Obscure? middle school level book identification needed.. up for a challenge?

This is perhaps going to be my most ridiculous request to date, but I’m afraid I am going to a) go insane; or b) seriously damage my computer.

Approximately five years ago, while doing some contract work for Scholastic, I read a middle school level book about an Indian girl in America, whose grandmother was visiting from India. A large portion of the book, as I recall, centered around saris and Indian culture. However, there is a passage that really struck me as being incredibly romantic. If I remember correctly, it was from a letter to the grandmother from her husband; and it was something along the lines of “In the world there is but one nation; in that nation one house. In that house is one room; and in that room, a bed. And on that bed is a woman, and she is my universe.” I cannot remember it, although I know that at the time I was so moved by it that I wrote it down twice (I’ve torn all my writing stashes apart trying to find it).

I think the book was by Sonia Levitan, or something like that… but when I google that name, and click on the first link “Sonia Levitin’s Homepage”… I get an author, but every time I click on links to her books or book covers, my windows hang, and every other web page I try says “cannot open server” or something of the sort.

I’d be quite giddy with delight if this rings a bell for anyone; or if this was actually a quote from somewhere else used for the book.

Thanks :slight_smile:
-cats

Try this.

Same website, but perhaps you can open this page of book covers if I post a link.

Judging by the cover designs, the titles, “The Cure,” “The Return” and “When Elephant Goes To A Party” seem to fit the India theme, although the latter is clearly a children’s book.

Try cross-referencing with searches at www.Amazon.com or www.Scholastic.com

Rotsa ruck.

Forthcoming:
THE GOODNESS GENE
Dutton, 2005

ROOM IN THE HEART
Dutton, 2003; Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People

WHEN KANGAROO GOES TO SCHOOL
Scholastic, Northland/Rising Moon 2001
CLEM’S CHANCES
Orchard/Scholastic 2001
WHEN ELEPHANT GOES TO A PARTY
Scholastic, Northland/Rising Moon, 2001
DREAM FREEDOM
Harcourt, 2000

