Friday, October 19, 2007


THE SAGA of lost a book
When I was in 8th. grade. The Bookmobile used to come round periodically. The county seat was two hours south. A good sized town, so there was a great selection of books available. It was great, because I really looked forward to it's arrival. To almost everyone else, there was a loud groan, because all that meant to them, was more homework. And good grief, Shudder, a 'Book Report', 'They had to actually 'READ' the book.
However, some of us were delighted, with the arrival of the bookmobile. Because, since 8th. grade was really a Junior High grade, we only had access to the high school library. And it did not have much of a selection of fiction. Since a high school library is set up for research. But, I did get to read some of the classics in literature.
Even better we were allowed to check out two mobile books maximum, for two weeks.
Two books were ok, that was all I would be able read, help Mom and do my homework.
I very much interested in Folklore, Folk tales, fairy tales and mythology. The bookmobile carried a good selection, when they found out I was interested. That was neat, the librarian and aide asked us as we were checking out. During the whole year I managed to read about 24 to 26 books. Books are to a soul, like water to a thirsty person.
Well, this one time, one of the books I found and checked and out was a quite nice fairy tale story book. by a modern author. I don't remember the other book. It quite likely was a book of myths or such.
The fairy tale was so very original, about fairies, elves, goblins, (which I do not care for. However, they were only in a couple of chapters.) Magic and even a nice dragon.
I had the book two entire weeks and maybe read it three or four times. Trying to remember the tales. The story of the Blue Princess was my favorite story in the book.
I really hated having to return the book that day. And at the time I checked it out, they said I couldn't renew it. So, I reluctantly returned the book. Picked out two new ones. When I was checking those out, I remarked the assistant, that I wish I could have renewed that book. They looked up said, "Yes you can. Who said that you can't. "
I was so dismayed.
So, it was supposed have been put back on the shelf, so they let me go look. No, the book wasn't there. They said they would look, and have it for me next time.
Well, after I had checked out my two books and was on the way out, I saw Loretta Wright with it. She was saying to her friend Janice, "this is a nice thin book, it should be easy for me to read and report on."
Janice replied, 'That's a kids book.'
'I know ', said Loretta.
First my heart sunk, then I got mad. She was so careless. That was all a book meant to her.
I shouldn't be hard her, she died of emphysema and lung cancer in her 50's. And you know what?. She adamantly refused to stop smoking.
Turns out she never returned the story book.
And I, for some strange reason, had completely forgotten to write it into my: 'Books Read' list. I had totally forgotten the complete title and the author. Very odd, because mainly, that doesn't happen to me. All I could remember was that there was the word ' castle In the title. Frustrating .
I looked the rest of my life for that book. When I found book dealers who did searches, I had them look for it. I checked out every library I can across, in any town I happened to be in. I looked in big towns, in small towns. I would about children's books with the word: 'castle' in them. Nothing. The only other book that came up was: The Enchanted Castle' by E. Nesbit. Nope, not.
Well, I had more or less given up. Then whole thing was like an hallucination. from my youth.
In February, 2005- I was doing some browsing in Amazon. Looking up books in different categories. Sometimes successful, sometimes not. It is rather like gambling, you win some, you lose some. I finally got this certain feeling. And I thought, ok, what the heck. Brought up books again, typed in just the word 'castle'. In fiction.
A lot of titles came up. So, I just began to scroll down. Almost all the other books I had seen in the past with 'castle ' in the title. were listed. I kept looking and scrolling. Waiting to see what would happen.
JACKPOT!!! on the fourth page. Holy Houdini!!!!!!! My stars lead me again. I was a little dismayed and surprised, because the "The Shadow Castle" by Marian Crockrell had been republished in 2000. But, YES-YES-YES. But, after all this time. I have yet to figure out the reasoning behind the last 4 year delay. I am positively ecstatic about it. I ordered a copy on the spot right from Amazon. Full price or not, had to have my copy.
The reviews and comments on Amazon about the lovely little set of tales all express the sames feelings "I have . Lovely, lovely. The was a long time for wish to come true.
My wishes only work on things. Not on people.
I know I have written a long story. However, all of it seems important to me.


Changes in the Wind said...

Reading your story made me think of the first book I read and liked. It is true that it will always stay with you. I never thought about buying that book...hmmm maybe I will:)
Glad you found it;-)

Anonymous said...

Wow! your story is so much like mine. My aunt lent me that book when I was in the 5th grade and I read it and LOVED it. Then I forgot the title and forgot the authors name and then when I was in 7th grade my aunt found that old book and I read it! I was so happy to finally read that book again! :-D

K.A. said...

I got this book in third grade. I remember sitting under a card table and finishing it thinking to myself that this was the best book I'd ever read. (lol). Fifteen years later I mentioned it to a freind and he said he had a copy and gave it to me. I read it and felt disapointed, because it just seemed to be missing something. I'm estatic to see that they've released the full version. I'm going to get it for my birthday. :D I'll be 45 :D

Lindaguitar said...

I don't remember how old I was when I first read Shadow Castle. But it was one of my all-time favorites. I never forgot the title. Now I am 47, with a 15 year old daughter who shares my love of fantasy stories. Last year, I suddenly remembered the book, and ordered it from Amazon and read it to her. (She's dyslexic, and I read aloud to her often.) I came across this blog while searching to see if the full text of the book is online anywhere. (We just found another old favorite of mine, "The Secret Garden" online.)

I have a story similar to yours about a different book that I read as a child and could never remember the name of. It took place in Scotland, and was about an ancient circle of tall stones, and a young boy, and an old man with "second sight" who needed to stop the electric company from flooding the valley where the stones were, in order to get magical powers from them on a certain night.

I searched for that story for years, but thought it was called "The Circle of Stones" (which, it turned out, was not the title), but could never find it. Finally, I decided to do a Google search with various terms relevant to the story, and FINALLY found it! It is called "The Walking Stones". I ordered a copy of it from Amazon just a few months ago, and read it to my daughter. She is currently writing a fan-fiction sequel to Shadow castle!

Anonymous said...

I too have been searching for "Shadow Castle" for a long time. I finally tried the search today on Amazon and I found it! I read it when I was in 4th grade, and I fell in love. I have been searching ever since. I think I remember that somewhere in the book an alternate title was "Lucy's Castle", and so I looked for it under that and "Shadow Castle". I was thrilled that I found it. I love stories with magic and children. I always remember hoping that someday magic would happen to me! I have a great husband and two great kids, so I guess that's a wish come true! My son loves magic books, too. The stories by E. Nesbit, and Edward Eager (Half Magic, Magic by the Lake, etc.) are some of my favorites, too. I taught 5th grade for a long time, and I read all the Edward Eager books to my students and they loved them. I can't wait to read "Shadow Castle" again! Sorry for rambling on...:-D

Anonymous said...

When i was a freshman in high school, our library would have a box sitting by the door of discarded books. The librarians would have to make room for new books. Anyway one morning before school i looked through the box and found Shadowcastle. I love fantasy and fiction books so i picked it up. I looked at the copyright today and it is from 1964. I wonder how many people read it before i did and could imagine themselves walling in the forest with Lucy or having tea with a dragon. 12 years later i can still read it and imagine being in the castle.