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The Spy Catchers of Maple Hill

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Hazel Kaplansky is a firm believer in the pursuit of knowledge and truth-and she also happens to love a good mystery. When suspicions swirl that a Russian spy has infiltrated her small town of Maple Hill, Vermont, amidst the fervor of Cold War era McCarthyism, Hazel knows it's up to her to find a suspect… starting with Mr. Jones, the quietly suspicious grave digger. Plus she's found a perfect sleuthing partner in Samuel Butler, the new boy in school with a few secrets of his own. But as Hazel and Samuel piece together clues from the past and present, the truth is suddenly not what they expected, and what they find reveals more about themselves and the people of their cozy little town than they could ever have imagined.

From Publishers Weekly

Mar 10, 2014 – Blakemore (The Water Castle) sets her story in a seldom-explored era in middle-grade fiction: the autumn of 1953, the height of McCarthyism. Hazel Kaplansky is a smart, awkward, and fervent fifth-grader who grows obsessed with sniffing out Communism in her small Vermont town and proving that the taciturn gravedigger at her family’s cemetery, Paul Jones, is a Communist spy. Teaming up with Samuel, an unusual new boy in town (“Some people are more fragile than others,” Hazel’s mother warns her), she plunges into solving the mystery of Mr. Jones, dreaming of the day she will report him to Senator McCarthy. Blakemore’s choice of perspective is refreshing and well-executed; readers will sympathize with Hazel’s patriotic passion while anticipating her downfall. Rich in period details, strong on family/friendship dynamics, with a cast of well-drawn secondary characters (Samuel, in particular, is sensitively rendered), the book demonstrates how easy it is to get caught up in an atmosphere of fear and suspicion. A light-handed yet thoughtful presentation of a difficult time in U.S. history, Blakemore’s story inspires reflection and discussion. Ages 8–12.
The Spy Catchers of Maple Hill
View in iTunes
  • $5.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Mysteries
  • Published: May 06, 2014
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
  • Seller: INscribe Digital
  • Print Length: 272 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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