Book Blogger Appreciation Week 2010

Today’s Book Blogger Appreciation Week topic is Forgotten Treasures:

Sure we’ve all read about Freedom and Mockingjay but we likely have a book we wish would get more attention by book bloggers, whether it’s a forgotten classic or under marketed contemporary fiction. This is your chance to tell the community why they should consider reading this book!

Countdown by Deborah Wiles (cover)I posted about Countdown by Deborah Wiles back in June. This YA novel, set in Washington, D.C., in 1962, follows Franny Chapman. Franny is a wonderful heroine, the kind you can get behind and cheer for all the way. She’s your typical fifth grader, with a pesky little brother and best friend troubles. But as Franny goes about the business of being a kid, the Cuban Missile Crisis flares, and the country is thrown into turmoil.

Deborah Wiles calls the book a “documentary novel,” a label that may sound contradictory but is, in fact, dead on. Interspersed with the chapters of Franny’s tale are snippits of the 1960s: advertisements, photos, song lyrics, quotes, and brief biographies of influential figures. These snapshots of history set the scene for the novel in a way I’ve not experienced before. When a character mentions a famous figure, I realize I know all about them, because I’ve just read a short bio earlier in the book. As I’m reading about Franny attending a party, the songs she and her friends listen to are already running through my head, thanks to careful lyric placement a few pages back.

Countdown combines a fantastic story with real history in an intriguing, original, and effective way. I haven’t seen much mention of it in the blog world. I may not be looking in the right places, but even if that’s the case, I’d love to get the word out: this is a great book!

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    1. It was a great blend of fact and fiction. I like history, but not when it’s dry…which this definitely was not!

  1. This sounds great, and I adore that cover!

    Oh, as a related aside, I was listening to a podcast about a book called Diamond Star Halo the other day that would tie in nicely with this book. It’s a sort of fictionalised memoir set on a residential recording studio in Wales. Might be up your alley. 🙂 There was also a book called Secret Scribbled Notebooks that was out here in Aus a few years ago that had some great music themes running through it.

    1. Thanks for the recommendations. I’ll add them to my (ridiculously long) list. They both sound unique and interesting!

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