It seems I'm not alone in wishing that a few more books could still be available for purchase. Cathy Berner, Children's/Young Adult Specialist and Events Coordinator at Blue Willow Bookshop responded to my query.
"My favorite out of print book? No contest: The Seamstress of Salzburg by Anita Lobel. I must have checked that book out of the public library at least 5 dozen times. I love the piles of dresses; I love how ridiculous the ladies become with their demands for more detailing on the dresses, and I love the little moral at the end: if you do it yourself, it's much more worthwhile.
And one of my best Christmas presents ever? When my mother tracked down a used copy of The Seamstress of Salzburg for me a few years back."
Barbara O'Connor mentioned several. Tell Me How the Wind Sounds by Leslie Davis Guccione . "I like it a lot," she said, and it's been gone for quite sometime."
Barbara also mentioned Robert's Snowflakes by Grace Lin,
Kimberley Griffith Little's Breakaway.
I was surprised to learn that book was out of print. I remember meeting Kimberley at a conference when she'd just sold this book. So of course I was eager to read the story. Kimberley is a fine writer and her realistic characters and situation made this a memorable story.
Jen Bryant mentioned a book that I'm now longing to get my hands on. Jen explained her affection for Whistling Dixie by Marci Vaughn, illustrated by Barry Moserby. "I just love this picture book, based on southern U.S folklore and mythology, for its impish protagonist (Dixie Lee) and its wonderful lyrical text, which makes masterful use of imagery, rhyme, rhythm and repetition. It reads like a galloping poem and Barry Moser’s illustrations are just enough to allow you to imagine what happened right before or right after what he’s chosen to show you. (In this way, he reminds me of N.C. Wyeth’s illustrations for classics such as Treasure Island and Kidnapped.)
I have read this book aloud at library story-times and also to my college students at West Chester University—and they all love it. The clever but stubborn way in which Dixie Lee circumvents the adults’ advice (and in the end, she’s right to do so) is immensely appealing to children—and so very familiar to their parents and teachers, too."
Both Jen and Barbara mentioned a book of their own which had the misfortune of going out of print, putting to rest any assumption that bestselling writers never become victims of these circumstances. Maybe you are one of the lucky owners of Jen Bryant's Margaret Murie, A Wildnerness Life
Barbara O'Connor's Moonpie and Ivy.
If not, head to your local library or used bookstore. There you will find treasure.