Monday, October 24, 2016

WDYMYNR Week: Countdown by Deborah Wiles

This week we're going to shed a little light on some books that we love that are a bit older, but still deserve all the love...

Maria kicks us off with a fave historical novel:

Countdown by Deborah Wiles

Do you want to time travel, learn about the recent past and have fun doing so? All you need to do is pick up Countdown by Deborah Wiles. Travel back to the 1960s in the first of Wiles’ Sixties Trilogy with spunky Franny Chapman. Living near Andrews Air Force Base, in the Washington, D. C. area Franny and her family and friends have to learn how to survive in the maybe apocalyptic times of the 1960s. In those days, living in the tense times of possible nuclear war, tensions were palpable, real. School children practiced “duck and cover” drills, much as we now practice “run, hide, fight” terrorism drills today. The Cuban missile crisis was real and President Kennedy was warning the country of a possible nuclear disaster. Franny is a smart and caring young girl, with an older sister, college activist Jo Ellen, who keeps secrets and who also keeps disappearing; a little brother Drew; a mother typical of the age- stay at home mom who plays bridge and smokes; and a father who is somewhat absent minded.

A masterful work of historical fiction in a memoir/documentary fashion, chock full of photographs of VIPs of the time, newspaper clippings, posters, illustrations, cartoons, advertisements, capsuled biographies, references to popular songs of the time, etc. which makes for engrossed reading and a wonderful book for discussion across generations. The sixties may have been hard times for many, but in some ways many of us are still living in such times today too.

If you enjoy it, you will also love Revolution, the second installment in the trilogy. Here Wiles covers the Freedom Summer of 1964 as its focus and the book follows in the same fashion as Countdown. I personally can’t wait for the final volume.

Also, if you are a fan of audiobooks as I am, the audio versions are superb. All the different voices, songs, sound effects makes the book come alive.

You will not be sorry you invested your time in Countdown and Revolution. 

More to read:

Counting Down til 2015: Maria's Top Ten of 2014

Counting Down Til 2015: What Did Everyone Love in 2014?

Monday: What are your favorites in 2010 so far?

From American Idol to Siberia: Ruta Sepetys at Politics & Prose


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