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YA medieval fantasy book

I once read a book where the main teenage female character dressed up as a knight to fight in a battle. I believe she had red hair. She gets injured during the fight and has to retreat to a shack to heal. She ends up fulfilling some prophecy about the hero of the kingdom. Anybody know this one?

Witch and Private Detective

It's been quite a few years since I read this. Frankly, I'm even surprised I remember what I do about it. I remember that,either very beginning or early in the book, the main female character is kidnapped by a serial killer, in the process of him making her a victim, you find out she's a witch and she mangles his genitals with magical fire. Later, she ends up helping a detective, who if I remember correctly is a washed up former detective, but over the course of the book he ends up falling in love with her and for some reason a Warlock comes into the picture and the Detective has to fight the Warlock.

Fantasy Book About Boy

Hi all! I need help finding a book I read in the mid 2000's. Best guess is 2007 but i'm sure it was published before that. I've searched everywhere but looks like this is the best option.

-Was about a boy whom I believe went missing before nightfall because he walked too far from his suburban home, ended up in another world.
-The world was magical and the boy got stuck in the world and the book was about finding a way back.
-This place he ended up at allowed him not to age but if he stayed too long he could never leave and be forced to grow old forever there.
-There was a man that was controlling the world that made deals with the children who didn't want to grow up
-The boy also wanted to never grow up but there was an old lady in that world that told him she was just like him once and now all she can do was grow old. She wished she hadn't made that bargain and wanted to die now.
-lastly I remember the book had a long title which possible had the words "tomorrow" or "forever" in it (not sure). It also has a blue cover of a boys back facing the reader while he over looked an abandoned street.

Girl goes on vacation with mom and dad and meets an older man

After a war has ended a family decides to go to Florida? for a vacation. At the hotel the girl sneaks into a prom that is happening downstairs. I remember it was at a time where only adult women typically wore make-up so the mom was skeptical about letting the girl wear lipstick. Eventually the girl goes, but ends up leaving and sitting by a pool at night. She ends up meeting an older man. They hang out and then later on in the story the parents and the guy go on a boat. There was a storm?, the guy dies, and the parents are suspects. They go to trial, it looked like the mom had an affair with the guy but it was really just the girl, and I think they end up not being guilty and going home. Its been years since I've read the book and I can't seem to find it... Please help!!! :D

Possible Romance novel about an aspiring book publisher.

Hi, everyone. I read this book during my sophomore year in highschool aka 2013, but I think it was published a few years before that. I'm a bit hazy with the details, but I remember it being a book about "adult life" and romance. The main character was a female whose dream was to work in book publishing. She had a hard time adjusting and experienced some failed romances as the book progressed mainly due to her unhappiness over her parents divorce, I think. She maybe had a brother or sister who was due to get married.
That's all I can remember! I hated this book and never finished it because I couldn't follow it and found it too "realistic" for my liking, but now I want to read it back and see if I'll like it! Any help will be much appreciated.

Did I dream up this book?

OK, so I'm fairly convinced I'm the only human alive who knows this book exists, and I can't remember much detail so I apologise in advance, but if someone could help me find a loved childhood series I'd be forever grateful.

As I remember, there was a male protagonist who lives on some ranch/farm for creatures (whose name escapes me). He has some magic powers or something to do with controlling Earth? I know he can control rocks and builds up to controlling larger and larger objects, and I'm fairly sure there's a war on... The farm gets destroyed and he has to set off to a city I believe? Maybe with his sister/sibling? Its one of those dystopia future things I'm sure...

As I said, I'm not too sure on too much detail as I read this maybe 12 years ago.

If anybody can help me begin to piece together what it might be called, I'll buy you a solid gold puppy...

Young adult novel about boy dealing w/ the loss of his younger sister

What I remember from the story is it begins with the narrator talking about how she remembers nothing and she doesn't know where she is (she says she seems to be floating through space). and she eventually finds her way to a family and is watching them unseen and she watches the aftermath of the teenage boys younger sister, the sister died in an accident in their basement while he was babysitting her so he feels very guilty and starts hurting himself, please help!!

