Charlou Lunsford's Reviews > Countdown

Countdown by Deborah Wiles
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Aug 08, 10

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Read in August, 2010

This book was an actual experience for me. While I have very few personal memories of that time, the phrase 'duck and cover' is about it, the pictures, quotes, lyrics and more gave me a sense of deja vous, a sense of being there. The juxtaposition of song lyrics and pictures was simply emotional. They also hinted at the future we know, but wasn't known then. I believe she is also setting the stage for the next two planned books with pictures relating to the civil rights movement.

It's 1962 and Franny, 11, is dealing with all the problems of a 5th grader. She has stressed parents, a perfect little brother and her older sister is leaving home. There's a science fair project, a cute boy across the street, and a fight with her best friend and, of course, the bombs could fall at any moment and destroy the world. Franny is the awkward girl just trying her best, most of the time.

I do wonder how kids will react to this book. While I loved the added material, it sometimes took me out of the story too much and I had to consciously try to remember where I was. Will kids have trouble with this? Will they take the time to really explore the pictures and text? I hope they try.
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