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I’m looking for a book where a young girl is the main character. She is sent to stay in another house for some reason. There is something about the garden of the house, it may have a stream running through it. I remember something about flooding possibly and water or tree spirits. I feel like there was the character of a man and possibly a dog. For some reason the idea of a dog collecting stones in his mouth to do something to the stream springs to mind. The setting as much as I can recall, was more of a contemporary house than an old one. I feel like the house was detached however I cannot say where it was set. I don’t remember much of the story being outside the immediate environment.

It’s possible that the story was also about the young girl coming to terms with the reason she had been sent to stay at this place. I recall it being a contemporary story with some mystical element, rather than a fantasy genre.

This was a library book I read possibly late 70’s or early 80’s. It felt quite modern when I read it, so I think it was probably written around this time. It was written in English. It was probably aimed at children around 12 or younger at a guess. I have no recollection of the cover as it was a library book I probably only read once.

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  • Hi Jac, and welcome to LitSE. There's already a lot of good detail in your question, but could you also have a look through the identification guidelines for other telling details that might be useful in a search?
    – Adam Burke
    May 27 at 0:41
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    Thanks Adam, I’ve looked through the guidelines and added a bit more information.
    – Jac
    May 27 at 12:22
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    I don't know them all but there are floods, rivers and a garden in the Green Knowe books. And they're a bit mystical. The house isn't modern though. Was the dog's name Orlando? May 28 at 1:07
  • Hi Old Brixtonian, thanks for your thoughts. I looked up the Green Knowe books and read a synopsis and some extracts from the books online. Although they do describe elements of the story I remember, I don’t think these are the books I’m looking for. Many of the characters in the books did not feel familiar and I only remember this being a single book, rather than one in a series. As it was a library book I feel if I’d known it was part of a series, I would have tried to read the others. I also remember the main character as being a girl, rather than a boy. Thank you for your help though!
    – Jac
    May 28 at 13:18
  • @Jac: I'll stop misleading you soon, I promise! I read one of these books as a child and didn't get the impression it was part of a series. I hoped your girl might be Ida in The River at Green Knowe, but no: she isn't sent there. Sorry. Jun 1 at 5:03

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