- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: Hyperion (1 October 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0786822074
- ISBN-13: 978-0786822072
- Package Dimensions: 21.1 x 14 x 2.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
Countdown Hardcover – Import, 1 Oct 1996
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Elliot and Vincent are the main characters. The book switches off between their lives. In the middle of the book, they started talking to each other. By the end, they meet in person. I thought it was cool that they met, because it becomes one story, not two separate ones.
Elliot, a boy who lives in Montana, wishes to be a pilot/astronaut when he grows up. His father wants him to take over the family farm. He doesn't tell his father that he wants to be a pilot/astronaut until he hears that NASA is having a Jr. Astronaut contest; Elliot gets so excited by this news. Elliot has many challenges to overcome to achieve his goal.
Vincent is a young Maasai boy who lives in Kenya, Africa. He wants to go to the wood school, but his father really wants him to become a warrior, which Vincent does not wish to be. He thinks killing animals for no reason is bad. For example, he has to kill a lion to show courage. But Vincent thinks that it is not right. Vincent is scared to tell his father this because he thinks his father will get very mad at him.
When Elliot talks to Vincent for the first time they argue about everything. They can't agree on anything. All they talk about is their cultures which are totally different, when they start talking about themselves and their problems, they start to see that they are kind of the same and start to become friends. "We are friends?" Vincent asked. "Yes, were friends," Elliot answered. With those to simple words, on that morning in Senegal, two very different boys reached out and touched hands. Here is one of their arguments from the book. "Pappa says that Engai gave all the cattle in the world to the Maasai. So if you have cattle, I think you have stolen them from the Maasai over."
The characters in Countdown have their own personality. I can see how the author put his life in the book also, because he has Elliot living in Montana where the author lives too. Countdown is a very creative book with different twists in it.
Even though Countdown is not a true story, it could be. Many of the things that happened in the book could happen now. Even though we can't imagine some of the things in the book, it's possible that they could happen.
There are many exciting obstacles and problems that Vincent and Elliot go through. There also some sad issues that Elliot and Vincent go through. But you just have to read Countdown to find out. I enjoyed Countdown and hopefully, you will see that Countdown is a great and exciting book as I did.
I liked this book because it taught that you may live in two different worlds but people can be the same in different ways. Elliot first found out that he was the first teen in space. But little did Elliot know that it would change his life forever. Vincent a young Maasai herder, That gets involved with white man. When Elliot went in to space that's when Elliot talked to Vincent for the first time ever. When Vincent talked to Elliot for the first time, they started fine. The minute Elliot started to make fun Vincent's god Engai, Then Vincent Started to make fun of Elliot's god. After several days of fighting on the radio, Vincent and Elliot learned their dads were not that different to each other. That's when Vincent's dad grew ill and needed a doctor in the Maasai land, Vincent needed Sembeke's help to cure his father. At the same time, the space shuttle Endeavor started to have problems on board. Therefore, the space shuttle and its crew had to make an emergency landing in Africa. When the authority heard, they flew Vincent to were the space shuttle would be landing. When Elliot herd he wanted to stay in space but he no choice, To meet Vincent. When the space shuttle landed, Vincent and Elliot meet each other in person. They both realized that they weren't so different after all even know they had different beliefs.
The reason people should read this book is it teaches you that you don't have to be brother or sisters to be alike. I recommend this book to anyone who is into social studies and likes different cultures. In addition, for people who just don't want to read, this would be a great book to just pass time. And for someone who doesn't like to read like me I would read it over and over.