(RESOLVED) Help finding book about white-haired boy

I read this book about ten years ago (probably longer) and the book was most likely older than that. It was about a boy white white (or silver) hair that washed up on the beach with no memories of where he was from or memories of his parents. And then he went on some sort of adventure/quest with a girl and there might have been some sort of magic/time traveling involved along with a witch? Not sure on that last part, but please help me find this book!!!

(Thanks so much! It's The Witch Trade by Michael Molloy)

Searching for 2 books: Boy who heals, girl in foster care

I read both books as a teenager so from the 90's sometime.

First one is about a boy who can heal people by touching them. He also can destroy them. He killed an evil guy then was on the run. He healed a girl in the woods who he fell in love with. She was badly injured in a boating accident that caused her to have a miscarriage. At one point too, he was hiding in the attic of a shop, and for payment he healed the old woman who ran the place and fixed things at night. She was healed of arthritis and even grew new teeth.

Second one is a girl who has a drug addict for a mom. Mom runs off and kills herself by driving car into pond, she throws leaves into the pond to cover the car and has to care for herself and her two younger siblings who are not mixed race like she is. They hide in the woods for a bit. Eventually ask for help, the two younger ones are adopted by a white family, she goes in search of her biological family and finds out that her grandfather (a cop in the south) killed her father because he was black.

(Problem solved) Very structured hierarchical society

I remember a book with a male protagonist who came from the lowest level of the society of the novle. He recived demerits(negative) in the form of brackets that were to be worn till removed by a higher member of the community. I think the levels in the society where represented by colours and each colour had its own specialty. Protagonist decides to enter talent contest? (I can't recall why but there was a specific reason) after retrieving sheet music from a relative. Plays music on crystals. Looks to be geting good scores that are crushed by distributor of previous demerits. Somthing is said along the lines of too complicated a piece for not enough skill. Please help I never finished this story and would love to do so. (The Seventh tower by Garth nix)

Solved: YA (?) book about a girl and a mental health facility

I posted this to Reddit and still haven't been able to figure it out, and it's driving me crazy. Here's all the information I have:

All I remember of the plot is a girl who lives near a facility for mentally ill persons. I think she makes friends with them through a fence. The most important thing I remember is that one of the characters, a man, spoke only in quotes. He would only speak in lines from things other people had said, and I remember one of the other patients would ask the girl if that made him crazy, or if the most important things in the world have already been said.I'm pretty sure I read it in the late 90's, so, 1996 or so. A redditer added:

"After thinking about it a while the only thing I can think of is the hospital was in danger of closing, and there was a missing treasure or something the girl was helping them find to keep the hospital open. Although I may be confusing the book with a different book. Also, at the end, the man who spoke only in quotes starting speaking normally again. Also I think there was a cat. (Mariam67)" And I distinctly remember this also being part of the book. Can anyone help me? I don't even remember if it was that amazing of a book, but some part of it must have resounded with me for me to care this much! Thanks!

I don't know how to mark this solved, but the book is Love Among the Walnuts by Jean Ferris.

Mystery Thriller type book

Hi. I'm looking for a book I read as a teenager. It was a book that used to be my Dads so it should be at least 25 years old. It seems to have disappeared somewhere over the years and my dad doesn't remember it.

It starts off in a courthouse. Red haired guy is on trial and making the judge angry. He steals the security guys gun and kidnaps a blonde haired woman who's watching.

It's all part of a plan to get involved in I think her fathers work?

There's a cop that's also working undercover who helps him out.

It involves underwater (not sure if it's diving or in a tank like thing but I think someone has the bends in the book)

The copy I had had a blue cover with the red haired man holding onto the blonde girl at gunpoint.

I don't remember much else. He uses the blonde chicks mascara to cover his red hair. He got roughed up quite a bit in the book and was stuck in handcuffs quite a bit as well.

I think it was for revenge (maybe for his brother?)

Hopefully someone can help

FOUND: Fear is the Key by Alistair MacLean - thanks to nuranar

FOUND: help with children's Mouse book

Been looking for the name of this book for the longest time!!! It's about a Mouse and the things he does in a day (I think). All I can remember is:

"Mouse makes peas. Peas burn.
Mouse makes toast. Toast burns."

