Catch a Tiger by the Toe

 
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5.0 (1)
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Catch a Tiger by the Toe
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
10+
Release Date
May 05, 2005
ISBN
0670884618
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Jamie is like most girls in the 1950s—she loves Hollywood movie stars and practicing her yoyo moves. But unlike those other girls, she has something to hide, a secret that is hurting her family. Jamie's father is a member of the Communist Party, and in 1953, that's the worst thing you can be. Senator Joseph McCarthy and his committee are throwing Americans in jail if they refuse to reveal the names of other Communists, and Jamie's dad won't. He's not a rat.

When the truth comes out, and her dad loses his job, Jamie is ashamed to show her face in school. She's thrown off the school paper with no explanation, and all of a sudden Jamie knows how her father feels. Is there anything she can do to help her father? And what about herself?

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Learn about the Red Scare in the 1950s
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Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
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Reader reviewed by librariane

Jamie's worried that all her lies will catch up with her, and sooner rather than later. Jamie's biggest secret is her family is Russian and thus may be condemned for being Communists at a time when Senator McCarthy is ruling the airwaves. The Red Scare is affecting everyone, though some say it's wrong and others go along for the ride. Jamie isn't sure what to do about bullies, her best friend's father denouncing anyone who has Communist ties or the debates that pop up all
over school. Eventually both her parents are accused of Communism, and life begins to spiral downward for the family.

This is a well written story from the point of view of the Communist side of the Red Scare, making it rather unique for kids (who probably
don't know the half of it). Levine has included an author's note at the end and a list of suggested reading, for those who want to know
more (or teachers who want to use this in the classroom). Jamie is a likeable girl and her development is on par with the events in the
story, as well as her age. The family relationship is particularly touching, especially once they are "outed" as possible Red sympathizers.
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