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Catch a Tiger by the Toe

by Ellen  Levine

Published by Viking, 2005
200 pages
ISBN: 0670884618

Ages 9-12

Growing up during the McCarthy era, thirteen-year-old Jamie has to be careful to not reveal too much about her family to others. Their politically left values have become dangerous. Worried about being bullied or shunned at school, Jamie feels growing anger at her parents. She is afraid to have friends over, lies about what newspapers her family reads, and struggles to understand why they must be so secretive and alert if they are doing nothing illegal. When Jamie is unjustly overlooked for a position on the school paper, apparently because of the rumors about her family, she begins to understand the importance of fighting for civil rights in a very personal way. It becomes even more personal—and frightening—when her father loses his teaching position over his politics and is called to testify and “name names” of colleagues who may be Communists. Through Jamie’s gripping story, Ellen Levine captures the tension and fear of a dramatic time in U.S. history.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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