Saw this book at the library back in the early 2000s. If anyone has an idea, please let me know! Thanks

*** FOUND *** Thank you so much for the help! It's Mouse Has Fun by Phyllis Root.

Book about yard sales and (dun! dun! DUN!) mysteries.

So a few weeks back as my friend and I were driving home from a trip, my pal began lamenting about a book that she had started reading in a library once, whilst she waited for a friend; but for the life of her, she couldn't remember the title.

Here's the few scraps she could conjure up:

- The book had a female protagonist.

- The main character participated in yard sales.

- The mystery of the book centered around a letter that the main character discovered (probably in one the knick knack she buys at a yard sale).

- also, apparently the book cover was blue.

I work at a library so of course the Holmes-like fever took me over and I began searching through the titles, but sadly, no luck.

PS: It isn't any of the books by Sherry Harris.

Mystery/Thriller Search Request

Hi! I'm looking for this book I read some time ago, and I hope someone can help me. I don't remember much about it, but here is what I remember:

- The main character of the book (a female) is running away (or hiding?) from her child's father who wants to snatch him away and bring the child back to his family. (Something about leaving a bloodline behind, I think?)

- It later emerged that the child belonged to the main character's sister. She was so freaked out about the child's father (I think she was a bit unstable too?) finding out about the child that she registered the child under her sister's (the main character's) name and gave it to her to take care of.

I'm sorry. This is all that I remember. I read this book some years back, so it's not a new book, but I don't think it's that old either? I'll add more details here if I remember them.

Thank you very much in advance!

Very vague science fiction

Sorry in advance if this description is too vague, but this is just barely a memory. I remember reading something a few years ago (could have been very old by then) and I am compelled to say it was science fiction. All I can recall are these few details:

1. There are a very few number of this species left (could be humans/aliens)
2. They live in a very desert place, where the sun is so hot they must stay in caves throughout the day. (I think maybe at night it was far too cold to leave the cave as well, but I could be wrong)
3. For some reason they have to leave and they are racing to get back inside before the sun comes out.
One more very vague point
4. There may be a newborn involved that is very important and I think that one of the few characters is injured at some point.

Hopefully that is enough for someone to know what I'm talking about. Thank you.

Repost: YA novel, read in 1990s, 18-year-old girl moves in with man in his forties

Originally posted this in 2013, going to try this again...

When I was nine or so, I read this one young adult novel about a girl whose name, I think, was either Victoria or Veronica. She's eighteen and somehow she knows this man in his forties whose name, I'm pretty sure, was Arnold. She and Arnold fall in love and start having this relationship, and her parents don't approve of it but they can't do anything because she's eighteen. Eventually she and Arnold have sex - beforehand he asks her if she's a virgin, and she says she is, and she asks him if he's a virgin, and he says he's not, and then there's some line about how that was all they needed to say about Arnold's past. I think at some point Victoria/Veronica moved in with Arnold. There's a part where Arnold fixes something that broke or went wrong at Victoria/Veronica's parents' house and her dad starts developing a little bit of grudging respect for him because he fixed it.

I read this in the early 1990s and I think it might have been written in the 1970s or 1980s, but I don't know about that. I really want to find out what this was called because it was such an odd book! Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.

YA Thriller/Horror search, 1990s

Remember this book being part of a series, don't think it was from Point Horror as none of the titles on the wiki entry jogged my memory but I could be wrong.

Mostly-black cover art featuring guy on motorcycle (don't recall if his face was spookily distorted).

Plot concerns girl being haunted by the presence of her jerk biker ex, though he didn't die only moved away, and it was somehow determined the spirit was lingering about because she hadn't emotionally let go of him yet.

Thanks if anybody has any ideas:)

summer beach house artist father YA novel?

so, I'm looking for what I think was a YA novel about a girl living with her family in a house/cottage somewhere by the beach for the summer, possibly with a friend, possibly not... I think her father is an artist and remember him being a sort of egotistical character. the girl is a teenager, kinda angsty I think...she might end up painting too? I'm guessing this book is from the 80s or earlier, although it could be from the early-to-mid-90s. I've had this vague description on a list of well loved childhood books FOREVER; just cleaned out my childhood collection of books and never found it. please help!

