Review: Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead

I’ve been off the radar for a while, but expect plenty more posts soon! I’m just back from a trip to London in which we visited lots of art galleries and the Globe theatre, and I have lots of pictures to share with you all. Also I’ll be posting about the Mountains to Sea Book Festival which is on next week – check it out if you’re looking for bookish things to do! And now for the review:

Liar & Spy

Genre: Mystery/Adventure/Contemporary
Age Group: 10+
Release Date: 8th August 2013

When Georges and his family move to an apartment block, he meets Safer, an eccentric new friend who ropes him into a Spy Club. They are watching Mr X, a mysterious man who always dresses in black and carries large suitcases. Safer is convinced he’s up to no good. As well as the shady Mr X, the apartment block is filled with such characters as Candy (Safer’s sweet-obsessed little sister) and the interrupting moo kid. When he’s not learning the secret ways of spies, Georges is dealing with bullying at school. He tries to take his mum’s advice of seeing all these moments as little dots that make up a bigger, brighter picture, but it isn’t always easy. And sometimes those little dots mean a lot, and you have to stand up for the now…
Rebecca Stead writes beautifully, and in Liar & Spy she creates a quirky and fun story that also has some very serious and moving themes. The story is filled with interesting characters, not only those in the apartment block, but also restaurant owner Yum Li whose unique fortune cookies contain messages like ‘Why don’t you look up once in a while? Is something wrong with your neck?’ and Bob Who Draws, Georges’ sort-of friend in school who wants to rearrange the alphabet.
I enjoyed Stead’s first novel When You Reach Me, but I felt Liar & Spy was even better, both entertaining and memorable. With references to a Seurat painting, and messages written in Scrabble tiles, I couldn’t help but love this book!

Review originally for LoveReading4Kids – check out the other reviewers’ thoughts on Liar & Spy here.


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