Barb Middleton's Reviews > Countdown

Countdown by Deborah Wiles
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Feb 13, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: historical
Read in December, 2010

Franny is stuck in the middle like the filling of an oreo cookie. Her older sister is gorgeous. Her younger brother is extremely kind. Franny’s dubbed him, The Saint. Franny feels invisible. In school. At home. And lately, with her best friend, Margie.

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 secretative letters from a boy. When she disappears, Franny is frantic wondering what happened to her. She starts having arguments with her best friend, Margie, who has decided to make another friend and ditch Franny. Then a new boy moves back to town and both girls are interested in him which causes more friction. Add to the fact, her younger brother, The Saint, is freaking out over the missile crisis and you have plenty of tension in this story.

This book is really terrific! I did find the pages and pages of primary sources from the 1960′s that are inbetween chapters distracting. I read the first two and then stopped because it slowed the pace of the story. I found it better going back and looking at the photos and stories after I read the main story. I got a kick out of all the references to the 60′s with the music, hairstyles, hair products, clothes, cars, TV shows, books and more. The story is loaded with them. Fast-paced and fun.
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