Ernie's Reviews > Liar & Spy

Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead
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's review
Aug 09, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: young-adult-book
Read in August, 2012

Newbery Award winner Rebeccca Stead is proving herself to be a writer in the classic tradition of American childrens fiction, comparable to E L Konigsburg and Louise Fitzhugh. Like them, in this latest book, she uses scientific information that enriches the a story set in the genre of the child spy. Other cultural references to the paintings of Georges Seurat are a bonus. Georges, tha narrator has been named after Seurat and he is bullied at school, being mocked as "Georgeous" and "the freak" because of his observant and introspective character. He is in year seven and apprehensive about the science teacher's notorious "taste test" experiment which the bullies hope to use to isolate him even further.
Georges has just lost his only friend to the "cool table" but begins a new friendship with an adventurous boy in the new apartment building that his family have been forced to move to. The boys form a spy club to spy on Mr X a mysterious neighbour and these events make the reading a real page turner. Readers may subconsciously join the club as Stead cleverly gives us clues to think about the more intriguing mystery of the two families. Those who haven't yet learned to read between the gaps in a text are gently encouraged to do so and find themselves enjoying the perfect denouement. The main clue comes from Seurat's dot paintings: observe too closely and you see only dots but step back to see the colours change and enjoy the bigger picture.
This is a great book for year seven students.

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