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Download Countdown: The Sixties Trilogy, Book One Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Countdown: The Sixties Trilogy, Book One Audiobook, by Deborah Wiles Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,585 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Deborah Wiles Narrator: Emma Galvin Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Sixties Trilogy Release Date: January 2011 ISBN: 9780307879660
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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 with how to deal with what’s going on with her family and friends. But somehow she’s got to make it.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Wiles scores with both context and character.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “Wiles palpably recreates the fear kids felt when air-raid sirens and duck-and-cover drills were routine…This story is sure to strike a chord with those living through tough times today.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Wiles skillfully keeps many balls in the air, giving readers a story that appeals across the decades as well as offering enticing paths into the history.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “The larger story…told here in an expert coupling of text and design, is how life endures, even triumphs, no matter how perilous the times.”

    Horn Book (starred review)

  • “Wiles’s ‘documentary novel,’ based on her own childhood memories and the first in The Sixties Project trilogy, has a striking scrapbook feel…References to duct tape (then newly invented), McDonald’s and other pop culture lend authenticity to this phenomenal story of the beginnings of radical change in America.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • A 2010 Publishers Weekly Best Book: Children's Fiction
  • Selected for the Summer 2010 Kids' Indie Next List
  • A 2010 Booklist Editors’ Choice
  • A 2010 Christian Science Monitor Book of the Year for Children

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Molly | 2/12/2014

    " This was very interesting -- I really liked the news clippings and historical part of it. I liked the story about Franny too -- I'm not sure how much kid appeal this will have, but it was very well done, and should be a good classroom book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kenna | 2/5/2014

    " The whole concept of this book is unique. There is a storyline of a young girl living in 1962. Throughout the book is photographes and articles of people and events of the 60's which really gives the reader the feel of the time period and teaches a lot of American history also. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Janssen | 1/31/2014

    " I wanted to love this one and I thought the format was very cool, with the images and songs and posters from the 1960s sprinkled in. But the story itself did just about nothing for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer Clark | 1/22/2014

    " I found this book to be extremely interesting. I loved the pictures as it brought back fond memories of growing up. I remember air raid drills but not the seriousness of the situation. I liked how history was integrated with the fictional story of Franny and her family. One minor detail is bothering me: I don't remember McDonald's placing food on trays and eating food at tables in 1962. I thought McDonald's was a carry out restaurant at that time. Anyone remember?? I am anxious for the next book in the trilogy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christie | 1/4/2014

    " As I read Countdown by Deborah Wiles, I felt as though I were reliving parts of my childhood. Like the protagonist Franny Chapman, I, too, was in fifth grade in 1962, and I remember seeing the Civil Defense symbol on my elementary school's walls, practicing "duck and cover" drills, watching JFK talk to the nation on our black and white TV about the Cuban missle crisis, and dealing with the issue of segregation in my community. Of course, these national issues swirl around and impact Franny's personal dramas with friends, family, and her own insecurities. Another reviewer called this book a "documentary novel," and I think that is a good way to classify it; this may be a new genre. Readers of all ages, I think, will find this book fascinating because it incorporates photographs, documents, and songs (I remember having these same 45's!)from the 60's in a type of collage of Franny's life during her 5th grade year. I hope Wiles turns this into a series! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kerri Hall | 1/4/2014

    " North Carolina Children Book Award Nominee 2012 "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jason | 12/21/2013

    " Author Deborah Wiles calls this book a "documentary novel," and rightly so. Chronicling the 13 days of the Cuban Missile Crisis through the eyes of a fifth grade girl named Franny, Wiles successfully weaves historical photographs, 60's pop culture images, song lyrics throughout the powerful narrative. This is a must-read, and I'm happy to say this is the first of three books in Wiles' Sixties Trilogy. I read part of this book in my 10th grade English class during silent reading time. At one point in the book, I started laughing quietly to myself, but most of my students caught me, and they started laughing too. I can't wait to book-talk this novel to them. Perhaps my laughter was convincing enough. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stacy | 12/16/2013

    " Loved it. My daughter read this book in about three days. I decided to read it because she never reads a book this fast. It was wonderfully written. I would recommend it to kids and adults. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura Harpham | 11/22/2013

    " Historical fiction set in the US- early 60's-cold war, Cuban Missile Crisis,Discrimination, President Kennedy. Reminds you of the fear and anxiety felt by everyone in the 1960's. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Mel | 10/9/2013

