Cathy's Reviews > Countdown

Countdown by Deborah Wiles
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Oct 06, 10

bookshelves: historical-fiction
Read from October 03 to 06, 2010

This was a very unusual book, beautifully put together. Wiles calls it a documentary novel. She intersperses full page black and white photos of people like John F. Kennedy, Bob Dylan, Peter Paul and Mary from the sixties, quotes from the times, mini biographies of people like Pete Seeger and Fanny Lou Hammer and a story about an eleven-year-old girl going through difficult times in her family with her Uncle Otis, a WWI vet who has dementia, her college age sister who is keeping secrets from her and staying on campus, and her best friend Margie who isn't being much of a friend, who in fact is spreading lies about her. Meanwhile her father is a pilot for the 89th division and flies the President's plane and the whole country is in fear as the Cuban Missile Crisis follows Kennedy's threat to the Russians. Franny wants to write to Kruschev and Kennedy that we're all people and that Kruschev shouldn't hate us. It's a phenomenal book and though it was begun in 1996, it seems appropriate today as we continue to live in a state of fear with travel warnings and codes.
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