Best 1969 YA & YYA Lit (9)
January 26, 2019
One in a series of 10 posts identifying Josh Glenn’s favorite 1969 YA & YYA adventure novels. Happy 50th anniversary!
Peter Dickinson’s YA fantasy adventure Heartsease.
When a mysterious enchantment settles over England, many of its white, working-class inhabitants rapidly revert to an ignorant, xenophobic way of looking at the world; and, once nearly all of those who are unaffected — in particular, all immigrants — have fled England for the continent, the country makes (to coin a phrase) a hard Brexit… from the 20th century. What’s more, anyone who displays any knowledge of how modern technology or machinery functions is persecuted as a witch. One such “witch,” who is rescued by three children in a Cotswold village, turns out to be an American intelligence agent who has bravely parachuted in to investigate England’s mysterious “Changes.” Horse-loving Margaret somewhat reluctantly helps her cousin, Jonathan, and the family’s servant, Lucy, smuggle the American to a derelict tugboat moored in a nearby canal, which Jonathan struggles to get working again. Can they figure out how to operate the canal’s locks, and spirit the witch to safety — while contending with feral dogs, a violent bull, and the superstitious villagers? And when the moment comes to make her final decision, will Margaret join the flight to France?
Fun facts: I’ve long been a fan of the Changes trilogy, which includes The Weathermonger (1968) and The Devil’s Children (1970). Dickinson’s theme seems particularly relevant right now; someone should adapt the series for TV, don’t you think?
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.