Smithsonian Magazine Notable Book for Children
Notable Children’s Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies
THE CURE
Harcourt Brace, 1999; Harper/Trophy Paperback 8/200
German Rights
ABA Pick Of The List
Recorded Books
TAKING CHARGE
Orchard Books, 1999
Recorded Books
BOOM TOWN
Orchard Books 1998
Scholastic Book Club
Nominee, Nebraska Golden Sower Award
Recorded Books
BEYOND ANOTHER DOOR
Atheneum, 1977
Fawcett Paperback
YESTERDAY’S CHILD
Simon & Schuster 1997
Finalist, Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award
NY Public Library Books for the Teen Age
EVIL ENCOUNTER
Simon and Schuster, 1996
Parents’ Choice Honor Book
NY Public Library Books for the Teen Age List
Best of the Best Fiction - Pennsylvania Librarians Assn.
NINE FOR CALIFORNIA
Orchard Books 1996
Finalist, Southern California Young Reader Medal
Scholastic Book Club
SLJ Best Book 1996
Nominee Show Me Readers Award, Missouri Association of School Librarians
Recorded Books
A PIECE OF HOME*
Dial, 1996
ADAM’S WAR*
Dial, 1994
ESCAPE FROM EGYPT
Little Brown & Co., 1994; Puffin Paperback, Blackstone Audio Rts.
1994 National Conference of Christians and Jews Recommended List
Mirrors and Windows: Seeing the Human Family
Booklist Editors Choice
YALSA Best Books For Young Adults 1995 List
Voice of Youth Advocates Outstanding Books, 1994
New York Public Library 1995 Books for The Teen Age List
Nominee, South Carolina Junior Book Award
Nominee, TN Book Award, YA Category, 1998-99
ANNIE’S PROMISE
Atheneum, 1993
1993 Riverside County Author’s Award
American Booksellers Pick Of The Lists Nominee
Georgia State Award
THE GOLEM AND THE DRAGON GIRL
Dial, 1993; Fawcett Paperback
1993, Kansas State Reading Circle Selection
YALSA Recommended Book for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
THE MAN WHO KEPT HIS HEART IN A BUCKET
Dial, 1991; Scholastic Paperback, Puffin Paperback
SILVER DAYS
Atheneum, 1989; Aladdin Paperback, German Rights
1989, ALA-YASD Best Book for Young Adults
Nominee for Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award
Finalist, Jefferson Cup Award
Honor Book, Jewish Library Association, Sydney Taylor Award
INCIDENT AT LORING GROVES
Dial, 1988; Fawcett Paperback, German Rights
1988 Mystery Writers of America, Edgar Allen Poe Award
Nominee for Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award
Nominee for Nevada State Award
THE SINGING MOUNTAIN
Simon and Schuster 1998
Sydney Taylor Honor Book
THE RETURN
Atheneum, 1987; Fawcett paperback, Danish Rights, German Rights, British Rights
1987, National Jewish Book Award in Children’s Literature
PEN Los Angeles Award for Young Adult Fiction
Association of Jewish Libraries Sydney Taylor Award
Austrian Youth Prize
Germany, Catholic Children’s Book Prize
Parents’ Choice Honor Book
ALA-YASD Best Book for Young Adults
Nominee for Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award
A SEASON FOR UNICORNS*
Atheneum, 1986; Fawcett Paperback
SMILE LIKE A PLASTIC DAISY*
Atheneum, 1984; Fawcett Paperback, German Rights
ALL THE CATS IN THE WORLD*
Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1982
Notable Children’s Trade Book 1982
THE FISHERMAN AND THE BIRD*
Houghton Mifflin, 1982; Reprinted, the Ginn Company
1982, Notable Children’s Trade Book
American Booksellers Pick of the Lists
THE YEAR OF SWEET SENIOR INSANITY*
Atheneu, 1982; Fawcett Paperback, Japanese Rights
1982, American Booksellers Pick of the Lists
WHAT THEY DID TO MISS LILY*
Harper and Row, 1981; British and Danish Rights
Published under Sonia Wolff
NOBODY STOLE THE PIE*
Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1980
1980, Children’s Choice
A SOUND TO REMEMBER*
Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1979; Jewish Book Club
THE NO-RETURN TRAIL*
Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978; Junior Literary Guild
1978, Western Writers of America Golden Spur Award,
Best Juvenile Western
Lewis Carroll Shelf Award
THE MARK OF CONTE*
Atheneum, 1976; German Rights, Aladdin Paperback
1981, Southern California Council on Literature for Children and Young People Award for Best Fiction
Nominee for California Young Reader Medal
REIGNING CATS AND DOGS*
Atheneum, 1976
A SINGE SPECKLED EGG*
Parnassus, 1976; Japanese Rights
JASON AND THE MONEY TREE*
Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1974; Scholastic Paperback; Film option
Roanoke: A Novel of the Lost Colony
Atheneum, 1973
Nominee for Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award
Nominee for Mark Twain Award
Nominee for Georgia State Award
Aladdin Paperback
WHO OWNS THE MOON*
Parnassus, 1973; Japanese Rights
1973 ALA Notable Book
RITA THE WEEKEND RAT*
Atheneum, 1971; Danish Rights, Scholastic Paperback
JOURNEY TO AMERICA
Atheneum, 1970; Junior Literary Guild
German Rights, Scholastic & Aladdin Paperback
1970, Jewish Book Council of America, Best Juvenile Fiction; ALA Notable Book

None of those titles mentioned rang any bells. I think at this point my best bet will be to start visiting libraries and flip through all the books by this author :frowning: This is so frustrating, I really loved that passage.

Oh, and once again, my US Robotics modem freaked out when I visited Sonia Levitin’s website.

The search continues.

Her website says that her email address is slevitin@ucla.edu. You might just ask her which book it is. BTW, let us know what you find out.

The quote is:

Although I conquer all the earth,
yet for me there is only one city.
In that city there is for me only one house;
And in that house, one room only:
And in the room, a bed.
And one woman sleeps there,
The shining joy and jewel of all my kingdom.

I have it in Words I Wish I Wrote by Robert Fulghum. Fulghum calls it a Sanskrit poem, and the above version was translated by John Brough.

I Googled the first line (in quotes), and got a bunch of hits confirming that it’s an anonymously written Sanskrit love poem – apparently it’s in a number of collections. If you went through all the hits (I only peeked at the first page) you may find a clue about the book you’re looking for.

Jess,

I love you, love you, LOVE YOU!! That is exactly what I was looking for! You are a genius!!

Many, many thanks!

~cats

Shall we try to go 2 for 2???

There was a story I read in Middle school about a rich girl who leaves her house and goes for a walk. She ends up in a poor area and meets some really poor children. But she has no idea they are poor. They have TOYS all over the place; all over the yard and all over the house. They get to eat hot dogs and ketchup and play fun games. I really liked that story.