Last week I received a copy of the book, Countdown, by Deborah Wiles, through the Goodreads First Reads contest. This highly touted first book in the Sixties Trilogy is a must read for anyone who grew up in the 1960’s. You’ll be immediately drawn to the cover of a 45 RPM record – I still have my collection! Countdown is a brilliant look back in time. Young adult readers will discover a time like no other. Deborah Wiles website is jam-packed with information from the actual “Duck and Cover” film to an iTunes playlist for all of the songs mentioned in the book! Going to teach a decade unit with your students? Look no further than Countdown. It’s rich with information to enhance the learning experience!
Now, onto my guest book reviewer, Steve Parker!!
As Kathy Parker’s husband, I am issued a required reading list of books to broaden my horizons as an interlude from watching ESPN, fishing shows, old movies, and the History Channel. She always knows my moods and interests when choosing “my next read.”
Countdown by Deborah Wiles was the perfect fit for me. Anyone living during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, will thoroughly enjoy this historical fiction novel. We are guided by the Chapman family in a truly scary time in our country when “duck and cover,” underground bomb shelters, and anticipating the “bright flash” dominated our daily existence.
Told by Franny, the eleven-year-old daughter of a military pilot, her mother, older sister, Jo Ellen who is a college student, younger brother Drew, who she labels “Mr. Perfect & Saint Drew”, and Uncle Otts, a WWII veteran, all guide us in telling the story.
The pictures and footage of this unforgettable year enhance the story that intertwines with these events. There is mystery, comedy, and adventure that grab your interest from the beginning. A valuable lesson is disclosed as expressed by Franny’s sister, Jo Ellen.
A safe bomb shelter is not required to relive or discover 1962 as you read, Countdown. All one needs is to enjoy and cherish a truly emotional story.