Red Scare by Liam Francis Walsh

Published by Graphix

Summary:  Peggy’s got a lot going on: she’s recovering from polio and has to use crutches, her twin brother Skip has started being mean to her, and her father has returned from the Korean War with serious physical and psychological injuries, forcing her mother to work as a hotel maid.  One night, Peggy goes to work with her mom and winds up being a witness to a murder and unknowingly coming into possession of a mysterious substance.  When she realizes that she has this potion and that it enables her to fly, she and her new neighbor Jess begin having adventures all over town.  The FBI catches up with them eventually, intent on recovering the potion no matter who gets in their way.  When a suspenseful showdown atop a fire tower puts Peggy, Jess, and Skip in danger, Peggy finds out that she is braver than she thinks.  Includes additional information about polio, the red scare, and the atomic age. 240 pages; grades 4-7.

Pros:  Great snakes!  Tintin fans will love the Hergé-inspired artwork and nonstop adventures of this historical graphic novel that features the red scare of the 1950’s, polio, UFO’s, the Korean War, and a stirring speech about freedom and respecting others’ beliefs delivered by Peggy’s father to the mob going after Jess’s Communist dad.  

Cons:  There was a lot going on in 240 pages, both the rapid-fire plot and the characters’ development and growth, making some resolutions feel a bit too speedy.

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