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Liar & Spy Hardcover – August 7, 2012


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 670L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books; 1 edition (August 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385737432
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385737432
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #208,768 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 5-8-Georges's life is turned upside down when his father loses his job, forcing his mother to take on extra nursing shifts and prompting the family to move from their house into an unfamiliar Brooklyn apartment. At school, Georges is a bit of an outcast, having been abandoned by his one and only friend and often the subject of bullies' taunts. Then he sees a sign advertising a Spy Club and meets Safer, a homeschooled loner who lives in his building, and Safer's warm, welcoming, and quirky family offers him respite from the stress at home. Together the boys track a mysterious building resident who Safer is sure is hiding a sinister secret. As the investigation progresses, Georges grows increasingly uncomfortable with Safer's actions. Stead has written a lovely, quiet, and layered novel that explores friendship in all its facets. She particularly examines truths, secrets, deceptions, and imagination and whether these can destroy or ultimately strengthen a friendship. The ending twists readers' entire perception of the events and creates a brilliant conclusion to an insightful novel.-Naphtali L. Faris, Missouri State Library, Jefferson Cityα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review

-School Library Journal Best of Children's Books 2012

-Publishers Weekly Best of Children's Books 2012

-Kirkus Reviews Best of Children's Books 2012

-The Wall Street Journals Best Children’s Books of 2012

-The Chicago Public Library Best of the Best 2012

-The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books 2012 Blue Ribbons List

-One of The Atlantic Wire’s 25 favorite middle grade and young adult book covers of 2012

-The Horn Book’s Best of 2012 List

-Amazon’s Best of the Year, Middle Grade (#3)

-A New York Times Book Review Notable Children’s Book of 2012

Starred Review, The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, September 2012:
“Readers will sympathize with Georges and Safer as they negotiate various familiar obstacles, but it’s the celebration that will leave them exultant.”

Starred Review, School Library Journal, September 2012:
“The ending twists readers’ entire perception of the events and creates a brilliant conclusion to an insightful novel.”

Starred Review, The Horn Book, September/October, 2012:
“Stead’s spare and elegant prose, compassionate insight into the lives of young people, wry sense of humor, deft plotting, and ability to present complex ideas in an accessible and intriguing way make this much more than a mystery with a twist.”

Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, June 11, 2012:
“Chock-full of fascinating characters and intelligent questions, this is as close to perfect as middle-grade novels come.”

Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, June 1, 2012:
“[A] big-hearted, delightfully quirky tale…. Georges resolves his various issues in a way that’s both ingenious and organic to the story….Original and winning”

More About the Author

Rebecca Stead has written three novels for children: When You Reach Me (A New York Times bestseller, and winner of the Newbery Medal and the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award for Fiction); Liar & Spy, a New York Times bestseller and NYT Book Review Notable Book for Children; and First Light, a Junior Library Guild Selection and a New York Public Library Best Book for Teens. Rebecca lives in New York City with her family.



Customer Reviews

Liar and Spy is a great story from Newbery Award winning author Rebecca Stead.
Lindsay
The character building is wonderful, the plot is interesting and there were enough twists to keep anyone glued to the story.
Gorelenore
I think this book Liar and Spy is very nice because there is a wired unexpecting part at the end and it has a strange twist.
Awesomeness

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 42 people found the following review helpful By JAScribbles - Read, Review, Repeat on August 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Liar & Spy is another middle grade or young adult book covering the topics of friendship, school, and family. There are lots of them out there. We have a storyline about bullying, another about family issues, and a third that covers the dynamics of a friendship. This book is unique and has many winning moments. In the end, it was quite enjoyable.

Thank you NetGalley and Random House Children's Books for the review copy of this title.

I won't rehash the plot because I'm sure plenty of other reviewers will do that. What I will say to teachers and parents is this - Liar & Spy is not one of the traumatic, depressing stories being offered to young readers. 95% of this tale is calm and easy-going. Even the bullying scenes are light.

There are also excellent touches of detail. Candy, the knock knock boy, Safer's personality, and mysterious Mr. X - all fun touches that added vibrant color.

I'm slightly worried that young readers won't make it to the last 40% of this story. The ending is the best part. There are definite lulls in the storytelling. The concepts and messages are so subtle that they may be missed by some readers. Also the lingo and maturity of Georges' voice seemed a bit old. I found him to have a very experienced and wise personality. It seemed ill-fitting for a kid in middle school.

Why the four stars? In the end, Liar and Spy has a lot going for it. Once you read it through, you will finish with a couple ahh haa moments. It's touching, it covers serious subjects without being a cover-to-cover bummer, and in the end, leaves the reader feeling good. I just hope young readers don't give up before reaching that point.

Web resources give this title a Lexile Measurement of 670L.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Caliboots on August 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Stead is a gorgeous writer. That said, this novel is right in the zone for 6th/7th grade boy (and girl) readers, and will captivate them to the very end. Twists, turns, humor, and a subtle but deep reveal about two of the main characters all add up to a satisfying experience. I couldn't put it down; now it goes to my son.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Lisa on August 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is a great middle school novel about friendship and family and facing your fears. 7th-grader Georges (the S is silent) is great character, and I think a lot of kids will identify with him. He has great parents and doesn't always confide in them. He gets picked on by a particularly obnoxious bully at school but isn't at the bottom of the middle school social heap. He's good at some things and not others. He's not entirely sure why his former Jason now sits at the cool kids table.

There isn't much action in this story, but it's full of very believable thoughts and feelings and questions, and a good helping of humor. It should appeal to both boys and girls. Although Georges is in 7th grade, I think it could appeal to kids much younger -- maybe 3rd grade through 7th or 8th grade -- because the themes are really very universal. There's very little about budding attraction to the opposite sex, so I think younger kids would relate to Georges and his situation as easily as older kids. Also, I LOVED the Blue Team thread!

(Note: I received a free advance reading copy of this book from the publisher at an American Library Association Annual Conference. I was not required to write a positive review. Thank you, Random House!)
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Lydia TOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I was already a fan of Rebecca Stead after her beautiful book, When You Reach Me. So when I saw Liar & Spy was coming out, I knew it would be something special.

My assumption was not wrong.

This little book reminded me of playing pretend, of dealing with bullies, of forging new friendships and dealing with change. With a quiet, leading voice, Rebecca takes her main character Georges (the S is silent) and leads the reader through a story filled with such small ups and downs that the ride seems like it's going nowhere until the destination hits you and realization dawns. I don't know how else to describe this journey.

Filled with surprises, revelations, and most of all, lessons about the importance of community and fellowship with other people - which includes the openness of mind to accept them, this is a middle-grade novel that, I suspect, will be knocking on the door of another award.

If you have middle-graders or contact to middle-graders, please recommend this book. It has such a story to tell and lessons to teach - but manages to be understanding and not preachy about those lessons. Most of all - it's fun. I mean, what kid doesn't imagine being in a spy club of sorts?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By L. Sell on September 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I read this aloud to my ten year old son. He usually reads fantasy and sci-fi, likes a lot of action, so this was quite different for him. But we both really enjoyed it. It's the story of Georges, a Brooklyn seventh grader who has recently moved to a new building, and Safer, another boy he meets there. Both boys are a bit quirky and neither have many other friends, so they are drawn to each other. I thought the kids were written very realistically and the dialogue ran true. It's quite funny at times, and becomes more poignant as the book progresses. There are some great lessons about friendship, the value and perils of pretending, and about standing up for yourself. I highly recommend it.
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