When I was in 6th, 7th and 8th grade in mid-70's, my school used a series of textbooks for the literature classes. I thought they were excellent collections and I've hunted for them several times over the last decade. I remember a few of the stories, but don't remember which of the 3 texts each particular story came from, which makes the search harder. Here's the stories I remember:

  • "The Strangers that Came to Town" by Ambrose Flack.
  • The scene from "The Hobbit" where Bilbo is riddling with Gollum.
  • "The Boy Who Painted Christ Black" by John Henrik Clarke.

I can try to describe the cover art, as I remember it. The 6th-grade text had an abstract painting done with earth tones on a white background. The paint was real thick and globby. The image looked vaguely like a loaf of bread with on slice cut off and lying in front of it. The 7th grade text again had a white background but the painting was even more abstract. Black streaks and splotches.

I'm good at Google; really good. But nothing. E-bay has a huge collection of middle school texts. Nothing. I don't remember the publisher, but Houghton-Mifflin seemed to be the publisher for most of our texts back then and their website gives me nothing. Now that I finally have a grandson, I'd like to add these to my collection of all the books I'm going to read to him. Any leads or a better place to ask are welcome.

  • I was going to ask where that painting-Christ-black story was set, but now you found the title of that one :-D (In many parts of Christian Africa, the established church teaching is that Christ was black, so this wouldn't be anything out of the ordinary.)
    – Rand al'Thor
    Apr 6, 2020 at 12:38
  • Which country is this?
    – muru
    Apr 6, 2020 at 16:51
  • @muru U.S. Nebraska, to be specific.
    – B. Goddard
    Apr 6, 2020 at 19:48


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