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BBAW: Forgotten Treasure

September 16, 2010

BBAW 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!

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!

Also, check out my very first giveaway: a signed copy of Finny by Justin Kramon!

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10 Comments
  1. September 16, 2010 1:57 pm

    I have seen this around here and there but never knew what it was about. It sounds good!

    • Erin permalink*
      September 16, 2010 5:59 pm

      It’s really well done. Very unique!

  2. September 16, 2010 1:57 pm

    Sounds like a good book. The fact that it is consider a “documentary novel” pulls me in that much more.

    • Erin permalink*
      September 16, 2010 2:02 pm

      That’s what initially pulled me in. It’s really well done!

  3. September 16, 2010 6:42 pm

    I love a novel that can pull of a unique approach, and this definitely sounds like one with its historical snapshots. I’ll have to check it out!

    • Erin permalink*
      September 19, 2010 9:40 pm

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

  4. September 17, 2010 5:02 am

    Sounds like a unique, interesting novel. Thanks for letting me know about it!

  5. September 18, 2010 9:02 pm

    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.

    • Erin permalink*
      September 18, 2010 9:22 pm

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

  6. September 24, 2010 2:23 pm

    sounds interesting will add to my tbr list.

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