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Can You Name This Story? (Part 32)

Here’s another Name That Story challenge for our readers, sent in by another reader looking for the title of a story read long ago.

Do any of you out there know the title to this story?

I’m looking for a book that should have existed about at least the late 50’s or early 60’s, if not earlier.

The basics of the plot that I remember is: A young lonely boy finds a small horseshoe shaped object (I think on a beach) and takes it home. After some cleaning, it is revealed that it has a word written on it with unusual pronounciation. He tries several times to pronounce the word, and nothing happens. After a particulaly bad day at school, he returns home and, in a fit of depression, attempts to pronounce the word again. This time, however, he succeeds, and the small talisman grows to become a large horseshoe shaped doorway. He goes thru it to appear in a fantasy world where he learns many things that, upon reappearing in his room, help him with his school troubles.

This reminds me of the much later book The Neverending Story because of the single lonely boy and his trip to and from a fantasy world, but could not have been (I think…) the book given to me by a teacher in Grade School in the late 50’s or early 60’s.

This is not any of Edith Nesbit’s books, despite the similar plot to one that has four kids and a strange creature going thru a similar portal to Ancient Rome.

This book got me started on a road to a great love of Sci-Fi/Fantasy and I’d appreciate it very much if anyone can help me find it.

Yours with great hopes…

– Bruce G.

Can you name this story?

About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.
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