Review Detail

Countdown Hot
Young Adult Fiction 4813
The Cuban Missile Crisis from a Pre-teen Perspective
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Franny Chapman has a loony, veteran uncle, a practically perfect little brother, an Air Force Major father, an older sister who may or may not be a Communist and a backstabbing best friend. The cute neighbor boy who just moved back to town complicates life still further. Not only has her life gone crazy, so has the world. Khrushchev and Kennedy splatter the news in 1962 when Russians move missiles to Cuba. Franny and her friends practice air raid drills and Duck and Cover in school in case of nuclear attack. With missiles aimed at the country, fear pervades the nation.

Countdown by Deborah Wiles is an engaging book, although finding an overarching conflict proves tricky. Plenty of micro-tension in subplots supplies the book with oomph to the end, but the main characters goal-to-be-achieved is a bit fuzzy. Survival itself seems too nebulous a goal for this tale. Still, this first of three in The Sixties trilogy from Scholastic proves an enlightening read.

The book style has been dubbed a documentary novel, and at first felt cumbersome and unnecessarymore of a curiosity than a central component. Perhaps this stems from the newness of the approach. As the book continues, the reader discovers that the documents exemplify the tumultuousness of the 60s. Song lyrics, news releases, propaganda, photographs, quotes, speeches and political cartoons explore the world swirling around Franny and help explain the panic felt during an already uncertain time. In fact, the primary sources lend a distinctive flavor to this book and its unique, little-discussed time period; it brings Frannys world into ours. Wiles also weaves in fascinating details of Americana from this time: the Wonderful World of Disney, 45s (records), the relatively new arrival of McDonalds and others.

Informative, entertaining and believable reading.
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 2 1

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Wings of Ebony (Wings of Ebony, #1)
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
In this riveting, keenly emotional debut fantasy, a Black teen...
Unchosen
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Katharyn Blair crafts a fiercely feminist fantasy with a horrifying...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Leanne Strong hates June eighth even though it's supposed to...
The Memory Thief  (Thirteen Witches #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Twelve-year-old Rosie Singer’s mom is missing whatever it is that...
Singled Out: The True Story of Glenn Burke
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
On October 2nd, 1977, Glenn Burke, outfielder for the Los...
The Elephant in the Room
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
It's been almost a year since Sila's mother traveled halfway...
Alone in the Woods
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Jocelyn and Alex have always been best friends...until they aren't....
Disaster Days
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Hannah Steele loves living on Pelling, a tiny island near...
Wild River
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Daniel Redmayne is fast asleep on the first night of...
In the Penalty Box
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Willow Figure skating was supposed to be my...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
3 nights, 2 days, and 1 massive music fest ....
The Afterlife of the Party (Afterlife, #1)
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
I didn’t even want to go to the party. ...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Tianna Morgan and her friends run Cadie Mae High. Great...
The Alcazar (The Cerulean, #2)
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
From New York Times bestselling author Amy Ewing comes the...
Tears of Frost (Heart of Thorns, #2)
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
This captivating second book in Bree Barton’s Heart of...
The Broken Raven (Shadow Skye, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In the heart-pounding second book in the Shadow Skye...

Latest Member Reviews

Darkest Hour (Heartland #13)
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by Brittany I loved the suspense, how it didn't give everything away. The ending wasn't really the ending,..."
Darkest Hour (Heartland #13)
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by Brittany I loved the suspense, how it didn't give everything away. The ending wasn't really the ending,..."
The New Class (Chestnut Hill #1)
 
4.0
"Reader reviewed by Mary Chestnut Hill: the New Class is the story of Dylan Walsh, a seventh-grader of the..."
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by Cowgirl Amy is now in college and doesn't get to see her family very much.  However, now..."
Come What May (Heartland #5)
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by Cowgirl After Amy finds out that Lou's trying to contact their father, she isn't to happy with..."
Breaking Free (Heartland #3)
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by Cowgirl Amy's mother died in a terrible accident and Pegasus, her horse, is cherished by Amy as..."
Coming Home (Heartland #1)
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by Cowgirl "Heartland: Coming Home" is the first in the "Heartland" series by Lauren Brooke. It is..."
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by Cowgirl I love the "Heartland" book series by Lauren Brooke. They combine horses, action, adventure, fun,..."
Coming Home (Heartland #1)
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by Cowgirl The Heartland book series are one of my favorite series. They include action, horses, well..."
The New Class (Chestnut Hill #1)
 
4.0
"Reader reviewed by lilponyrider This book is about a girl who goes to a school called Chestnut Hill. It is..."
The New Class (Chestnut Hill #1)
 
4.0
"Reader reviewed by Natalie This book is about Dylan Walsh, a friendly red-haired girl. She..."
Coming Home (Heartland #1)
 
4.0
"Reader reviewed by Natalie This book is about Amy Fleming. She is the daughter of..."
 
3.0
"Reader reviewed by Romany New beginnings is about a horse farm that is a place where the scars of the..."
The New Class (Chestnut Hill #1)
 
3.0
D2 Dominique, 2006 Teen Demi-Goddess
"Dylans wish to attend the prestigious Chestnut Hill boarding school has finally come true! She arrives at the boarding..."