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.