Catch You Later, Traitor

Catch You Later, Traitor

by Avi


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Catch You Later, Traitor by Avi

From Newbery Medalist Avi comes the thrilling and suspenseful story of an ordinary American family who falls under suspicion during the 1950s Red Scare.

It’s 1951, and twelve-year-old Pete Collison is a regular kid who loves detective stories and radio crime dramas. When an FBI agent shows up at Pete’s doorstep, accusing Pete’s father of being a Communist, Pete is caught in a real-life mystery. Could there really be Commies in his family?


“Suspenseful . . .  Authentic period details--such as popular radio programs and the ongoing rivalry between the Dodgers and the Giants--add a colorful backdrop to Pete’s quest as he navigates the murky gray area between truth and fiction. An excellent introduction to the frenzy of the McCarthy era.”Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Avi, a master of historical fiction, vividly recreates not only the neighborhoods and pop culture of period Brooklyn, but the runaway paranoia that dominated daily life in the early years of the Cold War. With each clue Pete uncovers, the tension picks up, engaging readers in solving the dual mystery of his father’s past and identifying his accuser whose name is kept a well-concealed surprise until the last moment . . . As a mystery, historical fiction, and love letter to 1950s Brooklyn, this novel succeeds on every level." School Library Journal, starred review

“Avi’s tale of one Brooklyn family living in a time of intolerance effectively explores the natures of suspicion, loyalty, and freedom, following a young protagonist who comes to learn the importance of freedom of speech and ‘staying true to your own thoughts.’”The Horn Book Magazine
“An involving, twisty mystery, grounded by the palpable emotional threat of Pete’s father being taken away. An accomplished historical mystery by one of kid lit’s most reliable craftspeople.” Booklist
“Thought-provoking . . . Avi builds Pete’s story, told in the first person, with page-turning tension and memorable characters that will leave readers with a strong sense of the insidious power wielded by the FBI and McCarthyites.” Kirkus Reviews
A Spring 2015 Kids’ Indie Next List Pick
A Junior Library Guild Selection

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781616205874
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Publication date: 03/01/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 274,833
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

About the Author

Avi is the author of the Newbery Medal novel Crispin: The Cross of Lead and the Newbery Honor books Nothing But the Truth and The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, among many other books for young readers. Catch You Later, Traitor was inspired by his own childhood in Brooklyn during the Red Scare. Avi now lives in Colorado. You can visit him online at

Date of Birth:

December 23, 1937

Place of Birth:

New York, New York


University of Wisconsin; M.A. in Library Science from Columbia University, 1964

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Catch You Later, Traitor 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
The year is 1951 and there’s a war going on across the country and baseball is the talk of the town. For twelve-year old Pete, his life consists of school, reading detective novels, hanging out with his best friend Kat, and talking Dodger baseball. His life is interrupted when communism, Reds and socialism enters his life. Words and individuals that Pete had heard about in passing from his parent’s conversations and newspapers now become significant and critical. His family is being watched by the FBI and when Pete questions his father, Pete walks away with more uncertainty and wonders if his father is holding something back. To solve this escalating mystery, Pete becomes Sam Spade, his favorite detective in the novels that he reads. In doing so, he creates these wonderful detailed instants in the book, “her face was almost chalk white, with net-like wrinkle lines and a mouth as tight as a vice.” I really enjoyed these moments when Pete creates these little snapshots of what he sees before him as he writes with such detail and imagery. His words made me smile as I saw the image unfold in front of me, these small descriptions giving me another glimpse into the mind of a twelve-year detective. Pete is scrambling to find out why his family is now under investigation and what exactly all these terms and people are which seem to be part of his vocabulary now. The text provides great explanation as Pete’s life gets chaotic. It’s a great mystery that keep the pages turning as Pete digs deeper and deeper into this mystery. The new Sam Spade is digging for the truth but things just aren’t adding up, too many mysteries keep popping up and they all seem to point at his father. I won a copy of this book from Avi - thanks!