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Liar & Spy facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Liar & Spy
Liar & Spy (Stead, 2012).jpg
1st (American) edition, hardcover dustjacket
Author Rebecca Stead
Cover artist Yan Nascimbene (hc)
Mary Kate McDevitt (pb)
Country United States
Language English
Genre Children's novel
Published August 7, 2012
Publisher Wendy Lamb (Penguin Random House)
Pages 192
ISBN 978-0-385-73743-2

Liar & Spy is a children's novel written by Rebecca Stead published in 2012 that is set in Brooklyn and describes the adventures of Georges and Safer, two middle school students who are working to unmask a suspected spy in their building. At the same time, Georges is experiencing a casual bullying that adults in his life seem to minimize. Stead was the first American author to win the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize for Liar & Spy, in 2013.

Plot summary

The day that Georges (with a silent s, named for Georges Seurat) moves from a house to an apartment with his family, he sees a boy walking two dogs, disappearing into a locked door under the lobby stairs. Georges's family have moved because his father, an architect, was laid off from his job, which gives him an opportunity to start his own business. As they are unpacking and throwing away extra material in the basement, Georges sees a hand-lettered sign advertising "Spy Club Meeting—TODAY!" When he returns to the basement later to attend the meeting, he first meets Candy and then her older brother Safer, who is the mysterious twelve-year-old boy who was walking the dogs earlier. Safer suspects one of the residents of their building, who Safer has dubbed Mr. X, "is almost definitely up to something evil" because he only dresses in black and is always moving suitcases in and out of the apartment building. The novel details Safer's efforts to unmask the shadowy Mr. X while Georges continues to struggle with bullying.