I read this in the 1980s in the UK, concerns a small community which values conformity, in particular everyone's door is the same colour. After much plot involving outsiders invading and then successfully repelled, decide it's ok to paint their doors different colours... (don't remember anything else useful about the plot...)

This was the sort of thing you could buy from the mini-catalogs they distributed once a year to school children - is there some useful archive of these online?

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    is there anything particularly science fiction or fantasy about this? – NKCampbell Dec 18 '19 at 21:45
  • Yes - fantasy setting, not current time or historical... – jmm Dec 18 '19 at 21:48

Found it:

The Minnipins, by Carol Kendall (Called The Gammage Cup in the US apparently) and a sequel, The Whisper Of Glocken, by Carol Kendall.

The main theme in the book is conformity versus nonconformity. Kendall uses five characters who do not fit in with their society but are able show their worth in saving it. The New York Times Book Review called the book a "fable about conformists and non-conformists". A reviewer from the Black Gate said the book is "a warning against 1950's conformist tendencies".

Another theme used in the book is uniting against a common foe. Although the Periods and the outcasts are initially in opposition to one another, they are forced to reconcile their differences when they are all threatened by the Mushrooms. The theme of individualism are prevalent throughout the book. When Muggles is invited to return to the village by Ltd., she tells him she is no longer "poor simple Muggles" (184) and has gained individuality in her life at the knoll. Horn Book said that the book offers "insights into the value of individualism". Muggles' heroism makes the book appear feminist; Kendall neither confirmed or denied this, saying "I just write the way it is".

Another theme is a kind of military racism, or species-ism. The Mushrooms are clearly described as different, although they would seem to be human, to some extent. However, when it comes to battle, the Mushrooms are treated like non-humans or animals—alien. Killing them is necessary, impersonal, and raises no questions of conscience. The Minnipins feel no pity for their enemy, even as the story describes the shrieks from the Mushrooms as they are killed.

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    You can self-accept in about two days by clicking on the checkmark by the voting buttons. We encourage you to do so. – FuzzyBoots Dec 18 '19 at 22:46
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    And how did you find it? – FuzzyBoots Dec 18 '19 at 22:46
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    Muggles huh?....British book written in the 50's (character name not a group designation but still interesting) – NKCampbell Dec 19 '19 at 17:33
  • @NKCampbell Apparently "muggle" was slang for marijuana in the 1920's. Louis Armstrong even had a a record name "Muggles". Google shows a spike of mentions in 50's, I wonder in what sense those mentions are. – Harabeck Dec 19 '19 at 21:42

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