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Young Adult Literature

3 On A YA Theme: Hits of 1966

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Kelly Jensen


Kelly is a former librarian and a long-time blogger at STACKED. She's the editor/author of (DON'T) CALL ME CRAZY: 33 VOICES START THE CONVERSATION ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH and the editor/author of HERE WE ARE: FEMINISM FOR THE REAL WORLD. Her next book, BODY TALK, will publish in Fall 2020. Follow her on Instagram @heykellyjensen.

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The further back I try to dig into YA lit, the harder it is to find exact dates of first publications for books. This isn’t a huge problem, really, but it’s one that makes pulling together a post of old school YA titles tricky and assigning it to a year.

But I’m going to take a good jab at it with this.

Over the course of the “3 On A YA Theme” series, I’ve hit on YA books that were hits in 1996, in 1986, and 1976. That would be 20, 30, and 40 years ago, for those who don’t want to do the math.

Now, let’s look at some YA books from 1966.

50 years ago, my friends.

Please note the wonderful covers, as well as a familiar name, and also note that publication year may not be exact. Some might actually be 1967 or 1965, but it’s close enough to 1966 that it’s being included. For those of you who read and love older YA — and those of you who may have grown up with these books! — what other titles do you love from the mid- to late- 1960s? I’d love to hear favorites or even just see some of the amazing covers of the era.

Worth noting I make no guarantees on the quality nor the ability to withstand the test of time on any of the below titles.




Tall And Proud by Vian Smith

A girl stricken by polio will not make the painful effort to regain use of her leg until a lame horse provides the necessary incentive.





Mr. And Mrs. Bo Jo Jones by Ann Head

Football hero Bo Jo Jones and his girlfriend July are in love. On the night of the prom, they do what so many couples in love do. Soon, July finds out that she is pregnant with Bo Jo’s baby and suddenly the life they once knew is over. Now Mr. and Mrs. Bo Jo Jones must come to grips with the very adult decision that they must make. It’s a situation that holds more possibilities and challenges than they ever bargained for. It could bring them closer-or drive them apart. And as the baby grows and changes, so will they.


(That description kills me!)





Up A Road Slowly by Irene Hunt

From the author of Across Five Aprils and No Promises in the Windcomes her most beloved story of a girl’s coming of age.

After her mother’s death, Julie goes to live with Aunt Cordelia, a spinster schoolteacher, where she experiences many emotions and changes as she grows from seven to eighteen.




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