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Countdown Book Review

Jun 06, 2010

Countdown by Deborah Wiles is set in the year 1962. The main character is a 12-year-old girl named Franny Chapman who lives in Washington, DC. Not only does Franny have to deal with personal problems, like where she fits in with her family, everyone is scared because of the Cuban Missile Crisis, which threatens nuclear war.


The Story

In Countdown, Franny's caught between an older sister who's busy growing up and a little brother who seems perfect. Lots of kids are going to be able to relate to Franny's frustrations about being the middle child. She feels singled out and made to do "everything" around the house while her siblings do nothing - what kid hasn't felt that way?! To top if off, her Uncle Otts lives with them, and he really embarrasses Franny when he yells at her friends like they were soldiers. Plus, Franny's so-called BFF is either ignoring her or making fun of her.


But beyond Franny's family and school life, there are bigger problems to worry about. After her family listens to President Kennedy's speech telling them about Russian missiles in Cuba, everything in her life changes. Her brother gets scared, her dad gets angry and her sister disappears. Franny is left to try to work it all out while watching others around her do the same.


The Bottom Line

Not only is Countdown a great story, it's also got tons of historical facts in it that are really interesting to learn about. Between the chapters there are photos of real political figures from the 1960s, song lyrics, speeches, biographies, etc. You'll really learn a lot about the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Civil Rights Movement. It's a fun way to learn!


Video: Countdown, a new documentary novel


Check out the Kidzworld contest to win a free copy of Countdown and a branded book tote bag!! www.kidzworld.com/contests/countdown


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-Oracle-
-Oracle- posted in Debating:
Where one teacher stands in front of 20 kids, each one having different strengths, different needs, different gifts, different dream. And then teach the same thing the same way? That's horrific.Curriculums are created by policy makers. Most of which have never taught a day in their life. Just obsessed with standardized tests. They think bubbling in a multiple choice question will determine success.
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Powerslave
Powerslave posted in Debating:
The education system isn't there to create intelligent individuals and definitely not there to teach, it is there to create useful pawns for the elites, we are all brainwashed from day one. So yes I think they should change,  but they most likely won't.
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naruto200
naruto200 posted in Debating:
If you are a student in middle through high school these days you might  not feel like you are learning a lot of things that you will use after high school. The truth is, you aren't. Are they teaching you how to obtain money? How about  how to manage a check account? Or how about this are you learning how to handle a job interview in school. No? Maybe you have learned  one of them perhaps if you count elementary, but dude we're way past elementary and ever since the fith grade I aint lean nothing about anything i'l use outside of school since 5th grade. Oh wait, I DID learned something. I learned that half the stuff they teach us are not even on the tests we HAVE TO take. Probably because we should know the information already, but the thing is MOST of us in the U.S don't know half of it or care because it's all useless to us so it has to be re taught again. Some teachers are kind enough to re teach old lessons but  not all do, and I can't believe that i discovered that all it takes to make things right is for a student to confront a teacher in class to ask them to teach me things that we will use in our future, not yesterdays future. If no one does that IN CLASS, IN FRONT of the class. You are just one student, you might save yourself but not the others if you do this alone.. If other unsaved students slow down the class you won't learn a thing. What do you think? about this subject?
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