Best YA & YYA Lit 1968 (2)

By: Joshua Glenn
January 4, 2018

For several years now, I’ve argued — here at HILOBROW, as well as in the UNBORED books I’ve co-authored — that the Sixties (1964–1973) were a golden age for YA and YYA adventures. This post is one in a series of 10 identifying my favorites from 1968. Happy 50th anniversary!

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René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo’s bande dessinée adventure Asterix at the Olympic Games.

While training for the upcoming Olympic Games in Greece, Roman legionnaire and athlete Gluteus Maximus discovers that he is unable to best Asterix (who has taken a nip of magic potion) and Obelix at running, javelin, or wrestling. His centurion and coach informs Chief Vitalstatistix about the Games, at which point Asterix points out that (despite their resistance to Roman rule) the Gauls are technically Roman citizens and therefore, they should participate in the fun. Accompanied by every man from the village, Asterix and Obelix head to Olympia and register as athletes; reduced to despair, the Roman athletes devote themselves to elaborate feasts… which demoralizes the other athletes. So the Games’ judges inform the Gauls that artificial stimulants are forbidden, which disqualifies Obelix and disables Asterix. How will the indomitable duo get themselves out of this jam?

Fun facts: The 12th Asterix comic was serialized in Pilote in 1968 to coincide with the Mexico City Olympics; and it was translated into English in 1972 to coincide with the Munich Olympics. The subject of performance-enhancing drug usage in sports is more relevant now than ever!

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Let me know if I’ve missed any adventures from this year that you particularly admire. Also, please check out these additional lists.

BEST SIXTIES YA & YYA SERIES: Best YA & YYA Lit 1963 | Best YA & YYA Lit 1964 | Best YA & YYA Lit 1965 | Best YA & YYA Lit 1966 | Best YA & YYA Lit 1967 | Best YA & YYA Lit 1968 | Best YA & YYA Lit 1969 | Best YA & YYA Lit 1970 | Best YA & YYA Lit 1971 | Best YA & YYA Lit 1972 | Best YA & YYA Lit 1973. ALSO: Best YA Sci-Fi.

The 200 Greatest Adventure Novels of All Time. THE OUGHTS (1904–13): 1905 | 1906 | 1907 | 1908 | 1910 | 1911 | 1912 | 1913. THE TEENS (1914–23): 1915 | 1916 | 1917 | 1918 | 1920 | 1921 | 1922 | 1923. THE TWENTIES (1924–33): 1925 | 1926 | 1927 | 1928 | 1930 | 1931 | 1932 | 1933. THE THIRTIES (1934–43): 1935 | 1936 | 1937 | 1938 | 1940 | 1941 | 1942 | 1943. THE FORTIES (1944–53): 1945 | 1946 | 1947 | 1948 | 1950 | 1951 | 1952 | 1953. THE FIFTIES (1954–63): 1955 | 1956 | 1957 | 1958 | 1960 | 1961 | 1962 | 1963. THE SIXTIES (1964–73): 1964 | 1965 | 1966 | 1967 | 1968 | 1970 | 1971 | 1972 | 1973. THE SEVENTIES (1974–83): 1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983. The goal, eventually, is to publish a Top 10 Adventures list for every year of the 20th century.

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