Probably FOUND: Woman arrested for drug smuggling in Indonesia or Malaysia

I think I read an excerpt of this book in the late 1980s through early 2000s. It was a true story. The woman (I believe an American) had been vacationing in Southeast Asia; I always though Malaysia but it might have been Indonesia or another country. A stranger (at the airport?) asked her to hold a package; she did and unknown to her it held drugs. She was arrested for drug smuggling and sent to prison.

She got hold of a children's picture book and began learning the language. The book had a lot of sentences about a monkey, like, "The monkey eats the banana," "the monkey climbs the tree," etc. She learned those sentences first, to the amusement of the other prisoners and guards. Then she began learning the language for real.

It was just an excerpt and I never kept it or looked up the book, and now that I'm reminded of it, I want to find it and read how she got out of the prison.

ETA: Probably found! "The Ordeal: My Ten Years in a Malaysian Prison" by Béatrice Saubin, Barbara Brister (Translator) is probably it; I'm waiting on a copy from the library to verify. Thank you obleighvious!

80's choose your ending ballet book

I am trying to locate a book sold in America in the early 1980's. It was a choose the ending book, about a high school girl that was a ballet dancer. She met a boy on the train to class in the city, and began a relationship. The two endings were either stay home at her ballet school and with him, or go to an intensive for her last year of school in Paris. The cover was a girl in a pink leotard holding unused pointe shoes. Thank you for your help.

Children follow clues after father dies

I read a children's book in the 90s though the book may have been older than that. The father has to leave for a trip (go to war?) but he leaves the children a series of clues or riddles leading to something so they won't miss him so much. The father dies. I think the children are missing a clue or something but they still try to get to the end.

Young adult fantasy about a girl who trains with Stonehenge druids

I read this book (part of a series I think) back in the early 1990's and have been looking to find it for the past 20 years.

The book starts with a girl and her sister, and her sister's husband maybe, on a journey towards Stonehenge. This is set in very early England, possibly before Christianity. I believe this was at least the second of the series as there was a brief mention of plot points from previous book. They are going there for the girl to join the druids and study under them to develop some sort of mystical power she has.

While she studies, she also meets a man who studies under the druids who is from the middle east, possibly Egypt. I think he eventually becomes her husband. She does a lot of meditation and such and develops into a seer of a kind. I think that the Lady of the Lake is part of the storyline, as in she sees a pattern of rebirth where a set of people are bound together through time to be reborn and interact with each other and one of seems to be the Lady of the Lake but I don't think Merlin or King Arthur is mentioned in the book.

Here are some disjointed scenes I remember:
1. She sees a vision of this Egyptian man, before she meets him I think. He is on a sea journey. When he arrives at the school, I think he brings linen and it's a new and special thing.
2. She has long blonde hair and the Egyptian man and she have some kind of tryst and he ends up with a few strands of her hair in his hands and he makes a ring out of it (maybe a ring, maybe winds it around his finger then drops it)
3. There is a scene of her studying the night stars and it describes her sort of pinned to the ground as their reel around her in the sky.
4. On the journey to Stonehenge, she and her sister meet up with a group of people who they see as very backward and they do some sort of fake ceremony with them including mud figurines. I think these people know of the druid school and know they are going there but they have a very rudimentary version of the religion.
5. The plot of the first book involves the sister and the husband and some sort of rape/trauma because I remember them being briefly mentioned in the short chapters devoted to the journey.

I'm sorry if this is rather lean pickings. I read it so long ago!

Looking for series (FOUND in comments!)

I read this series quite a few years ago about young adults whose families and even friends mysteriously go missing (or even die). The disappearance involves some sort of religious meaning and the kids have to come together to try to figure it why.

The covers of the books were different colors, all pretty vibrant abstract swirls on black books.

Again, it had a weird religious/Christian plot twist/meaning.

Elemental I think...

