To put it bluntly: argh.
I canNOT find this book anywhere. I think I’ve even mentioned it here before in someone else’s “Help me find this book” thread. Since we’re taking new people on all the time, I thought I’d give it another go.
I read this book in jr. high, so it had to be published before 1979. It was an oversized but underpaged paperback (about 6x8 inches, and maybe 50-75 pages), so I’m thinking it was published by Scholastic Books, or someone like that. One of those books we used to get order forms for at school.
The story concerns a girl who isn’t exactly the friendliest, most sociable person on the planet; and is known for making up stories and being generally disobedient. To demonstrate her independence, she begins trespassing on an abandoned property containing an old mansion with a frightfully overgrown yard, and make-believing that she lives there. In the mansion, she finds portraits of some sisters (I’m thinking seven) who used to live in the house. I remember that as she went from one to the next, the gowns they were wearing kept getting fancier and fancier, with the last the fanciest of all. The last sister, however (the oldest) was terribly cruel looking, and wore a bracelet adorned with pigeon feathers.
On one trip into the house, she finds a feathered bracelet just like the one in the painting, and begins wearing it around like it’s hers. The next time she goes into the house, the woman from the last painting is missing and later that night turns up outside her bedroom window, muttering “Give me back my bracelet!” in a gutteral voice.
This freaks the girl out something fierce, but due to her proclivity for lying, no one will believe her. Evidently, the seven sisters still haunt the house, and escape from the paintings in the form of pigeons, or something (it’s been 25 years since I read it). There is also a gnome statue in an old fountain in the yard of the mansion that comes alive and talks to her, which of course no one will believe, either. I remember that she first finds him by hearing a tapping noise from the tangle of weeds that is the yard, and finds him repairing a shoe and tapping nails in the heel with a small hammer.
I could swear the name of this book was “Pigeons on the Roof”, but have been able to find absolutely nothing about it anywhere. I’ve also tried “The Pigeon Sisters”, and almost went so far as try “Pigeons from Hell”, but came up with the Robert E. Howard collection
Anybody, anybody, anybody?? It was one of my favorite books from that age, as it was so oddly creepy, and I would love to find a copy of it. But I’ve got to get a title/author before I can track it down. He’p me, Jebus! I don’t know what you’ll win, but it’s the thrill of the challenge that makes it all worthwhile, right?