Donalyn's Reviews > Countdown

Countdown by Deborah Wiles
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May 31, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: children-s-historical-fiction, ncbla-committee-2011-books, ncbla-2011-notables-shortlis
Read from April 26 to May 31, 2010

In the fall of 1962, Americans lived in fear of nuclear annihilation during the 13-day Cuban Missile Crisis. Deborah Wiles reveals the fear and uncertainty of this time through the eyes of Frannie, a fifth grader. Frannie's older sister, Jo Ellen, sneaks off to secret meetings of a civil rights youth organization. Her father, an Air Force officer, waits on high alert at the base. Uncle Otts, a World War I veteran, barks orders at the neighbors and tries to build a bomb shelter in the yard. And her younger brother, Drew, the perfect one, clutches his copy of "Our Friend the Atom" and refuses to eat. Against this backdrop of civil unrest, Frannie fights with her best friend, steals her sister's records, and crushes on a boy in her class. This book is a nice mix of historical and cultural information and a family story.

The innovative format of this book includes artifacts like photographs, advertisements, quotes, and song lyrics interspersed throughout the book.

This is the first book in a proposed trilogy about the 1960's.
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