The Resource Spy runner, Eugene Yelchin

Spy runner, Eugene Yelchin

Label
Spy runner
Title
Spy runner
Statement of responsibility
Eugene Yelchin
Creator
Author
Illustrator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
It's 1953 and the Cold War is on. Communism threatens all that the United States stands for, and America needs every patriot to do their part. So when a Russian boarder moves into the home of twelve-year-old Jake McCauley, he's on high alert. What does the mysterious Mr. Shubin do with all that photography equipment? And why did he choose to live so close to the Air Force base? Jake's mother says that Mr. Shubin knew Jake's dad, who went missing in action during World War II. But Jake is skeptical; the facts just don't add up. And he's determined to discover the truth--no matter what he risks
Tone
Review
  • Grades 4-7 There aren’t many noir thrillers out there for middle-graders, but Newbery Honor Book winner Yelchin (Breaking Stalin’s Nose, 2011) has turned out a humdinger. It’s 1953, the Cold War’s in full swing, and kids are being inculcated with anti-Communist sentiments on the news, at school, and even in their comic books. Like his classmates, 12-year-old Jake McCauley is dedicated to American values, but he also has a secret mission: to find his father, who went MIA during WWII. Jake’s two causes become bewilderingly intertwined when his mom rents their spare room to a Russian man named Shubin. Convinced Shubin is a Communist spy, Jake decides to expose the man for what he is. Yelchin builds tension into every chapter as Jake dodges suspicious characters, discovers top-secret documents, tangles with danger, and starts questioning what he’s been taught. Grainy black-and-white photos, as might be taken with a spy camera, pepper the text, further enhancing the story’s mysterious atmosphere. The action never stops, and readers will be gripped as the narrative thunders to a satisfying conclusion. -- Julia Smith (Reviewed 1/1/2019) (Booklist, vol 115, number 9, p88)
  • /* Starred Review */ As Americans are told to do their part against Communism during the cold war, 12-year-old Jake McCauley is called to action after his mother invites a Russian boarder to rent his father’s attic office. Jake sees his mother’s choice as the ultimate betrayal, given that his father has been MIA from the U.S. Air Force since “the old war, the big one, the one with the Nazis.” Jake is certain that the boarder, Mr. Shubin, is hiding something, and he'll stop at nothing to uncover the Russian’s secrets—even if they’re closer to home than Jake ever could have imagined. Yelchin, a Russian-born author and artist, expertly deploys subtle hints about Shubin’s ties to Jake’s family, foreshadowing the impending reveal, but some details may seem obscure to readers at the young end of the stated range (when Shubin first arrives, Jake returns home to find his mother, shoes and purse abandoned, “barefoot, laughing, her hair a mess”). Steeped in the paranoia and propaganda of the era, the noir tale draws parallels to the current political and social climate, nationalistic prejudices, and media-disseminated misinformation. Black-and-white pixelated images, like a trench coat–clad man’s reflection in a shined shoe, add to the sense of time and place while challenging readers to question both their validity and Jake’s suspicion of Mr. Shubin. Well-plotted and -paced, Yelchin’s thriller will be a favorite among readers who have an interest in history and intrigue. Ages 8–12. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Feb.)
			 --Staff (Reviewed 12/03/2018) (Publishers Weekly, vol 265, issue 49, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ It's 1953, and Jake just knows that the new boarder is a Communist spy. The 12-year-old fan of Commie-fighting comics hero Spy Runner has no trouble finding plausible evidence, either, from the unkempt stranger's comment that his parents were Russian to mysterious phone calls in the night and a scary interview with a pair of heavies who claim to be FBI agents. But suspicion proves (then, as now) contagious, and suddenly Jake's own best friend is shunning him, he's ostracized at school, and a black car is following him around Tucson. On top of all that comes the emotionally shattering discovery that his mom, solitary since his dad was declared MIA in World War II, has let the stranger into her room. At this point, having set readers up for a salutary but hardly unique tale about prejudice, misplaced suspicion, and the McCarthy era, Yelchin briskly proceeds to pull the rug out from under them by pitching his confused, impulsive protagonist into an escalating whirl of chases, crashes, threats, assaults, abductions, blazing gunplay, spies, and counterspies—along with revelations that hardly anyone, even Jake's mom, is what they seem. The author includes a number of his own blurred, processed, black-and-white photos that effectively underscore both the time's fearful climate and the vertiginous quality of Jake's experience. The book assumes a white default. An imagined adventure turned nightmarishly real leads to exciting, life-changing results. (Historical adventure. 10-13) (Kirkus Reviews, January 15, 2019)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10758895
Cataloging source
YDX
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Yelchin, Eugene
Dewey number
[Fic]
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 4
  • 7
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Middle school students
  • Family secrets
  • Cold War
  • Middle school students
  • Family secrets
  • Cold War
  • Spies
  • Mystery and detective stories
Target audience
juvenile
Label
Spy runner, Eugene Yelchin
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
on1028896994
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
346 pages
Isbn
9781250120816
Lccn
2018945030
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
(OCoLC)1028896994
Label
Spy runner, Eugene Yelchin
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
on1028896994
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
346 pages
Isbn
9781250120816
Lccn
2018945030
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
(OCoLC)1028896994

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