Monday, December 08, 2014


A review by Theresa from the Children's Room: 

The year is 1962, this entire country is terrified that another world war is about to start. Russia is sending nuclear missiles to Cuba and President Kennedy is threatening to attack their ships and sink them. For 13 days in October the tension is unbearable. This is the backdrop to fifth grader Franny Chapman’s story in Deborah Wiles novel, Countdown. While Franny’s story is not unusual, girl trying to find her place in her family, in school and with friends, the times she lives in are. Air raid drills at school, duck and cover exercises and frightening speeches by the President are her reality along with an older sister who is changing too fast for her liking, a best friend that turns into an enemy and the return to the neighbor of a very cute boy. 

All of Franny’s life crises along with the international ones are melded into a spot-on tale that is interspersed with footage from that year in this part fiction, part documentary work. 

This is the first of a trilogy, the second book is RevolutionA very readable novel for grades 5-8.

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