Pete, a seventh grader at the beginning of this story, loves detective stories and radio broadcasts. He never imagines that he would put his knowledge to use but when his father is accused of being a "Commie", Pete launches a full investigation into his family tree.
Avi does a superb job revealing what life was like living during "The Red Scare" in the 1950s. The story is very exciting, well written and thoroughly researched.
*Borrowed from a teacher.
Points to discuss/warning: Pete's dad joined the Communist party as a teenage and attended only one meeting. Later in the book he declares himself a "socialist" which he claims is different than being a Communist. Pete's uncle Chris is a Communist and declares that his sole goal for "the Party" is to convince Americans to join the Communist Party. At points in the story family members are cruel to each other (the extended family). Background on the Red Scare, Communism and Socialism may be necessary to discuss to fully appreciate the story.