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Catch You Later, Traitor by Avi
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Catch You Later, Traitor

by Avi

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This novel is historical fiction, set during the beginnings of the Red Scare.

After WWII, America had a great fear of the Communists, resulting in people being blacklisted if suspected of being a Communist. Evidence was unnecessary. People lost their jobs, were guilty by association, and blackballed for decades. It’s this world that Pete lives in. Someone mentions his father at school and people start making weird comments and avoiding him. He learns that people, including his teacher, think his father is a Communist. Pete’s teacher treats him like a criminal and tells the other kids to ostracize him. His best friend Kat wants to remain friends, but her parents keep her away.

Pete is a big fan of detective stories, so he decides to investigate and determine if his father is a Communist. Pete has to interview family members and find people who knew his dad years ago. In his investigation, Pete learns a lot about his father’s family and the secrets they’ve been keeping. As he investigates, Pete is followed by the FBI. Pete wants to know if his family has spies in it, but he doesn’t want to reveal his knowledge to the FBI, so he must be careful to stay out of sight.

This novel explains briefly what life was like during the Depression and what people did that haunted them years later in the 1950s. The House Un-American Activities Committee investigated people for supposed connection to our enemy Russia--investigating as far back as to the Depression era when people went to Commie parties for fun or for hope. By the fifties, we greatly feared Russian spies amongst our neighbors and friends. As the atomic bomb had been dropped recently, we feared the Communists would do the same to us, and we knew how destructive that could be. Ultimately, this novel is about fear and how fear can make logic, decency, and freedom null and void. ( )
  acargile | Oct 9, 2016 |
The McCarthy era is great setting, but I don't think the author crafted the best story he could around it. ( )
  EmilyRokicki | Feb 26, 2016 |
"It's 1951, and twelve-year-old Pete Collison is a regular kid in Brooklyn, New York, who loves Sam Spade detective books and radio crime dramas. But when an FBI agent shows up at Pete's doorstep, accusing Pete's father of being a Communist, Pete is caught in a real-life mystery. Could there really be Commies in Pete's family?"-- Provided by publisher. ( )
  paula-childrenslib | Feb 12, 2016 |
I forget what a great writer for kids Avi is. In the spirit of a hard-boiled detective novel and set during the 1950s Communist scare, 12-year-old Pete Collison is trying to figure out why an FBI agent is trailing him and asking questions about his father, professor Dennis Collison. Amid the historic paranoia of the times, the suspense grows as Pete pursues clues about his family and their possible ties to Communism. A quick-paced and lively historic mystery for young fans of the genre. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I've been a fan of Avi's since reading the True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle as a pre-teen. I always try to pick up his latest works, although some have been hit and miss since Charlotte.

Catch ya Later Traitor was a pretty good read. The communism was an interesting angle to take, Dad's supposed political beliefs just another reason to be bullied for a kid like Pete. The family dynamics would be totally relatable for kids today even if the political background will be unfamiliar to them. And of course, even though the Red Scare is a half-century old political drama, the issues of democracy and freedom of speech are still relevant today, substitute Muslim beliefs and you've got the modern American refugee dilemma and Islamophobia.

Well-written and highly recommended overall - way to go again Avi!
I received this book as part of the Librarything Early Reviewers program - thanks! ( )
  lefthandeddrawing | Dec 18, 2015 |
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"It's 1951, and twelve-year-old Pete Collison is a regular kid in Brooklyn, New York, who loves Sam Spade detective books and radio crime dramas. But when an FBI agent shows up at Pete's doorstep, accusing Pete's father of being a Communist, Pete is caught in a real-life mystery. Could there really be Commies in Pete's family?"--… (more)

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