Rave Reviews Log: Historical Fiction

August 13, 2010


By Deborah Wiles
Era: 1960's America
Rating: 4 1/4 stars

Franny is your typical eleven year old, struggling to fit in at school and to outshine her perfect younger brother Drew at home.  You might think Franny is just like you except for one thing--in 1962, everyone is scared to death of nuclear war.  The kids practice ducking and covering in case a bomb explodes at home, at school, or anywhere.  To add to that very real worry, Franny wonders why her college-aged sister is getting secret letters she won't share, and why Margie, her best friend, suddenly seems to not like her anymore, and why her Uncle Otts constantly embarrasses her by acting like they are still in a war.  Franny can't get comfortable in her own skin, and then when Margie stops being her friend and Uncle Otts gets sent to the hospital, Franny feels like she is to blame.  Then the world comes to a stop when President Kennedy announces that the Soviet Union (Russia) is building missiles in nearby Cuba with the possible intention of shooting them at the United States.  Suddenly the possibility of nuclear war is real and close and the fear of not even making it to another day changes everything Franny knows, and everything it takes to be brave.  Filled with news reports and photographs from the 1960's interspersed with the story makes this book a very good, interesting read, and hard to put down. A strong story.