Probably many librarians share this characteristic of mine — when I am trying to answer someone’s question and I can’t find the answer it tends to drive me totally insane and I become extremely relentless in tracking the answer down, trying to exhaust all possibilites because I keep thinking that if I search a different way or try a different resource I will eventually find the answer to the question. It becomes a little bit obsessive compulsive. Unanswered questions just bug the hell out of me.
The latest thing to set me off was a phrase from a search engine that landed someone on my site:
young adult book plot magic oil wings
Now, I had not been blogging about a YA book that involved magic oil and wings but the search phrase triggered a distinct memory of reading a YA book about a boy who somehow gets his hands on a magic potion that grew wings on his back. The boy ended up training himself how to fly, I remembered one scene where he was flying around in his pajamas and was mistaken for an angel. But I couldn’t remember the title of the book! It was driving me crazy! I thought the title might have the words wings, flight, or summer in it. I tried various search engines and WorldCat (hoping that some plot details would be listed in the notes field of the catalog record and the limit to juvenile feature would come in handy). I found this site, Stump the Bookseller. But I could not turn up my book! It was driving me batty! Eventually I remembered that the boy in the book was very clumsy and the phrase Black and Blue might appear in the title. And sure enough, the book in question is Black and Blue Magic by Zilpha Keatley Snyder. The main character, a boy named Harry Houdini Marco, finds a magic vial that contains a potion that gives him wings. I dunno if that is what my anonymous searcher was looking for, but it seems close to me. I remember really liking this book, now I need to go and reread it sometime soon.