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.