Posted in Award Winners, MG Novels, So Many Good Books


countdowncoverwtext.jpgCountdown (Scholastic, 2010) by Deborah Wiles is a story about fearful stuff.
It’s 1962 and 11-year-old Franny has so much to worry about: her great uncle doing crazy stuff and thinking he’s in one of the great wars, her little brother Drew who is perfect, her older sister Jo Ellen who disappears, her best friend Margie who is her friend no longer due to handsome Gale moving back to the neighborhood and wanting to hang out with Franny, Communists, and the atomic bomb. Oh, yeah, throw in the Cuban missile crisis, too. Yikes–life’s definitely not easy at her house.
This historical novel is very well written. Just today I read this quote from Deborah: “Story is everything. It’s all around us, and it’s every breath we take, every thought we think, every word we utter, every experience we have. It’s both inner and outer. There is always an outer story-what’s happening here?-and an inner story: how do I feel about that? That exchange sets up a cause-and-effect that becomes story.” That’s definitely what she’s done in Countdown!
And added bonus in this story is the graphic novel feel with the inserts from ads, news reports, etc. from the time period.
Going to Deborah’s site, I discovered Countdown is book one of a sixties trilogy! I’ll definitely be reading the others.