Best YA & YYA Lit 1971 (5)

By: Joshua Glenn
November 24, 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 1971.

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Sid Fleischman’s historical adventure Jingo Django (1971).

Seven years ago, Jingo Hawkes was deposited at a Boston orphanage by his one-legged rapscallion father — whom he can barely remember. Now 12 years old, he is hired out by the orphanage’s villainous overseer to the sly General Scurlock, who puts Jingo in the way of discovering a treasure map inscribed on a whale’s tooth. Meanwhile, a Mr. Peacock shows up, claiming to be Jingo’s father — but he has two legs! The mystery man hires Jingo — whose real name seems to be Django; Romany customs and lifestyle are explored, here — as an apprentice, and carries him off on a fast-paced, far-roving treasure hunt. As with most Fleischman novels, the plot includes bandits, swindles, fast thinking, and a charismatic but unreliable father figure. Over the course of the story, Jingo/Django comes to admire the mystery man posing as his father; they develop an us-against-the-world camaraderie, one which requires them to forgive each other’s various failings. Similar tropes recur in each of Fleischman’s best novels —  Mr. Mysterious & Company (1962), By the Great Horn Spoon! (1963), The Ghost in the Noonday Sun (1965), Chancy and the Grand Rascal (1966) — of which this one, although he’d find success with many other titles over the course of a long career, is the last.

Fun facts: Django is a Romany term meaning “I awake”. It is best known as the nickname of Belgian jazz guitarist Jean Baptiste “Django” Reinhardt.

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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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