Red Scare: A Graphic Novel

Scholastic/Graphix. May 2022. 240p. pap. $14.99. ISBN 9781338167085.
Gr 4 Up–Peggy is growing up in 1953, and the world feels like a sad and scary place. She is one of many people recovering from polio, and she still isn’t strong enough to walk without crutches. Her school life is unhappy because of the bullies who won’t leave her alone. Her home life is unhappy because her father’s life was ruined by the Korean War. And the news is filled with stories about Communist spies and UFOs. When Peggy discovers a strange glowing object that can make her fly, it feels like this artifact might be the answer to many of her problems, but in fact, having it puts her life in danger from everyone who wants to take it from her. This graphic novel will pull readers into an immersive story that combines the “better dead than red” mentality with edge-of-your-seat action. The story is filled with period details like students practicing how to “duck and cover” and Peggy having nightmares about being in an iron lung. Walsh’s artwork is colorful and often breathtaking, with panels of all shapes and sizes that capture the energy of the story.
VERDICT For readers who enjoy a mix of historical fiction, science fiction, and heart-pounding suspense.

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