Georges, a seventh grader, and his parents, have just been downsized to apartment living due to financial difficulties. In his New York City apartment, just around the corner from his old home, Georges makes a curious friend in the watchful, home-schooled, Safer. Safer is obsessed with spying on the activities of the mysterious "Mr. X" who lives in the apartment building. Georges joins Safer's spy club and eventually becomes quite fond of his quirky little friend -- until he uncovers some uncomfortable truths.
At only 192 pages and suitable for grades five and up, one might think that this small book is a quick read - easy contemporary fiction for middle-schoolers; but one must remember that it was written by Newbery Medal winner, Rebecca Stead.
Rebecca Stead requires you to be patient. She requires you to be thoughtful. She requires you to follow her wherever she may lead - even if she may be lying. After all, what is a lie anyway?
Thought provoking and insightful, Liar & Spy touches many topics pertinent to middle school students - lying, bullying, economic downturn, friendship, illness, and family life.