Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Liar & Spy

My son is quirky. Most of his friends are quirky too, so I tend to connect with characters who aren't the cool kids on the block. My house is often full of the not-so-cool ~ we're our own little island of misfit toys. I wouldn't have it any other way. Georges, Safer and Bob English Who Draws are well-written, believable and quirky, and they're the reason that Rebecca Stead has another hit with her latest middle grades novel, Liar & Spy.

Georges, his mom and dad have to move. Money is tight after Georges' dad loses his job, so the family moves into an apartment building. His first day in their new place, Georges and his dad find a note in the basement announcing an upcoming meeting of a spy club. Reluctantly, Georges goes to the meeting and meets Safer. He joins the spy club - which is really just Georges and Safer and occasionally Safer's little sister, Candy.

At school, Georges is lost. His former best friend now hangs out with the "popular" kids, dresses like a wannabe skater and ignores Georges. Without a group to call his own, Georges ends up sitting next to a kid they call, Bob English Who Draws, and trying his best to ignore the taunts of the class bully.  

A science class experiment and a covert mission to spy on a mysterious neighbor reveal truths about Safer and Georges. Truths that test their friendship, and for better or worse, push them to be different.

I love Liar & Spy and can't wait to share it with my ten-year-old son. I recommend this book to middle grades readers who don't need a high-octane adventure to engage with a story or stick figure drawings to connect to a character. Liar & Spy would also make a great read aloud for parents or teachers who want a character-driven story about bullying and unlikely friendships.

Blog you later!

Ali B.

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