The book starts off with them in dorms, so i'm guessing it's at a academy. I say starts because they do eventually leave there. The people in that academy have elemental magic, I wanna say the main character has all of them, just doesn't know it. I think ice is all she has at first. They're not witches or anything like that, or at least i think. She meets a guy she's supposed to stay away from, but of course that doesn't happen. She tries but gets help from him and starts to actually like him. I think she was hiding from someone in his room at one point. I don't remember. Anyway, in later books they get into big trouble and have to leave. Her dad is someone in power and they try to take her back and fix her, causing the guy to break her out. They guy was looked down on for someone reason. I don't remember. I'm sure what I said was confusing but I hope someone understood the book I was talking about. I really want to read it again. I liked it. I know I read it a few years ago so it didn't come out last year or this year,but its not old either, as in eariler then 2000. If i think of more details I'll add on to this. Please help me. Thanks.

Dystopian YA

Librarian, trying to identify this book for a young patron who read it at some point in the last two years. Her description:

"Female protagonist. After graduation people had to leave soon to go to a competition to find out who was right for the job. She didn't want to go because of her father. She brought a necklace or something to help her remember him. While there, there are many tasks and soon her roommate is gone. I think the MC killed somebody for the competition and is in pain because of it. They work in groups and they all have to match for this one task. If one messes up that one person goes home. You can choose whether or not to vote. Another task they had to camp out and savage food. You could choose to bring 3 things. MC brought a water purifier, knife? And something else. She started working with a fellow competitor and there was a little romance going on. A man outside the fence was giving them food even though he was not supposed to. I think they were apples. Idk if it was the same competition or not but it may have been. They had to get back to "headquarters" and there were bikes and one got hurt bc some rabid dog like creature attacked him. Mc had to work to get them both back."

Thank you!

Fantasy book about two brothers (FOUND in comments)

I read this book at least three years ago, maybe more.

There are two brothers who live in the basement of a house because they are homeless/orphans or something like that. I think the woman who runs the place made all of the boys who lived there sort through a trash pile for anything valuable. The two brothers also had unusual scars/tattoos on their kneed that made a map (maybe of a maze?) whenever they put them together. One of the designs was more circular, while the other was angular/made of squares. The brothers had to travel to another world and use the map.

I'm not sure about this, but when they were at the home, there may have been bullies who went after the boys, and something about an apple?

Thank you in advance!

Found! Speculative Fiction Duology (2-book series) Set in Australia

Dreamhunter and Dreamquake by Elizabeth Knox. Thank you, everyone who replied or who pondered the question or simply read my request and wished me well!

Like others of you, I read these books, can't remember the titles or author. I'm pretty sure the author is Australian.

It's more or less contemporary Australia, except that a vast part of it has become inaccessible to most Australians. Transportation has to get travellers around that part. Some people can go in. When people reach a certain age they can try going in.

It's hot and dry, and most technology doesn't work there, so they can only explore as far as feet (and maybe animals?) will take them, and nothing grows, so they have to take their own food and water. (Although in book 2 she discovers that some people are bringing in technology and forcing prisoners to work for them.)

They go in looking for dreams which they then share with the rest of the population.

A teenage girl/young woman is the protagonist. She and her cousin try to go in on the same day. The family thinks her cousin will be able to get in, but instead the protagonist makes it.

During the books she dreams of various people who are strangers to her but who seem significant. There is a golem.

Thank you!

Looking for a trilogy, well at the time it was only 3 books.

This is a little vague as I only ready the samples of the 3 books and then couldn't find them again. I thought they may be similar to Fifty Shades of Grey because that was what I had been reading at the time. The first book started with a man seeing a woman in car and then it crashed after it took off, he then took the woman home to heal. The second book started with them being broken up apparently, but she wasn't doing good and he found her and carried her up the building. The third book started with her finding out she was pregnant and I think I remember her or the couple being scared or not sure it was a good thing. Any help would be awesome, I just can't believe I couldn't find them again. Thanks.

5th Grade-ish book about 3 kids saving their town from something in the forest

It was a story about 3 kids who were going to have to save their town from something hiding / lurking in the woods or forest. The cover had a forest and something hiding in the forest (might have looked like a wooden man behind a tree) with dark (blackish) and green colors around the edge.

