Best 1969 YA & YYA Lit (4)
January 21, 2019
One in a series of 10 posts identifying Josh Glenn’s favorite 1969 YA & YYA adventure novels. Happy 50th anniversary!
Gary Paulsen’s Francis Tucket frontier adventure Mr. Tucket.
Before Gary Paulsen was known as the Newbery Honor Award-winning author of YA survivalist novels like Dogsong (1985) and Hatchet (1987), he wrote this exciting, amusing, and also tragic Sid Fleischman-esque yarn about Francis Tucket, a 14-year-old who — while heading west on the Oregon Trail with his family — is abducted by Pawnees. Rescued by Jason Grimes, a one-armed fur trader who refers to his new sidekick as “Mr. Tucket,” Francis takes a crash-course in frontier survival skills. He learns to hunt rabbits and antelope, build a shelter against the elements, and — perhaps most importantly — eschew confrontation with potentially lethal enemies. Discretion, after all, is the better part of valor. Grimes is a no-nonsense mentor, whom Francis increasingly emulates… until a family is massacred, when we see a much darker side of the Jeremiah Johnson-esque mountain man. I wouldn’t call this a revisionist western, exactly; however, Grimes does make it clear to Francis that the Pawnee never attacked white settlers until their land began to be stolen; in fact, he encourages Francis to forgive and forget his own trials.
Fun facts: In the sequel, Call Me Francis Tucket (published a quarter-century later in 1995), Francis attempts to reunite with his family… alone, this time. Other titles in the series include Tucket’s Ride and Tucket’s Gold.
BEST SIXTIES YA & YYA: [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.
JOSH GLENN’S *BEST ADVENTURES* LISTS: BEST 250 ADVENTURES OF THE 20TH CENTURY | 100 BEST OUGHTS ADVENTURES | 100 BEST RADIUM AGE (PROTO-)SCI-FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST TEENS ADVENTURES | 100 BEST TWENTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST THIRTIES ADVENTURES | 75 BEST GOLDEN AGE SCI-FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST FORTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST FIFTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST SIXTIES ADVENTURES | 75 BEST NEW WAVE SCI FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST SEVENTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST EIGHTIES ADVENTURES | 75 BEST DIAMOND AGE SCI-FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST NINETIES ADVENTURES (in progress) | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | NOTES ON 21st-CENTURY ADVENTURES.