London, Andersen, 2013, 180p
Last term, my colleague, Hannah from Oxford Youth Works, and I embarked on establishing a Girl's Book Club for Year 7. Now, we are making some of the boys happy by making a club exclusively for them, using Rebecca Stead's Liar & Spy as our book for discussion.
Georges is a funny, clever narrator. There is a lot going on in Georges' life when he moves into a new apartment and meets Safer, a skilled spy. Safer invites Georges to join his spy club, the main mission of which is to find out what is going on in the apartment of the mysterious Mr X. As time goes on, Safer becomes more demanding, and Georges starts to question if the friendship and the spy club are worth sacrificing his morals for.
Yes, the names of these characters are rather strange, but seeing as the whole story is delightfully uplifting, it doesn't really matter. And in some ways, the friendship between the boys is strengthened by their mutually unusual names.
Although the main plot focuses upon the spy club, Georges and Safer both have issues they are struggling with and unwilling to share. The club helps distract them from their hopes and fears, but also helps them process some of the challenges they are facing.
Georges is an adorable protagonist - I love Rebecca Stead's style and the voice she has created for our narrator. Not only is does the plot swiftly progress, but you learn little facts along the way as Georges describes his lessons at school and learns from Safer in spy club.
I cannot wait to see what my year 7 boys make of this novel!
To see the rest of my Carnegie reviews, click here.