Best YA & YYA Lit 1968 (4)

By: Joshua Glenn
January 6, 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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Joan Aiken’s YA historical/fantasy adventure The Whispering Mountain.

When old Mr. Hughes, museum-keeper in the small Welsh village of Pennygaff, discovers the legendary golden Harp of Tiertu, the local Marquess of Malyn sends two cant-speaking thugs to snatch it; they also kidnap Hughes’s much-bullied grandson, Owen, who is blamed for the theft. Other characters interested in the harp include the mysterious Seljuk of Rum, and an order of monks which has mostly moved to China. Accompanied by his friend Arabis, daughter of an itinerant poet and tinker, and a few of the bullies who’ve tormented him, Owen must recover the harp and solve the prophecy of the Whispering Mountain. The language and dialect, as always with Aiken, is fun; and Owen’s little book, Arithmetic, Grammar, Botany & these Pleasing Sciences made Familiar to the Capacities of Youth, is a terrific fictional Propaedeutic Enchiridion.

Fun fact: A prequel of sorts to Aiken’s 12-part Wolves Chronicles series, which is set in an alternative 19th century in which the Hanoverians plot to regain the English throne from the Stuarts.

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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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Adventure, Lit Lists

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