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I have read at least half of these and they are very good, I would especially recommend the Chronicles of Narnia, Dragon Slippers series, and the Mysterious Benedict Society series. Wes Anderson’s 2012 movie Moonrise Kingdom, which is in large part an homage to the older kids’ lit of the mid-1960s, is set in the year 1965. Susan Cooper’s Dark is Rising series, Louise Fitzhugh’s Harriet the Spy, Hugo Pratt’s Corto Maltese comic strip, Richard Adams’s Watership Down, Ursula K. In anticipation of the 50th anniversaries, this year, of the following titles, here’s my list of the Best Older Kid’s Lit of 1965.
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You have read and agree to the Global Shipping Program terms and conditions - opens in a new window or tab. Import charges previously quoted are subject to change if you increase you maximum bid amount. I am constantly asking other parents for book recommendations but I really prefer to hear what a child enjoys reading. There are several books I’d like to read, plus I have a 5th and 7th grader, so yeah, I love this list!
The year 1964 was a cusp, a fulcrum between the eras we know as the Fifties (1954–63) and the Sixties (1964–73). Le Guin’s Earthsea series, Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Joan Aiken’s Wolves Chronicles series, Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wind in the Door, Jean Merrill’s The Pushcart War, John Christopher’s Tripods trilogy and Sword of the Spirits trilogy, S.E.



Prior to the Sixties (1964–73), Lee and Kirby created superhero teams who’d develop into beloved, enduring franchises: The Fantastic Four in ’61, The X-Men in ’63, The Avengers in ’63.
The second in a series of Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain books, which use Welsh mythology (Prydain is the medieval Welsh term for the Brittonic parts of the island of Britain), particularly the Mabinogion, for inspiration, The Black Cauldron is my favorite. The author of the uncanny 1960 fantasy adventure The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, and its sequel The Moon of Gomrath (included on my Best Older Kid’s Lit 1963 list), returned in ’65 with this retelling of Britain’s “Childe Roland” fairy tale. He’s not read much any more, I suspect, but Fleischman was one of my very favorite authors when I was between, say, 9 and 13.
The sixth book in the Asterix comic book series; it was originally published in serial form in 1963. This book might blow your mind… if you are, like I was when I first read it, a devoted fan of Fitzhugh’s Harriet the Spy (included on my est Older Kids’ Lit 1964 list). By the author of the wildly successful kids’ books (1950–99) about Henry Huggins, Ribsy, Beezus, and Ramona Quimby. Instead of gathering students into a room and teaching them, everybody learns on their own time, on tablets and guided by artificial intelligence. One comment in particular, though, set her reeling — and came to exemplify her experiences there. If you reside in an EU member state besides UK, import VAT on this purchase is not recoverable. My youngest son was having difficulties adjusting to certain social aspects of his young life.
But the Inhumans, who first appeared in the November 1965 – March 1966 issues of Fantastic Four, were a different kettle of fish: misfits and outsiders even among mutant superheroes, a superior race living in the shadows. This particular installment is not particularly fantastical: It’s a treasure-hunt thriller featuring three siblings on holiday in Cornwall. Four English children enter a fantasy world, and set off on a quest to retrieve four treasures — a spear, a sword, a stone, and a cauldron. My favorite Asterix book has got to be Asterix the Gladiator… but this adventure is right up there. Jeff, Henry, Dinky, and other members of the do-it-yourself Mad Scientists’ Club tinker in a makeshift electronics lab above their town’s hardware store, and use whatever materials they can find to pull off various pranks and stunts. I think Wes Anderson would agree that the Golden Age for older kid’s lit began in the Fifties, reached its full potential in the Sixties… and began to decline after 1973. Black Bolt, Crystal, Karnak, Medusa, Gorgon aren’t lovable; in fact, they’re slightly villainous.
Most fantasy stories would have ended with the successful resolution of this quest; however, when the children return to Manchester — which is portrayed as an uninhabitable wasteland — evil follows them.


Here, he decides he wants to be a more traditional paterfamilias, because he realizes that his family doesn’t look to him for guidance or support… so he herds his wife and children onto a boat, and sets off for Moominpappa’s Island.
Enraged at Julius Caesar’s cultural imperialism, Cleopatra orders the Egyptian architect Edifis to build a new palace in Alexandria within three months. She’s summering on Montauk — not with her excellent outsider weirdo friends Sport and Janie, but with the milquetoasty Beth Ellen — when nasty notes begin to appear around town.
Set in a run-down resort hotel in California, it concerns the fateful meeting of Ralph, a mouse who longs for danger and speed, and Keith, a boy with a toy motorcycle. Many good kids’ books have been published since ’73, of course, but the Golden Age was over. Like these yarns, the protagonist — 12-year-old Oliver Finch, who is kidnapped by pirates because they believe he can see ghosts, and they want to thwart the ghosts guarding treasure they’ve buried — is looking for a father figure, and finds one in an unlikely place. Edifis recruits Asterix, Obelix, and Getafix to help out… which they do by dosing the Egyptian workers with their magic potion. Fun fact: The author of the Mad Scientists series — story collections published in 1965 and 1968; and the novels The Big Kerplop! It turns out that Ralph can make the motorcycle run by making an engine noise with his lips… and off he goes, zooming up and down the creepy hotel’s corridors, dodging vacuum cleaners and cats. My son and I read this book together every night for a couple weeks and it really changed his outlook.
Edifis’s arch-rival attempts to sabotage the palace’s progress, leading to a fun escape-from-a-pyramid sequence, in which Dogmatix saves the day.
The author uses his family dog to teach life lessons such as how to be a more patient person, and how to better get a long with others. There is something so pure about learning these things from an innocent animal and my son really seemed to enjoy it.
Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, Ian Fleming’s Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang, Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain series, Alan Garner’s Elidor and The Owl Service, not to mention Jack Kirby’s various “Fourth World” DC comics series and Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth… these all appeared in the Sixties.
We laughed at times and even cried, but overall I feel we both came out of the experience as better people.



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