Middle-Grade Novel Red Menace by Lois Ruby Features Baseball, Bar Mitzvahs, and the FBI

February 4, 2020

MINNEAPOLIS, MN— Explore questions of patriotic dissent and national security during the era of the Red Scare through the eyes of a kid growing up in Kansas in Red Menace, coming this spring from Carolrhoda Books®, an imprint of Lerner Publishing Group™. Written by Lois Ruby, this historical fiction middle-grade novel combines the nail-biting tension of a country in crisis with the humor and wit of an insightful sixth grader.

Thirteen-year-old Marty Rafner wants to spend the summer of 1953 warming the bench for his baseball team, listening to Yankees games, and avoiding bar mitzvah preparations. Instead, FBI agents are staking out his house because they suspect his parents are communist sympathizers. Marty knows what happens to communists: They lose their jobs, get deported . . . or worse. Two people he’s actually met, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, have been convicted of being communist spies, and they’re slated to be executed in two months. As rumors fly, his friends turn on him, and agents track his every move, Marty questions what it means to be a patriotic American.

Red Menace is a suspenseful and heartfelt story about an era whose uncertainties, controversies, and dangers will seem anything but distant to contemporary readers.

Advance Praise for Red Menace:
“Red Menace is a compelling and engaging story of a tumultuous and painful time in our history.”
—Clare Vanderpool, author of Navigating Early and Newbery Medal-winner Moon over Manifest

“[S]harply relevant . . ."—Booklist

“Readers will root for the protagonist as hard as he roots for his Yankees.”—Kirkus Reviews

Look inside and download a free discussion guide at lernerbooks.com.

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