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For captioned photos of “Franny’s World” in 1962 Camp Springs, Maryland and the landmarks for Countdown, go here. (Picasa Web Albums, photos by Deborah Wiles)

The 1962 playlist for Countdown is here, at Pinterest.

Teaching resources are at Pinterest on this board.

A time that changed the world.

A time that changed Franny’s life.

Franny Chapman just wants some peace. But that’s hard to get when her best friend is feuding with her, her sister has disappeared, and her uncle is fighting an old war in his head. Her saintly younger brother is no help, and the cute boy across the street only complicates things. Worst of all, everyone is walking around just waiting for a bomb to fall.

It’s 1962, and it seems that the whole country is living in fear. When President Kennedy goes on television to say that Russia is sending nuclear missiles to Cuba, it only gets worse. Franny doesn’t know how to deal with what’s going on in the world — no more than she knows how to deal with what’s going on with her family and friends. But somehow she’s got to make it through.

Countdown features a captivating story interspersed with footage from 1962. Deborah Wiles has created a documentary novel that will put you right alongside Franny as she navigates a dangerous time in both her history and our history.


A Publisher’s Weekly Best Book of the Year, 2010

An Best Book of 2010, Top Ten Middle Grade Books

A Booklist Editor’s Choice for 2010

A Book Links Lasting Connection of 2010

A Best Books of 2010, The Christian Science Monitor


Readers Love Countdown 
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