Life for Georges (with a silent s) is suddenly complicated when he starts 7th grade. His father lost his job, so the family has moved into an apartment building, and now his mother is working extra shifts at the hospital and seems to never be home. Georges doesn’t have to change schools, but unfortunately that means Dallas the bully can continue targeting him as he has done for years, only now his former best friend Jason is in with Dallas’s cronies. Georges finds a safe haven in an odd place – an offbeat family in his new complex that includes two homeschooled children: precocious yet interesting 9-year-old Candy, and mysterious 12-year-old Safer, who runs his own spy club, of which Georges is now the one and only other member. Safer convinces Georges to help him discover the criminal activities of another renter – “Mr. X.” But Georges has to decide how far he will go to assist Safer with his spy missions. Should he spy? lie? break and enter? As with Newbery Medal winning When You Reach Me, Stead ends with an unexpected twist and leaves her reader with unforgettable characters that linger long after the story ends.
If you like Liar & Spy, other books I would recommend: Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai, My One Hundred Adventures by Polly Horvath, Liar Liar by Gary Paulsen, Savvy by Ingrid Law, Wonder by R. J. Palacio, The Absolute Value of Mike by Kathryn Erskine, and Rebecca Stead‘s other novels.
Reviewed by Jennifer