Best YA & YYA Lit 1972 (7)

By: Joshua Glenn
July 8, 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 1972.

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Ursula K. Le Guin‘s Earthsea fantasy adventure The Farthest Shore.

In the final installment of the original Earthsea trilogy, the planet faces an existential crisis: the magic is leaking out of it, into a kind of black hole — and along with the magic is going all courage and conviction, not to mention songs, craftsmanship, and joy! The archmage Ged, whose life and career as a wizard we’ve being following in this series, is now on the elderly side; he and Arren, his young princely sidekick, head out in the Lookfar to investigate. (Arren is not a skilled warrior or gifted wizard; but he is courageous, and one day he’ll be a powerful ruler — so Ged, the Aristotle to his Alexander — wants to impart his own hard-earned wisdom.) They discover that a powerful dark mage, who has made his home among the dragons on Earthsea’s westernmost island, is promising life after death… even if that means destroying the world. A slow-moving adventure, with philosophical musings — not as thrilling as the first two installments. But Le Guin is a wonderful philosopher, so the book is a beautifully written page-turner.

Fun fact: Winner of the 1973 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. Originally the series was a trilogy; Le Guin then added Tehanu (1990), The Other Wind (2001), and the story collection Tales from Earthsea (2001). Rather confusingly, the 2006 animated film Tales from Earthsea, directed by Hayao Miyazaki’s son Gorō, was based primarily on The Farthest Shore.

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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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