Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead

Random House Children’s Books
Imprint: Wendy Lamb Books
Release date: August 7, 2012
Digital ARC: NetGalley

If I could make the words fit, I would be writing this on a gum wrapper because the gum wrapper in this story signifies just how author Rebecca Stead has never forgotten the magic of everyday life in childhood. She beautifully blends a story of family, friendship, courage, and creativity into a perfect work of fiction. Her characters are fascinatingly flawed and relatable. Stead builds Georges’ story so smoothly that at first you don’t realize that your subconscious is tapping on your brain saying “there is more to this story than we are seeing on the surface.”
Liar and Spy is a short, yet satisfying mystery (of more than one variety).

Summary: Georges (named after French artist, Georges Seurat) and his family are downsizing to an apartment after his father was laid off from his job and the family is trying to squeak by on his mom’s salary as a nurse pulling double shifts. Here Georges meets Safer, a self-proclaimed spy and dog walker, who has his eye on the mysterious and evil Mr. X.  Not only does Georges team up with Safer but he also discovers a creative way to handle the bullies in his middle school. This is a story about learning to cope with life in creative ways. 

Themes: Families, Friendship, Fear, Bullies, Humor, Character Development, Coping