Need help finding 4 childhood book titles.
July 26, 2022 6:06 PM   Subscribe

I tried different book-specific search engines and keywords with no luck, so figured AskMe would be a good place to ask to help locate those childhood favorite books of mine!

Note: I am sharing this with what I remember of those books, which could be me misremembering some details, but I somehow don't think so.

Book 1:

A girl is moving across town, and loses a stuffed lion/animal (I swear it's a stuffed lion, but I could've misremembered) on the way. She moved to a big house in the country, and is heartbroken about the lost stuffed animal. Later on, she locates the stuffed lion/animal, along with other items that were supposedly lost/stolen during the move. The artwork of this book was amazing.

Book 2:

Two children; a brother and sister; visit their grandparents, or Grandma, at a nice house up in the woods. The children are scared and can't sleep, presumably by hearing weird noises. They explore the house to investigate, and goes up to a messy attic that is creepy and has spiderwebs (I think), and a broken lamp (maybe?). They reunite with their grandma/grandparents and parents on the top floor, or on a balcony viewing the forest. The artwork in this book was stunning as well, and was pre-dominantly blue, and was up in the mountains, but not so far up. It was mainly mountains and was all at night, but very well done with lights at the right place, etc. Note for this book: My theory is that, because the keywords are easy to narrow down, this might have been a local book by a local author, which is why it's not discoverable. I could be wrong, though.

Book 3 (young adult maybe -- no illustrations):

This book features a youngish (maybe 7-12 years old?) girl who isn't getting along with her mom too well during Christmas. Her mom walks into the Christmas tree and, scared/worried, the girl follows her mom and shouts out to her, and they kind of snip at each other, but eventually make up and see a beautiful town or something inside the Christmas tree, and go back to the real world. I remember this book was written for a 3rd grade level, maybe around that, but could have been YA. It was kind of similar in format to, say, the Babysitters Club (chapters, no illustrations, etc.) but was probably a standalone book, or part of a very small series.

Book 4 (definitely YA):

This was about a young preteen boy who lived in a nice house in a nice neighborhood. However, in his basement was something that was haunting him. I don't think it was a ghost, but more of... a spirit? This was one weird book, but I was fascinated with it and lost it. I believe it was part of a series, but definitely not Goosebumps or Animographs. Same as Book #3, it wasn't illustrated and was written in chapter format. I seem to remember the boy and his family had recently moved to the area, and it was just kind of weird overall, but cool.

There you go, I hope you can help me find those books! It's been bothering me for a LONG time, and I've tried websites such as the Library of Congress, a few websites specifically for finding children's books, even Googled/looked for them on Amazon with some keywords, but have had absolutely no luck. I hope you can quench my curiosity, as you are pretty much the last resort! Sorry some of the descriptions are a bit vague, but that really is pretty much all I can remember about them. Thanks!
posted by dubious_dude to Grab Bag (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Could Number 4 be a John Bellairs book - maybe The House With A Clock In Its Walls?
posted by rrrrrrrrrt at 6:34 PM on July 26, 2022

Response by poster: Good suggestion ^ but #4 definitely was written in the mid/late-90s, I'd think. Maybe early 90s, if that. That applies to all those books, except for #3, which was most assuredly in the mid-90s (at least, to my aging memory).
posted by dubious_dude at 8:23 PM on July 26, 2022

Could #4 be Skellig, by David Almond?
posted by elanid at 5:44 AM on July 27, 2022

Best answer: Book 3 has got to be The Christmas Tree That Ate My Mother
posted by klugarsh at 11:39 AM on July 27, 2022

Response by poster: @klugarsh: YESSSSS! That one! :) you would’ve thought that simple of a title would be easy to remember, haha. Many thanks for unearthing one of those books!

@elabid: So close! I do recognize some of the themes. But sadly, different book. Could it have, perhaps, been an Americanized version of Skellig, of some sort? I seem to remember the book was distinctly American, with American English.
posted by dubious_dude at 6:48 PM on July 27, 2022 [1 favorite]

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