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Rating: 4/5 Stars
Release Date: 8/7/2012
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About the Book: Georges (the S is silent) and his family have had to downsize to an apartment. The day they move in, Georges and his father notice a sign that advertises a spy club meeting and Georges's father encourages Georges to join. Georges meets Safer and his younger sister Candy who live in the building and are spying on a mysterious occupant, Mr. X.
GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I wasn't a big fan of Rebecca Stead's When You Reach Me, so I was a bit nervous about reading this book-I was really hoping I would like it. Happily I discovered a novel that I enjoyed.
Liar & Spy has a mystery element to it, but it's also about friendship, family, bullying, and fear. Georges is picked on at school, his family is having some trouble, and he's had to move out of a house he loved. Safer has secrets of his own and Georges isn't sure how to react and handle them once he finds out. I think what I liked most about Liar & Spy was the fact that the author covered a lot of issues without the book feeling heavy handed and issue-driven. The messages about lying, fear, and standing up to bullies are all woven in in a subtle way that doesn't hit the reader over the head. This is a book that features a bullying element, not book about bullying. For me, that was one of the strengths of the story-everything felt like a natural reaction from the characters.
I loved the family aspect of the book-Georges's family and Safer's. Both stood out and it was great to see supportive families. As an adult, I liked the adults in this book, which might not matter to many tweens, but I appreciated it.
I think tweens who are avid readers and who enjoy a softer mystery element to their stories would appreciate Liar & Spy. There are several surprises along the way for readers. I would love to use this book in a book club or classroom read aloud and see if readers can predict the story. Liar & Spy is a great book to share with tweens and read together.
Full Disclosure: Reviewed from ARC recieved at ALA