Friday, August 13, 2010


Countdown by Deborah Wiles

October 1962. The United States and the USSR are at odds, and Cuba is the battleground. Eleven-year-old Franny wants to be noticed by her teacher and by cute boy Chris and to figure out the mystery of her older sister’s secret letters. With her father in the military, her uncle reliving WWII and the already high tension of the situation between US and USSR, it seems that Franny’s life will never work out right.

Interspersed with historical photographs and information, this novel is a glimpse of American life during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Franny’s feelings towards her family and the situation between Margie (her possibly former best friend) are believable.

The historical photographs and information between chapters (and sometimes the words between paragraphs) were interesting – but interrupted the flow of the novel. I felt that they took away from what could have been an excellent work of fiction.

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