Best YA & YYA Lit 1973 (6)

By: Joshua Glenn
April 7, 2019

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 1973.

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Thea Beckman’s YA sci-fi/historical adventure Kruistocht in spijkerbroek (Crusade in Jeans).

When Dolf, an Amsterdam teenager, volunteers for an experiment with a time machine, he expects to be transported to a medieval tournament of knights. Instead, he finds himself stranded in the 13th century, where he saves the life of a young Italian named Leonardo — whom the reader soon realizes is the brilliant mathematician later known as Fibonacci, who popularized the Hindu–Arabic numeral system in the West. Dolf and Leonardo join the Children’s Crusade — a real-life movement in which thousands of German and French youth attempted to reach the Holy Land, but instead met with great hardships, in the year 1212. Thanks to his 20th-century knowledge and perspective, not to mention a few “magical” devices such as a box of strike-anywhere matches, Dolf becomes a leader and organizer of the Children’s Crusade… and he’s able to save many innocents from bandits, epidemics, starvation, and slavers, as they trek across the Karwendel range of the Alps, toward Genoa and the sea. As a result of his actions, however, he is accused of witchcraft! The book takes a close look at the importance attached to social class and position, and the omnipresence of faith, in medieval times.

Fun facts: Thea Beckman was a Dutch author of children’s books, best known for Crusade in Jeans and her post-apocalyptic Children of Mother Earth trilogy, in which soldiers invade a Greenlandic society led by women. Dutch fans of Beckman’s work have been known to complain that there hasn’t yet been an adequate English translation of Crusade in Jeans.

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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: [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 Adventures (1804–1983). THE OUGHTS: 1904 | 1905 | 1906 | 1907 | 1908 | 1909 | 1910 | 1911 | 1912 | 1913. THE TEENS: 1914 | 1915 | 1916 | 1917 | 1918 | 1919 | 1920 | 1921 | 1922 | 1923. THE TWENTIES: 1924 | 1925 | 1926 | 1927 | 1928 | 1929 | 1930 | 1931 | 1932 | 1933. THE THIRTIES: 1934 | 1935 | 1936 | 1937 | 1938 | 1939 | 1940 | 1941 | 1942 | 1943. THE FORTIES: 1944 | 1945 | 1946 | 1947 | 1948 | 1949 | 1950 | 1951 | 1952 | 1953. THE FIFTIES: 1954 | 1955 | 1956 | 1957 | 1958 | 1959 | 1960 | 1961 | 1962 | 1963. THE SIXTIES: 1964 | 1965 | 1966 | 1967 | 1968 | 1969 | 1970 | 1971 | 1972 | 1973. THE SEVENTIES: 1974 | 1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979 | 1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983. THE EIGHTIES: 1984 | 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989 | 1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993. THE NINETIES: 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003. I’ve only recently started making notes toward a list of Best Adventures of the EIGHTIES, NINETIES, and TWENTY-OUGHTS.

Categories

Adventure, Lit Lists

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