Posted in Children's Lit

Countdown, by Deborah Wiles

Deborah Wiles
2010 by Scholastic Press
ISBN – 9780545106054
Genre – Historical Fiction
Age – Middle School
4.2 Stars

Everything is moving along in Franny’s life as normal. She goes to school, has fights with friends, and spends time with her family. Then, the threat of nuclear war. Everyone’s world is turned upside down, living in a shadow of fear. Although its face value screams out typical coming of age story, it is anything but. It is littered with speeches, newspaper articles, advertisements, songs, radio announcements and other snippets of popular culture from the time period. We follow Franny, and her quirky family as they learn to live their lives with a kind of fear no one has ever faced.

This was an excellent audio book. Each of the announcements, songs, and other interludes really make you feel as if you are immersed in the time. Franny’s story in nicely woven in between a fascinating history lesson. My hope is that after reading this, kids might have a bit of interest in learning more about the topic. I loved Franny’s family. They felt real, in the way that they all had different opinions, they were so different overall, but that did not stop them from coming together and supporting each other as a team. It seems to me that this might appeal a bit more to boys than girls (totally agree, Raina.) I was really hoping that the second book “Revolution” might be from a male point of view, but alas, it is another girl. Despite that, I am still really looking forward to listening to that one as well.

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