Friday, August 15, 2014

Flashback Fridays: The Feel Good 1970s

Lisa has a book list from the seventies that has so many books you might need that time machine just to find enough time to read them all!

The 1970s might feel like distant history to you, but those were my high school years. It’s not that long ago really…. Or perhaps it’s just that it doesn’t feel that way to me!

What else was going on in the 1970s (besides my high school graduation)? LOTS of changes. President Richard Nixon resigned after the Watergate Scandal. The Vietnam War ended. The Cultural Revolution in China ended. The Iranian revolution started. And a chimp name Nim was fostered by a family in Manhattan as part of a psychology experiment.

Not surprisingly, Watergate isn’t the subject of many YA novels!

But for a taste of the 70s check out these “fab” reads.

It’s 1973 and Karl wants to start senior year with “Operation Be Fucking Normal.” That’s not so easy when his friends are all misfits from his years of group therapy and his alcoholic mom makes life unpredictable.

Half Brother by Kenneth Oppel
Thirteen-year-old Ben becomes “half-brother” to a chimp when his family adopts baby Zan as part of a behavioral study. What happens when the chimp grows up and the funding runs out? Inspired by real chimp experiments, Project Nim and Project Washoe.
Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party by Ying Chang Compestine.
 Ling struggles to understand her changing culture when her father is imprisoned as a class enemy and a member of the Communist Party moves into their home.

Meanwhile, in Iran, a revolution was brewing. See it up close and personal through the eyes of a young girl in this award-winning autobiographical graphic novel. Or watch the film.

Vietnam series by Chris Lynch
Four friends serve in four different branches of the armed forces during the Vietnam War. Read all four books in the series to follow their various experiences.

If you just can’t get enough of the 70s, check out the following titles that were published in the 1970s, and still going strong!

Go Ask Alice by Anonymous (1971)
Controversial novel in diary form about a teenage girl who becomes addicted to drugs.

Watership Down by Richard Adams (1972)
A classic rabbit fable featuring heroic, quest, and other themes that made it a favorite of English teachers everywhere.

The Princess Bride by William Goldman (1973)
Full of adventure, comedy and romance… ah, Westley and Buttercup, how we do love thee! If you’ve only seen the movie, you’re missing out.

The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier (1974)
Groundbreaking YA book that’s on the list of Most Commonly Challenged Books in the United States.

Forever... by Judy Blume (1975)
Another groundbreaking YA book, this one about teenage sexuality, has also made the list of Most Commonly Challenged Books in the United States.

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein (1974)
It’s not really a teen book, but if you haven’t read these classic poems yet, there’s no time like the present! Or better yet, listen to Shel Silverstein read them to you.

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (1977)
Did you have to read this in elementary school? If you haven’t yet read this Newbery winner, now’s the summer to fill that lacuna in your literary life!

Just for Fun:

If you want to see what Arlington looked like in the 70’s check out the aerial view of Arlington then and now.

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