Summary: “Liar and Spy” is about two boys who become friends without even trying to. Georges (the characters have odd names) accidentally finds himself joining the spy club when they come across a poster with a time to sign up. There he meets Safer and his sister, and agrees to be his agent. Safer teaches him how to be a proper spy, and together, they keep close tabs on Mr. X. Meanwhile, Georges is being bullied at school. Through a series of near misses, Georges learns about a unique family who doesn’t ever go to school, as well as what it means to be brave and be a friend.
Reflection: This book was a little slow, but it was short. I like more fantastical books to keep me intrigued. However, it was still interesting. I liked how it addressed those who are different than us, as well as those who don’t always tell us the exact truth. It addressed bullying, but not to much extent. Georges learned how to stand up for himself, but I wasn’t completely convinced; really, he just got even. To a degree, it ended up focusing on forgiveness and giving people second chances. During the most climatic part of the book, it turns out that there was never any real danger – this was super disappointing, as it was one of the main things that kept me slightly engaged.
Ages: I’d recommend this for middle grade students. 10-14.
I didn’t look for figurative language, nor did it really stand out to me as it has in John Green’s book, “Paper Towns.”
The takeaway: This was a simple, semi-intense book about friendship. I’d recommend this for middle-aged kids due to this reason.
Stars: 2 out of 5.
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