Thursday, November 12, 2015

Catch You Later, Traitor by Avi

At first, Pete doesn't understand why his friends are acting strangely but eventually he finds out that his teacher told the class Pete's dad is a communist.  In 1951 that's a very serious, and dangerous, charge.  Even Pete's best friend Kat has to stay away from him when her parent's hear the accusation so the two begin meeting in secret.  Pete's father doesn't agree with the current government practice of labeling communists and making people name names, but is that any reason for an FBI agent to be harassing Pete or for his father to be in danger of losing his job?  Pete is trying to solve the mystery of his father's background which his own paranoia grows about who knows what and who has been giving the FBI information about his fanily.

I'm not an Avi fan since I don't generally like historical fiction and because my students also avoid that so I wasn't expecting much for this book when I began it.  I was pleasantly surprised by the story which I enjoyed reading, except for the Sam Spade copycat writing at points.  Those sections just seemed forced. But even though I personally enjoyed the book, I still wouldn't recommend it simply because it will have very limited appeal to most middle schoolers. In fact, about a month before I read this book, I weeded nearly every Avi book in my collection since none of them had been checked out for several years.