Bad memory of good memories- reconcile the difference!
December 14, 2007 8:07 AM   Subscribe

Hazy childhood memories of books I read. Can you help me identify them?

I remember reading a book when i was in elementary about siblings who could use some kind of nature magic, I distinctly recall dragonflies being a part of this. The other vivid image i have is of a house in the forest they went to, perhaps on a vacation? It was one of those ordinary kids in the summer find they have magic powers kind of deals.

BONUS!: Completely different book now- A series of books by one author (also geared towards kids) that were kind of gothic mystery- recurring characters; one was an old man and the other a child. I remember something about something in the walls, chess was a prevalent theme in one... my memories of it remind of the style of edward gorey but definitely not by/related to him.
posted by zennoshinjou to Writing & Language (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I think your bonus question might be John Bellairs's books, starting with The House With a Clock in Its Walls.
posted by craichead at 8:12 AM on December 14, 2007

Sorry for the double post, but I forgot to say that the reason that the Bellairs books remind you of Edward Gorey is that Gorey did the illustrations for them.
posted by craichead at 8:21 AM on December 14, 2007

The second books are definitely Bellairs. (Who also wrote one fantastic book for adults, The Face in the Frost, which I highly recommend.)

I'm not sure about the first book. My first guess would be one of Edward Eager's books, which tended to revolve heavily about sets of four siblings going on summer vacations and getting into magical adventures. I don't remember whether any of them were specifically about nature magic, though.
posted by Stacey at 8:42 AM on December 14, 2007

Best answer: If the second one is a Bellairs book, it's "The Mummy, the Will, and the Crypt", one of the Johnny Dixon stories. Part of that novel has to deal with the name of a common chess setup (I forget what it is now) but it's one of the clues that leads to the location of the will, or something.

(I loved those books - I should read 'em again)
posted by Lucinda at 8:59 AM on December 14, 2007

Response by poster: Right on on the Bellair books- Thanks everyone!
posted by zennoshinjou at 9:03 AM on December 14, 2007

Was the first set the Tales of Magic series by Edward Eager? I LOVED these books when I was a kid, and your post reminded me of them....
posted by saucy at 10:09 AM on December 14, 2007

You might also look at E. Nesbit's books.
posted by Mr. Justice at 2:47 PM on December 14, 2007

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