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Month in review

Reviews
Catch You Later, Traitor by Avi
The Dastardly Deed by Holly Grant
Dragon Overnight by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and, Emily Jenkins
Fax Me a Bagel by Sharon Kahn
Fenway and Hattie Up to New Tricks by Victoria J. Coe
The Final Kingdom by Michael Northrop
Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
Ghosts of Greenglass House by Kate Milford
The Grave's a Fine and Private Place by Alan Bradley
Hamster Princess: Whiskerella by Ursula Vernon
Haunting Jordan by P.J. Alderman
Let's Talk About Love by Claire Kann
The Maze in the Mind and the World: Labyrinths in Modern Literature by Donald Gutierrez
Miss Pickerell Harvests the Sea by Ellen MacGregor and Dora Pantell
Mr. Pants: It's Go Time! by Scott McCormick
My Little Pony: Micro-Series: #1: Twilight Sparkle by Thomas Zahler
The Nest by Kenneth Oppel
A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Noragami: Stray God Volume 4 by Adachitoka
The Other Boy by M.G. Hennessey
Ruby Lee and Me by Shannon Hitchcock
Rueful Death by Susan Wittig Albert
The Someday Birds by Sally J. Pla
Stanley Will Probably Be Fine by Sally J. Pla
Three Years with the Rat by Jay Hosking
Voltron Legendary Defender Volume 2: The Pilgrimage by Tim Hedrick
The Worst Class Trip Ever by Dave Barry

Miscellaneous
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (February 05)
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (February 12) It's Monday, What Are You Reading (February 19)
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (February 26)
January 2018 Sources
January 2018 Summary

Road Essays
Gender in Ozma of Oz
The Splendid Dystopia in the Marvelous Land of Oz
Unmappable structures: Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George

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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish



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Catch You Later, Traitor: 02/04/18

Catch You Later, Traitor by Avi

Catch You Later, Traitor by Avi is set in 1951 at the height of the House Un-American Activities Committee investigations into Communism and other "subversives." But this is Brooklyn and our main character is a "regular kid" named Pete Collison.

First of all there's no such thing as a "regular kid" and the ones who insist that they are usually at the top of the privilege food chain. The 1950s spoiled white boy is what the modern day dangerous, mansplainer is emulating.

Structurally Catch You Later is like Nothing But the Truth but it's too wrapped up in 1950s pop culture. It's Brooklyn from the "Good Ol' Days" before the Dodgers left for Los Angeles. It's detective shows on radio.

Then his whole world is turned upside down when suddenly his family is accused of being communist. He's being followed by the FBI, shunned by his friends, and plagued by mysterious phone calls begging him to help. It's not to say that lives weren't affected — 300 people from the film industry had their careers disrupted by HUAC. These were primarily Jewish or other immigrant workers in the industry.

As no mention is made of Pete's ethnicity or religion and given his insistence on being "typical" we are left to assume he's a white, middle to upper middle class boy. It's unlikely that he or his family would be on the FBI's radar no matter how evil or insistent the teacher might have been.

So what we have here is a scary story — a threat to white privilege by means created by white men of power to keep minorities down. But until something significant changes, it's also complete hog wash.

One star

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