Catch You Later, Traitor Companion Booktalks

To get you start­ed on the Book­storm™ Books … 
America in the 1950s cover  

Amer­i­ca in the 1950s

Edmund Lin­dop with Sarah Decapua
21st Cen­tu­ry Books, 2010

  • Top­ic-cen­tered chap­ters, e.g.: the tran­si­tion from WWII, the Kore­an War, the 50’s econ­o­my and soci­ety, the Red Scare

  • Pho­to-illus­trat­ed

  • Report mate­r­i­al galore, includ­ing sub­stan­tial back matter

Bat 6 cover


Bat 6

Vir­ginia Euw­er Wolff
Scholas­tic, 1998

  • In rur­al Ore­gon not long after WWII, the annu­al soft­ball game between 6th grade girls from two towns is a caul­dron of secrets, sim­mer­ing racism, class divide, hope and friendship.

  • Quick-read­ing, mul­ti­ple-view­point nar­ra­tive shared by all the girls and some adults pro­vides a “you are there” report of the big event

  • Jane Addams Peace Award, an SLJ Best Book of the Year

Belles of the Ballpark cover  

Belles of the Ball­park: Cel­e­brat­ing the All-Amer­i­can Girls Pro­fes­sion­al Base­ball League

Diana Star Helmer with Thomas S. Owens
Sum­mer Games, 2015

  • The 1992 film A League of their Own is now a gen­er­a­tion old and pos­si­bly unknown to many young stu­dents; this book is per­fect for those just dis­cov­er­ing the women’s‑league top­ic or for fans of the film that want to know more

  • Detailed league his­to­ry from its ori­gins dur­ing WWII, through its 12 seasons

  • Loads of pho­tos and many interviews

Catch a Tiger cover  

Catch a Tiger by the Toe

Ellen Levine
Viking Juve­nile, 2005

  • It’s 1953 in New York, and 13-year-old Jamie’s father IS a com­mu­nist; life changes

  • Com­mu­nists in the ‘50s were often very involved in civ­il rights actions; this nov­el explores the rel­e­vance of that con­nec­tion to the “witch-hunt­ing” and finger-pointing

  • Author’s note and addi­tion­al back matter

City of Spies cover  

City of Spies

Susan Kim and Lau­rence Klavan
illus by Pas­cal Dizin
First Sec­ond, 2010

  • It’s 1942 and the world is at war, and in New York 10 year old Eve­lyn has the run of the city; adven­ture ensues in this graph­ic novel

  • Visu­al blend of old-style-Amer­i­can comics (Eve­lyn reads them and draws her own) and updat­ed Euro­pean (Tin-Tin) visu­al storytelling

  • See­ing the ene­my every­where — a great cur­rent top­ic for dis­cus­sion and a ter­rif­ic nar­ra­tive back­bone for a mystery

Cold War cover  

Cold War

Josepha Sher­man
Lern­er Pub­li­ca­tions 2004

  • Begins with his­tor­i­cal back­ground on the “rise of the super­pow­ers,” includ­ing a brief run­down on both the US and Russ­ian rev­o­lu­tions and the par­ti­tion­ing of Europe dur­ing and after World War II.

  • Strong pho­to illustration

  • Back mat­ter includes glos­sary, time­line of Cold War events, maps, and read­ing list

Fabulous Fashions cover  

Fab­u­lous Fash­ions of the 1950s

Feli­cia Lowen­stein Niven
Enslow, 2011

  • 48-page overview of the fash­ion era

  • Pho­to illus­trat­ed, with repro­duc­tions of actu­al 50s advertising

  • Glos­sary and fash­ion time­line in back matter

Green Glass Sea  cover  

The Green Glass Sea

Ellen Klages 
Viking Books, 2006

  • And you think your fam­i­ly has a secret… A nov­el about grow­ing up in the shad­ow of the Man­hat­tan project

  • Set in 1943, pro­vides con­text for why the Sovi­et Union and com­mu­nism would loom as such a foe in the 1950s

  • Scott O’Dell Award for his­tor­i­cal fiction


Discovered Poetry cover  

How I Dis­cov­ered Poetry

Mar­i­lyn Nelson
illus by Hadley Hooper
Dial Books for Young Read­ers, 2014

  • Child­hood mem­oir — fic­tion­al­ized — in poems, each set in the years 1950 – 1959

  • Illus­tra­tions and black and white pho­tographs expand the “curb appeal” for the read­er wary of poetry

  • Coret­ta Scott King hon­or book

LIFE cover  

Life: Our Cen­tu­ry in Pic­tures for Young People

edit­ed by Richard B. Stolley
adapt­ed by Amy E. Sklansky
Lit­tle, Brown and Co., 2000

  • Before, dur­ing, and after the 1950s. Great con­text for study and dis­cus­sion of the decade

  • Intro­duc­to­ry essays for each decade writ­ten by notable children’s authors, includ­ing Lois Lowry, Patri­cia and Fred­er­ick McKis­sack, Avi, and Kather­ine Paterson.

  • Illus­trat­ed with pho­tos from the Life mag­a­zine archives

Francine cover  

The Loud Silence of Francine Green

Karen Cush­man
Clar­i­on Books, 2005

  • Com­mu­nism, the Red Scare, injus­tice; also, friend­ship and being 13

  • Detailed and unusu­al set­ting (1950 Los Ange­les, a Catholic school) with many cul­tur­al ref­er­ence stu­dents will enjoy explor­ing; dis­cus­sion guide 

  • New­bery medal author

Spy cover  


Richard Platt  
DK Eye­wit­ness Books, 2009

  • His­to­ry of spy­ing with many bios of famous spies

  • Gad­gets galore

  • The usu­al DK mag­ic potion of well-done visu­als and text

Played for Nothing cover  

We Would Have Played for Noth­ing: Base­ball Stars of the 1950s and 1960s Talk About the Game They Loved

Fay Vin­cent
Simon & Schus­ter, 2008

  • Inter­views with some of baseball’s best play­ers from the 1950s and 1960s

  • Sec­ond install­ment of the author’s project, an oral his­to­ry of base­ball; inter­est­ed read­ers can go back to Vol­ume 1 (1930s and 40s) or jump to Vol­ume 3 (1970s and 80s)

  • Illus­trat­ed with peri­od photos 

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Joanne Toft
8 years ago

Review­ing this sec­tions makes me wish I was back in my 5th grade class­room. So much for stu­dents to use for learn­ing. Thanks for mak­ing these connections!