Friday, September 2, 2011

Countdown by Deborah Wiles

Summary:(from book jacket) Franny Chapman just wants some peace. But that's hard to get when her best friend is feuding with her, her sister has disappeared, and her uncle is fighting an old war in his head. Her saintly younger brother is no help, and the cute boy across the street only complicates things. Worst of all, everyone is walking around waiting for a bomb to fall. It's 1962, and it seems that the whole country is living in fear. When President Kennedy goes on television to say that Russia is sending nuclear missiles to Cuba, it only gets worse. Franny doesn't know how to deal with what's going on in the world- no more than she knows how to deal with what's going on with her family and friends. But somehow she's going to make it through.
Review: I really liked this book. I don't read very much historical fiction, but I am really glad I picked this one up. It's a pretty easy read and I think it was written for more of a middle grade audience, but it didn't matter. I finished this book quickly and although the plot was simple and the last couple of chapters were kind of annoying, I really enjoyed it. The plot was so believable, this time period was recreated flawlessly. The author grew up during this time and I could really tell. I also really liked the pictures that interspersed throughout the book that were from that time period. I thought they were really interesting and added a lot to the story. I also really liked getting to know all of the characters. Franny and her family and friends were all such unique characters and every single one was such a great addition to the story. I thought her family especially was a good look at the family dynamic during that time. I really hope that Wiles continues to write stories like this because this one was really cool. Anyone who is a fan of historical fiction and doesn't mind the fact that it is written for younger audiences, should definitely read this one.

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