Kelsey's Reviews > Countdown

Countdown by Deborah Wiles
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's review
Apr 24, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: family, friendship, historical-fiction, 3rd-5th
Read from July 21 to 25, 2011

Ages: 5th-8th grade

Not at the top of every middle schooler's fun-to-read list, The Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 is typically seen as another boring event in a time long ago. However, Wiles and media designer Phil Falco present a paranoid world waiting for nuclear armageddon.

Franny lives with her family in Maryland near Washington D.C., a likely target. On top of the air raid drills, a once-composed mother now frazzled, a drill sergeant for an uncle, and a missing sister, Franny's best friend turns into her worst enemy without explanation. Heavens to Murgatroyd! An excellent composite between an 11-year-old girl and the potentially disastrous events in October of 1962. The media additions may not have direct correlation with Franny's life (or they may not seem that way at first) but the social and political context give added oomph to a rapidly changing world.

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