Children's book about a girl moving and finding a garden

Alright so my sister and I remember reading this children's book when we were both young that was about a girl who I remember being very privileged to the point where she wasn't used to changing her own clothes moving to a country house and finding a secret garden of sorts. I remember the book details something about the trip to the country, perhaps it was a flower field or something, I can't really remember. My sister says that the garden had anthropomorphic animals in it and a boy but I don't really remember that. We do both remember that the illustrations were very colorful and vibrant. There's a chance we could be both be remembering different parts of different stories so I apologize in advance for any misleading clues as to what this book is. Thanks!

lost sci-fi story from way back

Now, this might be a toughie. I recall reading the story in a book with probably 4-5 stories in it, all (if I'm not mistaken) old soviet sci-fi. No idea about authors, can't even recall the cover.

In the story, a guy was some kind of musician, a real celeb, being the inventor and player of some next gen instrument. As an important person, he had his consciousness saved in a data bank, and upon death, he would be resurrected, just like other important people. I recall him one committing suicide by driving his air-car into a vulcano.

Eventually he requests that next time he's revived, he wants to be female, so they build a body from his DNA for him. After that, he seduces the doctor and has him create a male clone of him, too, while he/she's still alive, and then eventually the two of them devise a plan and blow up the facility, making everyone mortal again, because not being able to die drove them insane.

Thanks in advance.

Looking for the name of a children's book

This family's house is the only brightly-painted house on a street lined with houses that all look the same. One of their neighbors shouts "I'll call the army!" every now and again when he is upset by how different their house looks. May be a pop up book.

Random Nook book download I can't recall

A couple years ago I think I downloaded a random book to my nook and now I can't find it or recall the name of it.

It was about a girl who worked in a city and I believe she was in a car accident. After the accident she went to run a ranch that she grew up on or near. She learned that she was being stalked by someone who was threatening to kidnap (and/or kill her). So a local officer ended up staying on the ranch to attempt to keep her safe. Shortly after they figured out who the stalker was he did succeed in kidnapping her.

A few random things I remember... I recall at one point in the book she had to make a business decision for the farm and slotted sections of the land to have energy windmills placed on her property for income. This decision was unpopular to some of the long-time employees. There was livestock slaughtered by the stalker on her property as a warning sign. Prior to learning who the suspect was they were suspicious of one of the ranch hands.


Suspenseful Romance Novel

Looking for a book about a women that ran away from her mobster boyfriend after witnessing a murder? At the beginning she's skinny and tells herself that she will work out longer that day because mobster boyfriend mistakenly added creamer to her coffee. After witnessing murder she decides to go into hiding without the police's help. She cuts off all of her hair which delights the beautician. She also stops starving herself and gains weight "in all the right places" or something like that. She runs away to a small town and finds a job (waitress?). Somehow the detective finds her and ends up in a relationship with her. It's probably pretty silly but somehow in all the books I've read I want to read this one again.

A bit vague....

Hi all. What a great site! I'm trying to remember the title of a book I read quite a few years ago but the details are so vague. I remember the main character was a girl and she was trained by her father in all types of combat and survival techniques. I remember a scene early in the book where he just leaves her in the underground (subway) in London to fend for herself in a violent situation but that's about all I can remember.

Any help much appreciated!


Fantasy/ Sword and Sorcery Book Help

I am trying to find a book i read back in High School. A Fantasy Sword and Sorceey Genre that i cant for the life of me find.
Basically, what i can recall is that it was a quest like book. Hero, goes off on his quest to save his land, meets and makes certain friends along the way, (i want to say one of them becomes his friend and bodyguard, maybe mud had something to do with it?)then they go off on quest to find powerful crystals that when found are made into a sword an armor maybe? They are found at the bottom of a well if my memory serves correctly. Im not sure but i beleive a white horse or a flying horse has something to do with the main character. I could be completely wrong on that last part though. Any help someone could give me i woild greatly appreciate. (also it is not terry goodkinds wizards first rule or richard rahl books.) thanks in advance!

