Cover image for Spy runner / written and illustrated by Eugene Yelchin.
Title:
Spy runner / written and illustrated by Eugene Yelchin.
ISBN:
9781250120816
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : GodwinBooks, Henry Holt and Company, 2019.
Physical Description:
346 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Abstract:
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.Godwin Books
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Summary

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.Godwin Books


Author Notes

Eugene Yelchin is the author and illustrator of The Haunting of Falcon House, Arcady's Goal, and the Newbery Honor Book Breaking Stalin's Nose. Born and educated in Russia, he left the former Soviet Union when he was twenty-seven years old. Mr. Yelchin has also illustrated several books for children, including Spring Hare, Pip and Pup, and Crybaby. He lives in California with his wife and children. eugeneyelchinbooks.com


Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly 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.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.