August 13, 2010

Countdown by Deborah Wiles

Life in the sixties was wild and scary. Everyone lived in fear of communists and atomic bombs. But more than a period of fear, this was a time where our way of life was changing. This is a novel about 11-year-old Franny Chapman. She feels invisible to her family, friends and teachers. She lives in constant fear of never seeing tomorrow from a nuclear attack. She fights with her best friend. She has a crush on the boy down the street. Big sister Jo Ellen is mysteriously gone, and little brother Drew is Mr. Perfect. The Cuban Missile Crisis has created near panic in everyone. How will Franny's world come together? How will she survive? While the story is beautifully written, the story is enriched by pictures, music lyrics, speeches, advertising, maps, and short biographies that bring the period to life. This is especially important to young readers, not familiar with the period. The book is unique in its format, approach and design, but the novel is just good ol' fashioned story telling. Yes, I loved this book.
Reed Reads Score: 5

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