After reading When You Reach Me, I had basically decided I was in heart with Rebecca Stead, because, I mean, I love A Wrinkle in Time and so does she and therefore BFF(aeae), right? That’s how it works, I think.
So when I heard about Liar and Spy, I was all, wait, like Harriet the Spy? Swoon! It took forever for the book to even show up at my library, but when it did it was mine and I read it.
And it was pretty okay. I was wrong about the Harriet the Spy connection, at least in that this story never mentions that one once. So, kind of a disappointment. But obviously you can still find similarities between the two, because they’re both about spying kids and ultimately how spying on other people living their lives is not as fun as living your own (spoilers?).
Stead’s story is about Georges, a poor kid with too many letters in his first name whose dad gets downsized and who has to move from an awesome house to a less awesome apartment. On a trip to the laundry room, Georges ends up agreeing to attend a spy club meeting, and from there meets a kid named Safer who is a super-duper master spy ready to teach Georges how it’s done.
There’s spying done, of course, and some intrigue about a mysterious neighbor, but there’s also quite a bit about being a nerd at school and losing a best friend as well. It’s super cute, if a little obvious in places and a little silly in others, just as a good kids book usually is.
Recommendation: For nostalgic adults and precocious kids.