Monday, May 6, 2013
It left me thinking long afterwards…
Title: Liar & Spy
By: Rebecca Stead
Rebecca Stead understands that the best spy stories leave you guessing right up to the end.
This middle-grade story introduces the 12-year-old protagonist, Georges, a wonderfully quirky, underdog loner who is going through a big upheaval in his life. His father's lost his job, forcing the family to relocate to an apartment in Brooklyn and his mother to work extra shifts at the hospital. If that's not enough, Georges has lost his best friend at school to the cool crowd. Vulnerable and susceptible to influence, he strikes up a friendship with an odd boy his age in his new building named Safer, and Safer’s younger sister, Candy. At first, Georges is curious and excited to be a part of Safer’s Spy Club, and to join the quest to learn the secrets of the mysterious Mr. X who lives in the apartment upstairs. However, as the plot unfolds, the limits of their new friendship are strained.
How far should anyone be willing to go to keep a friend? As the tale unravels, it continues to surprise the reader with unexpected twists and turns, all the way up to a deeply insightful ending. Stead does an excellent job of depicting the imaginations, alliances, and inevitable betrayals of adolescents, as well as infusing her characters with the heart, intelligence, and good humor to transcend these trials.
A funny, intelligent coming-of-age/mystery story.