Suspect Red by L. M. Elliott

Review and photo by Rachel M~ originally posted on 5by5books

Thanks to the @kidlitexchange network for the review copy of this book – all opinions are my own. 

~ Middle Grade Review ~

Suspect Red by L.M. Elliott
(Disney-Hyperion ~ September 19, 2017)

FBI agents. Wiretapping. Banned Books. This historical fiction novel is a great book to read during Banned Books Week. 
suspect red
It’s the summer 1953, and the United States has just executed Julius and Ethel Rosenberg after being convicted of committing espionage for the Soviet Union. The “Red Scare” has led to the rise of Senator Joe McCarthy and his hunt to expose communist sympathizers. Richard is looking forward to spending his summer vacation rereading his favorite books, but he quickly learns that many of his favorites like The Catcher in the Rye and Robin Hood have been blacklisted due to their perceived subversive messages. Richard considers himself a patriot. Yet when a new family from Czechoslovakia moves in down the street, their bold ideas about politics and art cause him to question everything.

Each chapter begins with a photo, news headline, ad, or quote from the 1950s. These short informative pages blend fact and fiction together to create a suspenseful and thought provoking novel. Readers will gain a new perspective on this challenging and sad chapter of our history.

Verdict: Suspect Red was a fascinating read. I particularly enjoyed the real life events interspersed in the chapters that further illustrate just how much history repeats itself. This book is definitely a page-turner that will inspire readers to go and learn more about the McCarthy era. If you enjoy learning about history or like to read captivating stories, then check out Suspect Red by L. M Elliott.


Rachel Mainero is a maker, learner, innovator, and Information Literacy Specialist who is passionate about empowering students to think critically and shape their world. She believes books create opportunities for students to experience the diverse and beautiful world around them. This past summer she started 5by5books with the goal to recommend diverse middle grade and YA novels for teen readers. You can follow along at www.5by5books.wordpress.com or on Instagram @5by5books. She lives in Rochester, MI, with her husband and son. She can be found on Twitter @MrsMainero.

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