Monday, February 11, 2013

MMGM: Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead

About The Book: When seventh grader Georges (the S is silent) moves into a Brooklyn apartment building, he meets Safer, a twelve-year-old coffee-drinking loner and self-appointed spy. Georges becomes Safer's first spy recruit. His assignment? Tracking the mysterious Mr. X, who lives in the apartment upstairs. But as Safer becomes more demanding, Georges starts to wonder: how far is too far to go for your only friend?

First Line: There's this totally false map of the human tongue.

One Great Passage: "Like Mom says, life is a million different dots making one gigantic picture. And maybe the big picture. And maybe the big picture is nice, maybe it's amazing, but if you're standing with your face pressed up against a bunch of black dots, it's really hard to tell."

What Others Are Saying:

“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, The Horn Book

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

Other Book Review Blogs Weigh In:

My Analysis:
1. POV: Georges tells the story.
2. 192 pages
3. The Hook: The map of the human tongue is wrong.
4. Inciting event: Georges parents have to sell their home.
5. Plot and Pace: There are hidden twists and action on each page.
6. Voice: A perfect middle school blend of humor and angst.

What I Thought: This is the first book I've read by Stead so I didn't have anything to compare. I loved this book. The quirky characters led me through a great mystery filled with make-believe, middle school antics and bully's. Her narrative strategically threaded me in and out of thoughtful questions and twists in reality. I can't wait to read her other two books! 

About The Author: 
Rebecca Stead

Who: The author of WHEN YOU REACH ME (Wendy Lamb Books), a New York Times Notable Book, New York Times bestseller, and winner of the 2010 John Newbery Medal. Rebecca's first novel for children, FIRST LIGHT (Wendy Lamb Books/Yearling), is a Junior Library Guild selection and a Bank Street College of Education Best Book of the Year (2008). Rebecca grew up in New York City, where she worked as a public defender until about ten years ago. She lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her husband, Sean, and their sons, Jack and Eli.—Reading Today Online

Other Reads:

Be sure to check out all the other MMGM reviewers in my sidebar!!

Next Week: Gingersnap by Patricia Reilly Giff


  1. Nice review, Pam I really liked this book as well as Stead's first book When You Reach Me. I see you are going to read Gingersnap. I hope you enjoy it.

  2. I haven't read this one. But, it sounds interesting. I love humor and quirky characters.

  3. I love Rebecca Stead's writing style! When You Reach Me is still my favorite, but I loved Liar and Spy when I read it over the summer. I love how Stead puts so many twists in her stories!

  4. This book is still on my to-read list. I loved When You Reach Me.

  5. Yes, I'm looking forward to reading When You Reach Me! Everyone seems to really love it!


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