Saturday, May 8, 2010


My dad is a high school US history teacher, so, before starting this book he gave me a “short” lecture on the Cuban Missile Crisis, it is nice to have an in-house teacher. But, don’t let lack of background knowledge prevent you from reading this book. The author provides the background knowledge both in words and pictures, and by pictures I mean a sort of scrapbook of all kinds of images, people, and words from the time. The way these picture sections are placed at various points in the book is really unique. They are one of pieces of puzzle that make this book great. The mini biographies are another piece and the final piece is the story of Franny Chapman, an adventurous girl living in an adventurous and scary time. This all might sound like a weird jumpy format, but it really works. I understand why this book is getting SERIOUS Newbery buzz, and I look forward to the other two books in the series.

Rating: *****


  1. Laura, I hope you don't mind - I commented on Deborah Wiles's blog about your review. I think she'll be pretty excited to see this!
    -Sam B. from Cincinnati

  2. Thanks Sam, that is so cool!

  3. Laura, I was introduced to you through a report Liz Burns did on her blog after meeting you at ALA I belive it was. I wish I had met you as well! I head the national organization Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) which is headquartered in Washington, DC. I know the boys and girls of RIF would love to hear about your reading and your blog. If you are interested I would very much like to interview you by phone and/or email for the RIF website ( and my blog Rasco from RIF ( Let me know if you might have time.

    By the way, I thought COUNTDOWN was a great, great book; it brought back a lot of memories from my elementary school days!

  4. Rasco,
    I would be very happy to be interviewed for RIF. send me an email at and we will set it up. thanks for asking!