on July 26, 2012

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