Countdown (The Sixties Trilogy #1)
It's 1962, and it seems everyone is living in fear. Twelve-year-old Franny Chapman lives with her family in Washington, DC, during the days surrounding the Cuban Missile Crisis. Amidst the pervasive threat of nuclear war, Franny must face the tensio ...more
This just might be my all-time-favorite audio book! It was wonderful! Frannie is a 5th grade girl living in the midst of the Cuban Missile Crisis in a suburb of D.C. While the book certainly is a kid-friendly history lesson on the early 1960s, it also has a story line dealing with friendships and relationships, both within families and with close friends. ...more
How to describe it? On the one hand ...more
The writing itself is good enough, though marred in my opinion by overuse of similes--some of which didn't make much sense. "By the time Saturday rolls around, we're used to living like emergency room patients." I have no idea what that's supposed to mean. "I answer as if the pope himself called me and told me I could go." ??? Frann ...more
“We hope it never comes . . . a bright flash, brighter than the sun, brighter than anything you’ve ever seen. It could knock you down ...more
I felt ...more
This is not to say I didn't enjoy the book. I did. At times, I truly loved it. The idea of a documentary novel isn't... uhh... novel, but in the hands of Deborah Wiles, it seems like the most revolutionary concept ever. Iconic images are laid under the lyri ...more
I'm not sure whether to expect young adults would like this or not. If they ...more
A gripping Middle Grade novel which might also be educational - shh!
The first of Deborah Wiles's Sixties Trilogy, Countdown takes a fresh look at a coming-of-age story in the 1960s. Franny Chapman is a typical 12 year old girl, who reads Nancy Drew, has fights with her best friend, worries about how her hair looks, and has a crush on the boy down the street. We've all been there, and hundreds of books have been th ...more
I've read plenty of historical fiction but this one was for ...more
Wow! This book has been sitting in my classroom library for a couple of years, and I had heard all the good things about it, and had even flipped through it-- looking at the unique way the book is put together. As is the case for most of us with never-ending to-be-read lists, I always had another book that pushed this one further down the pile. I'm glad that I finally read this one.
Countdown is the first book in Deborah Wiles' "'60s" series. (The second book, Revolution was released in 2014, an...more
Historical Fiction, 377 pages
Wrapped up in atomic war threats during the Cuban Missile Crisis, eleven year-old Franny is trying to get through the fifth grade and live a normal life. However, life is anything but normal when her uncle, dealing with posttraumatic stress disorder from WWII, is having flashbacks, her sister is disappearing for long periods of time and receiving secret letters in code, her annoying brother Drew is perfect and loved by all, and her be ...more
I first "discovered" her when I picked up EACH LITTLE BIRD THAT SINGS. That one helped me through the death of a close friend, and I never put it down till I was finished. Then, as now, I cried, I laughed, and I felt as i ...more
Anyway, this is a Juvenile "documentary novel," a genre I've never heard of before - and am not sure that the author didn't just make up :) It's a fictional story that takes place in the 60's, specifically the days that made up the Cuban Missile Crisis. To begin ...more
Recommended for: Boys and girls, aged ten and up, for themes of nuclear annihilation, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
One Word Summary: Sobering.
Until reading Countdown, I never really considered the Cuban Missile Crisis, or how petrifying an experience that must have been for the Nation. I came of age during the first Gulf War, when danger was something seen on the television in green, grainy night-cam, and happening far, far away: Sad for othe ...more
Set in the 1960s during the Cuban Missile crisis, this story is revolves around Franny. At school they are practicing bomb drills while at home Uncle Otts wants to build a bomb shelter. Her big sister, JoEllen, is going to college and is getting se ...more
Interspersed with the narrative are all sorts of magazine pictures and news items about what was going on then, making those things real--Kennedy, Krushchev, racial incidents and organizations to promote racial equality, how to build a bomb shelter. It was a time of shifting foundations, not only because of fear of war but also because of fear of changes in the social net ...more
She holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College and taught at Towson University in Maryland, Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and at Vermont College.
Deborah has written three novels about growing up in ...more
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—Jo Ellen Chapman”