Best YA & YYA Lit 1971 (7)

By: Joshua Glenn
November 26, 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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Adrien Stoutenburg’s YA science fiction adventure Out There.

In the not-too-distant year of 2010, the eccentric Zebrine (“Aunt Zeb”) Vandebrook dwells in a climate‐controlled, domed city surrounded by a barren wasteland. She and her Nature Squad — five children whom she’s taught to love the natural world, despite their sterile surroundings — venture outside, one day, on a mission to search for any surviving flora and fauna. Although they get lost, and must struggle to survive in a hostile environment, the mission is successful; they encounter squirrels, deer, fish, birds, a horse and a dog…. What’s heartbreaking is that the children haven’t ever seen any of these fabulous creatures — which to contemporary readers are mundane, unexciting ones. The story is reminiscent of Glendon Swarthout’s Bless the Beasts & Children (1970), in a way; the children, for example, are insecure, awkward, troubled. And like the misfit protagonists of Swarthout’s novel, they bond as a unit and even thrive in adverse conditions. Although this is a dark story about an all-too-possible future in which the environment as we know it no longer exists, we come away from it with a sense of optimism — Nature is resilient, after all, and so is each new generation.

Fun facts: Stoutenburg was an accomplished poet; her 1969 collection, Short History of the Fur Trade, was short-listed for the Pulitzer Prize. In addition to writing YA novels, she wrote several dozen works of fiction and nonfiction for children.

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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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