A suspenseful and heartfelt story about an era whose uncertainties, controversies, and dangers will seem anything but distant to contemporary readers.
If thirteen-year-old Marty Rafner had his way, he’d spend the summer of 1953 warming the bench for his baseball team, listening to Yankees games on the radio, and avoiding preparations for his bar mitzvah. Instead, he has to deal with FBI agents staking out his house because his parents—professors at the local college—are suspected communist sympathizers. Marty knows what happens to communists, or Reds, as his friends call them: 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.
Marty just wants everything to go back to normal, but that’s impossible thanks to the rumors that his parents are traitors. As his friends and teammates turn on him and federal agents track his every move, Marty isn’t sure what to believe. Is his family really part of a Red Menace working against the United States? And even if they’re simply patriotic Americans who refuse to be bullied by the government, what will it cost them?
As the countdown to the Rosenbergs’ execution date continues, it may be up to Marty to make sure his family survives.
|Interest Level||Grade 6 - Grade 8|
|Reading Level||Grade 5|
|Category||SEL: B Self-Management, SEL: C Social Awareness, SEL: D Relationship Skills, Social Emotional Learning|
|Publisher||Lerner Publishing Group|
|Imprint||Carolrhoda Books ®|
|Number of Pages||224|
Author: Lois Ruby
Lois Ruby is a former librarian and the author of twenty-two books for young readers. She divides her time among family, community social action, research, writing, and visiting schools to energize young people about the ideas in books and the joys of reading. Lois lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, and shares her life with her psychologist husband, Dr. Tom Ruby, as well as their three sons and daughters-in-law and seven amazing grandchildren, who are scattered around the country.
Lerner eSource™ offers free digital teaching and learning resources, including Common Core State Standards (CCSS) teaching guides. These guides, created by classroom teachers, offer short lessons and writing exercises that give students specific instruction and practice using Common Core skills and strategies. Lerner eSource also provides additional resources including online activities, downloadable/printable graphic organizers, and additional educational materials that would also support Common Core instruction. Download, share, pin, print, and save as many of these free resources as you like!
A suspenseful and heartfelt story about an era whose uncertainties, controversies, and dangers will seem anything but distant to contemporary readers. If thirteen-year-old Marty Rafner had his way, he’d spend the summer of 1953 warming the bench for… View available downloads →
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- Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year
“A sound addition to any library seeking middle grade historical fiction.”—School Library Journal
“Young readers will find this compelling story sharply relevant . . .”—Booklist
“Readers will root for the protagonist as hard as he roots for his Yankees.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Red Menace is a compelling and engaging story of a tumultuous and painful time in our history. Through a young boy’s eyes, we are drawn into the experience of a particular family, in that time and place. Marty Rafner is a character with great heart and depth. Lois Ruby accomplishes that rare feat of sparking an interest and enticing the reader on to ask questions, dig deeper, and learn more. "—Clare Vanderpool, author of Navigating Early and Newbery Medal-winner Moon over Manifest