cover image Anthem (Sixties Trilogy #3)

Anthem (Sixties Trilogy #3)

Deborah Wiles. Scholastic Press, $19.99 (480p) ISBN 978-0-545-10609-2

In this conclusion to Wiles’s Sixties Trilogy, which riffs on the music of the era, two cousins, Molly and Norman, head from Charleston to San Francisco in June 1969. They’re trying to locate Molly’s missing brother, Barry, who left after a fight with their father over U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War and has now been summoned by letter to report for his pre-draft physical. As in her first two volumes, Countdown and Revolution, Wiles’s prodigious research informs the narrative, and each of five sections is introduced with photomontages, excerpts from news stories and speeches, and song lyrics. The jam-packed novel is long but adventurous as Norman insists on stopping frequently to feed his burgeoning interest in rock ’n’ roll and jazz; along the way, the cousins meet the likes of the Allman Brothers and Elvis and deliver some cymbals to Capitol Records in Los Angeles. If readers can get past the idea that the cousins’ mothers support Molly, 14, and Norman, 17, driving a rickety school bus cross-country to bring Barry home, they’ll have one hell of a nostalgia-driven road trip in store. Ages 9–12. [em](Oct.) [/em]