Kids book

Ok so this might be the mystery thay stumps all of you. However, i have a vague memory of a kids book. It was about a group of kids and one of them gets sick but she pretends her illness is a dragon that a knight goes to fight off. It was an audio book from what i remember. Ya i know it sounds insane!

YA novels

Help! I'm looking for two books - all that I can remember is that its about two girls who knows each other from school. One of them has a "good" life and one is more challenging. The second girl's mother dies (or has some kind of mental break?) and they move in, along with a little sister. At some point I remember there was a church dinner with spaghetti to raise money or show support for the second girl.

At the end of the book, they're building a new house for them and the little sister wanders away, touches an unsecured electrical unit, and dies - and it comes out that she was actually the daughter of the second girl, not the sister.

Book 2 is a similar good life/bad life story - but the "good" girl is assigned as a peer counselor to the "bad" girl and you slowly realize that she's not actually living a better life, for reasons I can't remember now.

Thank you!!

Cant remember much.

I only remember that it had a map on the inside displaying different realms that I believe were portrayed as floating islands with magical barriers. I also remember there being some sort of artifact and a dwarf with a dog. I know it isn't much to go on, but if anyone could help me I would appreciate it more than words can convey.

Teenage girl visits her grandmother in swamplands of Florida, improves relationship with her father

When I was teaching at a middle school, I encountered a book in the school library that was quite good, but I did not write down the title, or if I did, I misplaced it. This description will contain some spoiler information.

The book was told from first person point of view from the perspective of a teenage female narrator. She and her father, a psychologist or psychiatrist, had been estranged from her grandmother for many years after her father and grandmother had a falling out about a topic unknown to the narrator, who has many fond memories of her grandmother. They go to visit the grandmother, who lives in Florida. One of the narrator's hobbies is black and white photography, and she's looking forward to taking pictures of the wildlife in the swamplands near her grandmother's home. Early in the trip, she meets a young man who helps her grandmother and stays on her property. He has Native American ancestry and if I recall correctly at some point reveals that he was abused as a child and that his father is an alcoholic. The narrator's father does not like the young man. He suspects that he is taking advantage of the grandmother's charitable nature. The young man and the narrator become close, possibly even fall in love.

Eventually, it comes out that the father and a man he knew from childhood had plans to capitalize on the sale of the grandmother's land to develop a shopping center or something, but the grandmother does not want to allow that to happen. The grandmother is into nature & wildlife preservation, and she teaches her granddaughter about the wildlife on her property. There's a scene that involves feeding grapes to grackles that really stands out.

The grandmother may be in the process of revising her will, or at least considering revising it throughout the book. She dies unexpectedly before the issues between her and her son are resolved, a little past halfway through the book. It turns out that because she could not be sure her son would not sell the property for development of a shopping center, she left her property to the young man because she knew he would protect and preserve it.

Shortly after the grandmother's death, the daughter and the young man attempt to perform a ritual to communicate with the dead, which is, according to the book, based on the native American beliefs of the young man's ancestors. During the ritual they perform, each of them has a vision. The narrator communicates with her mother, who died before the book begins. The young man's vision is not revealed, but he may have communicated with the grandmother. The father catches them as they are coming back from the swamp late at night and reaches the wrong conclusion. He provokes the young man, who ultimately hits him, which results in his being placed in jail, a move the father's friend believes is calculated to get him out of the picture but which was actually a coincidence.

It doesn't end that way, of course, but the details that lead to the somewhat hopeful ending are murky in my memory. I do recall that at the end the father and daughter leave to go home, but their relationship has changed for the better. The young man remains to care for the property. The narrator has taken several rolls of pictures on color film because there was no black and white film available there, and there's some symbolism about the way her view of the world has changed from black and white to color.

The cover was a dark color, or a mix of dark colors, some blues and grays. I believe it may have had an artist's rendition of the narrator on it, but it may not have. A black bird of some variety may have also figured in, but I'm not certain.

I know this is not the best description ever, but I'm hoping that there's someone out there who has read it and remembers the title, because it was quite good, and if I can find it, I'd like to pick up a copy at some point for the young people I work with now.