Deborah Wiles, well-known author of Love, Ruby Lavender, has sent out another deep, stirring novel for young readers. Countdown, a tale set during the Cold War in 1962, tells about poor Franny Chapman, who is undergoing some big changes and confusing situations at present. (Or past, whichever one.) Her best friend doesn’t seem like her best friend, she might as well be invisible for all her parents and teachers seem to know, and, of course, there’s all that trouble down in Cuba. And that’s not all: something is up with her sister, and Prince Charming has moved in across the street again. Hmmmm, trouble much? I loved this book and couldn’t put it down, so I finished it in two days. The writing and plot were magnetic, the characters were so real that I could either hate them with all my might or love them to bits. It’s just the right book for the kid that likes reading emotional stories, and the girl that needs to realize all she has. It really is. And, once you’re finished with Countdown, look at the library or bookstore and check out Deborah Wiles’ other novels. You can also read more at her website.