Sunday, April 26, 2020

Spy Runner by Eugene Yelchin - OPTIONAL

Spy Runner by Eugene Yelchin, 345 pages.  Henry Holt, 2019.  $18.  Content: Language: PG (3 swears); Mature Content: G; Violence: PG-13  



Jake McCauley is a 7th grader who misses his father who disappeared in World War II.  Jake’s school teaches them about fighting communism and his best friend Duane reads spy comics that he shares with Jake.  When Jake’s mom puts a male border in the attic and Jake finds out he’s Russian, Jake starts to suspect the renter, Shubin, of being a communist spy.  Jake quickly finds himself wrapped up with G-men and a top-secret spy case and he doesn’t know who he can trust.  

I enjoyed learning more about what it was like during McCarthyism and the Cold War, so the historical part of this novel was interesting.  The plot however was all over the place and there were so many different characters and possible spies that everyone felt like a suspect before I got to the end.  Jake’s inability to make a good decision was also hard to read, especially when he stole a Top Secret file from someone in the military and kept running away from anyone who tried to help him.  Jake got beat up multiple times and the ending was weird.  The content includes a kidnapping, physical fighting, chocking and shootings.  

Reviewer, C. Peterson

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