    " I could not finish this book. It had the potential to be great. But I was bored from the start. I was reading it to see if this would be a good book for my reading classroom. I don't think my students would enjoy this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Denise | 10/1/2013

    " Loved how the various quotes, pics, and news bits are woven into the background of the story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rubie | 5/30/2013

    " If you ever wondered what it was like to be a child during the Cuban missle crisis enter the world of this 5th grader, "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cathy | 3/11/2013

    " This book brought back memories of my young life. Set near D.C. during the Cuban Missle Crisis, this 5th grade heroine has a lot to deal with. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michele | 1/27/2013

    " This book was a blast to my past. It is historical fiction with lots of pictures, posters and memorabilia from the 60's, Cuban missile crisis and the cold war. I enjoyed the characters and the story line. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nicole Gas | 1/7/2013

    " Loved the concept, loved the story "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robin | 1/4/2013

    " I loved the historical tidbits interspersed throughout. A great peek into the "typical" American family home of the 1960s. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michellet | 11/25/2012

    " Wow - makes you realize what kids went through during the Cold War 1950s. I still can see the bomb shelter sign at VHS & wondered why it was needed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole | 4/13/2012

    " Thought it was totally amazing, a little hard to determine when exactly the time was set, but you know it's post-war. I really connected with the character. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tanya | 10/21/2011

    " This was a different approach of historical fiction. I did like the documentary approach and I felt I learned a lot about 1962. I enjoyed the story as well. I do not think it would do well in my classroom. The material is not relatable, but it could work for teens who are into history. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hillary Hayman | 9/1/2011

    " This book is a very cool and different representation of the cold war through the eyes of a young girl. I loved the inclusion of different media from the actual time period. My only complaint is that it is a bit long and I began to lose interest after awhile. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Penny | 5/24/2011

    " If Goodreads had half stars (why, oh why, do they not?), I would give this one 4.5 stars. Really looking forward to the other 2 books in this trilogy. Excellent period piece story -- the documentary touches really added to the book's atmospherics. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Theresa | 5/17/2011

    " I love the format of this book. The real illustrations and pictures from the 1960s put you in the moment. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 J | 5/13/2011

    " especially wonderful way to learn about the cuban missle crisis in story form and a lot of interesting tidbits about the 60's. I listened to audiobook...which I think is the way to go for this book because of the music and commercials done in such interesting voices. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 5/5/2011

    " This was such a unique reading experience. She categorizes this book as documentary fiction, and it really works having the narrative spliced with song lyrics, pictures from the 1960s, and speeches from that time period. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kara | 5/2/2011

    " I'm liking the scrapbook aspect of this fiction story. It is useful for many young learners to have images to make history come alive. But I am unimpressed by the story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tammy | 5/2/2011

    " I loved this book. It is laugh out loud funny, it is sweet, it is touching, and it is so believable. Garnet said it takes you back to your eleven year old self and I totally agree. I wold read this again!! 4 1/2 stars! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelly | 4/25/2011

    " 1st in a planned trilogy - really liked the "documentary" format, with photos and quotes from the era. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kimmae | 4/13/2011

    " I appreciate this historical fiction for children though readers would benefit from more context on the time (1962) than provided by the book alone. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Benjamin | 4/12/2011

    " This was a ok book. It showed a girl's perspective of living during the bomb raids in 1962. The only thing that I didn't like was that there were so many documentries through out the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barbara | 4/11/2011

    " Great docu-novel. As one raised in the sixties though it really touch my core. I remember the fear and duck and cover of elementary school (last friday of every month at 10 am) Can't wait for the other two books. "

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About the Author
Author Deborah WilesDeborah Wiles is the author of the picture book FREEDOM SUMMER and three novels: LOVE, RUBY LAVENDER; THE AURORA COUNTY ALL-STARS; and EACH LITTLE BIRD THAT SINGS, a National Book Award finalist. She has vivid memories of ducking and covering under her school desk during air raid drills at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis. She also sang in the Glee Club, was a champion speller, and hated Field Day. Deborah lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
About the Narrator

Emma Galvin won the 2011 Audie Award for best fiction narration, was a finalist for the Audie Award in 2012, and won six AudioFile Earphones Awards for her narrations. A graduate of the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama, her film appearances include My Suicidal Sweetheart, A Perfect Fit, and The Big Bad Swim. She has performed in several regional theater productions, including Love Punky, The Power of Birds, and The Realm.