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!
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!