Name That Book

So there was this book I read multiple times as a child in grade school in the early 1980s. It was a chapter book, probably aimed at grades 3-6 or so. It was about a family that traveled from town to town in a covered wagon in the late 19th or early 20th century. I think they had a son and a daughter. I think the parents were performers or magicians or something, but they may have been scam artists. It wasn’t an Oregon Trail or westward movement book. They lived permanently in their wagon. They were itinerant and went from town to town to make a living. I think it was in the US, but I can’t be certain.

In true spanko style, what I really remember were the spankings in the book, and there were several. This family had a great tradition that each year between birthday and their next birthday, each kid had one “get out of spanking” exemption. The one kid forgets he has already used his spanking exemption for that year, plays a prank on his dad, and then gets spanked as a result.

(I really wished my family had a once a year “get out of a spanking” tradition! I knew better than to suggest that to my parents, though– it might have gotten me spanked for suggesting it!)

Does this ring any bells for anyone? My Google searches are coming up empty. It seems the rest of the world doesn’t remember books by the types of spankings they had in them! 🙂


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