Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead

Georges is having a tough time. His dad has lost his job, they have had to sell their house and move to an apartment, his mother is working long hours and school is lonely. When he meets Safer, the unusual boy who lives upstairs, he is introduced to the strange world of spying. Except that Georges soon discovers that things are not what they seem, and Safer has not been telling the truth. Georges finds it hard to forgive Safer; but then Georges has to accept that he, too, has been lying.

An unusual book, which takes the reader on an unexpected journey. The story discusses issues such as bullying at school, changes in family life, the value and worth of friendships and the way we sometimes lie to ourselves to cope with problems. However, the book does not preach. Georges is an unreliable narrator, but he is also a likeable and an amusing story teller. This is a straightforward read and the story is gentle – no great adventures, no amazing action, just an enjoyable and heartwarming story.

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