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Childhood Reads

Stranger from the Depths, by Gerry Turner, 1967. Abridged version 1970.

This was my favorite book for much of my childhood (until about 8th grade). I read the Scholastic abridged version a kajillion times. At least a couple dozen. One of the only science fiction books of my youth whose cover & blurb truthfully advertised what lay inside.

Here’s the blurb on the back:

“Look!” says Gary, as they climb down the cliff. “In that dark opening over there … something gleaming.”

“It’s a tiny statue!” exclaims his brother. “It looks like a lizard man… and I think it’s made of diamond!”

Where has the statue come from? Who made it? The answers lead Gary and his brother into terrifying adventures in a world of fantastic people — miles beneath the ocean floor!

This book, which has a utopian underwater city, and a Jules Verne-like trip to a Dystopian city at the center of the earth, and here’s the best part: two boys who drive around in a jeep, go scuba diving, and don’t have any parents, would make a great movie for kids, or maybe the basis of a cartoon series.

I lost my copy long ago, but recently acquired this one using the Interwebs. This particular version has a pretty good flipbook animation added to the outer margins credited to “Harris Productions”.

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On a related note, I would dearly love to do a coverpop of favorite out-of-print childhood books, but I would need a good collection of covers to make this. If you know of any good resources, leave a comment.

2 Responses to “Childhood Reads”

  1. wuzziwug Says:

    go to and type ” search -i Books -ResponseGroup Large -BrowseNode 2785 -p 1 ”

    that gets books for ages 4-8, they’re not necessarily classics but it could be interesting to take the N most popular and see what that covers, i already see a lot i recognize (though i am a bit younger :)
    i thought you could search by out of print but i don’t see that option in the AWS

  2. Early 70s sci-fi novel - Science-Fiction & Fantasy forums Says:

    […] Re: Early 70s sci-fi novel With that in mind, I’m wondering if it may not be this one, which had a full version and a Scholastic Books abridged version — the original in 1967, the abridged version (for YA) 1970: KrazyDad » Blog Archive » Childhood Reads This gives more information on it than anything else I’ve found so far, plus a picture of the cover (YA, I think). The original was published by Nelson Doubleday…. […]