Book Review: Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead

October 21, 2012

Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead
Genre: Fiction, Middle Grades
You might like this book if you liked When You Reach Me, or you like stories that have a kind of moody unrest about them and are slightly mysterious and atmospheric.

I loved Rebecca Stead's second novel, When You Reach Me, so I got this from the library as soon as I heard about it. I got to see her speak at the National Book Festival a couple of years ago and enjoyed that as well. She really has a gift for language that is perfect for her intended audience, but does not insult the intelligence of children by being too simplistic or patronizing.

This book is the story of a boy in Brooklyn who has to move out of his house to an apartment and is worried about his parents. His dad has lost his job and his mom has to work crazy hours as a nurse to make up for it.

There's a boy his age in the new apartment building, which is good because his best friend at school has deserted to the cool kids. This boy is a bit unusual though, and eventually becomes harder and harder to figure out.

In the end, I was completely surprised by how the author twisted the plot and wrapped things up. It was a great ending and VERY satisfying for me. Check this title out if you want a richly rewarding yet not too taxing read for an autumn afternoon.

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