LIAR & SPY by Rebecca Stead
Best of 2012
Kirkus Star

LIAR & SPY

Age Range: 10 - 14

KIRKUS REVIEW

A seventh-grade boy who is coping with social and economic issues moves into a new apartment building, where he makes friends with an over-imaginative home-schooled boy and his eccentric family.

Social rules are meant to be broken is the theme of this bighearted, delightfully quirky tale, and in keeping with that, Stead creates a world where nothing is as it seems. Yet the surprises are meticulously foreshadowed, so when the pieces of the puzzle finally click in, the readers’ "aha" moments are filled with profound satisfaction. When an economic downturn forces Georges’ family to move out of their house and into an apartment, it brings Georges into contact with Safer, a home-schooled boy about the same age, and his unconventional but endearing family—and a mystery involving their possibly evil neighbor, Mr. X. At school, Georges must grapple with another type of mystery: why his once–best friend Jason “shrugged off” their lifelong friendship and suddenly no longer sits with him at lunch. Instead, Jason now sits at the cool table, which is controlled by a bully named Dallas, who delights in tormenting Georges. It would be unfair to give anything away, but suffice it to say that Georges resolves his various issues in a way that’s both ingenious and organic to the story.

Original and winning. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 7th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-385-73743-2
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Wendy Lamb/Random
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2012




BEST CHILDREN'S BOOKS OF 2012:

Children THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN by Katherine Applegate
by Katherine Applegate
Children EXTRA YARN by Mac Barnett
by Mac Barnett
Children GEORGIA IN HAWAII by Amy Novesky
by Amy Novesky
Children THE VENGEKEEP PROPHECIES by Brian Farrey
by Brian Farrey

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenSTORM WATCHER by Maria V. Snyder
by Maria V. Snyder
IndieCHICAGO BOUND by Sean Vogel
by Sean Vogel
ChildrenHOLES by Louis Sachar
by Louis Sachar