Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead

Liar and Spy

Reviewed by Jane Oliver-Purton (Library Staff)

When Rebecca Stead gave us When You Reach Me a couple of years ago, I thought she’d reached her pinnacle. Who knew she had in her another great middle grade story? Liar & Spy is that story.   Little did Georges (the “s” is silent) know, when he got involved in the Spy Club, what an experience it would be.  He meets self-directedhome-schooled Safer, his sister, Candy, and brother Pigeon (all self-named) and spends serious amounts of his non-school time involved in stalking the notorious (according to Safer) Mr. X.  Before long, though, Safer demands more and more of Georges’ time and bravery, and Georges feels Safer’s losing his grip on reality and taking him down, too.  This is a wonderful book by a talented writer.

Located in Children’s Fiction (J FIC STEAD)

GR Level N, Grades 3 and up

Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage

Three Times Lucky

Reviewed by Jane Oliver-Purton (Library Staff)

New sixth-grader, Mo LoBeau has plans for the summer which include hanging out with her best friend, Dale Earnhardt III and his dog, Queen Elizabeth II.  Those plans do not include a murder and its ensuing investigation by Detective Joe Starr, a hurricane, a bank robbery, or the unexpected disappearances by the two people she loves most in the world, the Colonel and Miss Lana.  Mo’s plan was to continue to send messages in bottles to her long-missing Upstream Mother (who somehow misplaced baby Mo near a raging storm-fueled stream 11 years ago.)  When Dale is the number one suspect in the murder of cantankerous Mr. Jesse, Mo decides it’s time to take the investigation into he own hands.  The characters in Tupelo Landing are all wonderful, but Mo stands out as a smart, clever, brave and true heroine of our time.  I listened to this one, beautifully read by the late Michal Friedman whose voice is pure Mo.

Located in Children’s Fiction (J FIC TURNAGE) and in Children’s Audiobooks (J CDBOOK TURNAGE)

GR Level N, Grades 3 – 5