The CBC radio program North by Northwest has an occasional feature where they try to identify the forgotten titles of favorite childhood books based on whatever details and descriptions people do remember. Interestingly, someone had apparently asked about one of my childhood favorites:
I remember reading a children's story about a young girl and I believe her older sister who were sent to live in a Swiss boarding school and the difficulties the younger one had in fitting in. I believe that the younger girl's name was Josie and for some reason a title such a "new worlds for Josie" or a "whole new world for Josie" keeps running through my mind. I read the book back in the late 1970's. not sure how old it was then.
I grant you, New Worlds for Josie is a pretty obscure book. I only know about it because it happened to be a favorite of my mother's, and she had a copy from her own childhood. I adore that book and have read it many times over. I'm not sure I can really explain the appeal, but I identified with the title character and was absolutely in love with the idea of being sent to a boarding school in the Swiss alps where you had to speak in perfect French and learn European ways to fit in with the other girls. Unfortunately, I had to settle for learning French at the neighborhood public school and learning to fit in with snotty junior high school girls. Not quite the same romance to that, somehow, eh?
Another strange thing: The person who submitted this question (to a Canadian radio program) was also from Minnesota. I have never ever met anyone else (besides my mom and my sister) who have read this book or even heard of it. Curious.
Speaking of lost childhood books, I have one of my own I've been trying to identify. Unfortunately, I can't remember much about it. The main character (I think it was a girl) was on a quest of some kind. She had to overcome various hardships and meet various challenges. The thing I remember most vividly, is that at one point, she was trapped in a maze. She was despairing as to how she would get out, and suddenly she realized she could climb the walls of the maze and walk on top of it, thereby essentially by-passing it all together. Clever, eh?
Another book I vaguely remember was a somewhat spooky one that took place in England. The main character was a boy, and it involved a mysterious house that turned out to have been a pest house (a place where they kept people suffering from the Plague) in times past.
Not much to go on for either of these, I know, but if they ring any bells, leave me a comment.