Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Liar & Spy

Liar & Spy

Spring 2013 Fiction
Ages: 9 & Up
Author: Rebecca Stead
ISBN: 978-0385737432
Hardcover Price: $15.99

13-year-old Georges—with an "s" like his mother's favorite artist, Georges Seurat—has some life challenges. When his Dad is laid off from his job, the family has to give up their house for a Brooklyn apartment. There are bullies at school. His mom works too much, he hardly sees her, and he has a building full of new neighbors to contend with. It's not the best of times.

Despite this, Liar and Spy is a fast-moving and fun read. Rebecca Stead, author of the Parents' Choice Award winning When You Reach Me, is great at quirky details. Georges and his mother use Scrabble tiles to exchange silly messages. There's a fabulously kooky family upstairs with kids named Candy, Safer and Pigeon. Safer and Georges become fast friends, and their Spy Club is a comic adventure. There's also the Science Unit of Destiny—a school subplot that leaves readers wondering: Does Georges have the taste buds to bring "true love" or "tragic death"?

There are solid messages in this story about friendship and family. The plot is engaging, and the twist of the ending is wholly gratifying. Charming characters and a likeable narrator in Georges make Liar and Spy a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Teresa DiFalco   ©2013 Parents' Choice
Teresa DiFalco is an award-winning ghostwriter, writer, and mother in Vancouver, Washington. She's been a contributing editor for Parents' Choice for over ten years. She's a strong speller, a menace at badminton, and makes a decent soufflé.

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Random House Children's Books

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