Julie's Reviews > Countdown

Countdown by Deborah Wiles
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's review
Mar 20, 2011

really liked it
Read in March, 2011

I was fortunate to download the audiobook, which has been nicely produced with the documentary clippings performed by actors doing JFK's and Khruschev's speeches, the "Duck and Cover" narrator, Jackie's White House tour, and much more. I hope it will be considered for any pertinent YA audio awards. Apparently they couldn't get or didn't want to pay the royalties to feature the songs mentioned in the book, so there's just the narrator saying the words to "Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone." It would have been so much cooler if they had included the actual songs.

I thought the story was more masterfully handled than, for instance, Eli the Good, which covers similar territory. The various story elements wove together well and served a purpose, with events developing inevitably out of the conflicts between the various characters. However, I didn't understand the purpose of those biographies or book reports on Truman, Kennedy, Pete Seeger, Fannie Lou Hamer, etc., except just as interesting people from that era.

I think this would make a terrific movie if they would hire the art directors and costumers from Mad Men and go ahead and get the rights to those songs. "Don't know much about history...."

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