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Extended Audio Sample Liar & Spy Audiobook, by Rebecca Stead Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (4,787 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Rebecca Stead Narrator: Jesse Bernstein Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2012 ISBN: 9780449014097
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The instant New York Times bestseller from the author of the Newbery Medal winner When You Reach Me: a story about spies, games, and friendship.
 
The first day Georges (the S is silent) moves into a new Brooklyn apartment, he sees a sign taped to a door in the basement: SPY CLUB MEETING—TODAY!
 
That’s how he meets his twelve-year-old neigh­bor Safer. He and Georges quickly become allies—and fellow spies. Their assignment? Tracking the mysterious Mr. X, who lives in the apartment upstairs. But as Safer’s requests become more and more demanding, Georges starts to wonder: how far is too far to go for your only friend?
 
“Will touch the hearts of kids and adults alike.” —NPR
 
Winner of the Guardian Prize for Children’s Fiction
Named a Best Book of the Year by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and more!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Chock-full of fascinating characters and intelligent questions, this is as close to perfect as middle-grade novels come.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “The ending twists readers’ entire perception of the events and creates a brilliant conclusion to an insightful novel.”

    School Library Journal (starred review)

  • “A big-hearted, delightfully quirky tale…Georges resolves his various issues in a way that’s both ingenious and organic to the story…Original and winning.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • School Library Journal Best of Children's Books 2012
  • Publishers Weekly Best of Children's Books 2012
  • Kirkus Reviews Best of Children's Books 2012
  • Starred Review, The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, September 2012:
    “Readers will sympathize with Georges and Safer as they negotiate various familiar obstacles, but it’s the celebration that will leave them exultant.”
  • Starred Review, School Library Journal, September 2012:
    “The ending twists readers’ entire perception of the events and creates a brilliant conclusion to an insightful novel.”
  • Starred Review, The Horn Book, September/October, 2012:
    “Stead’s spare and elegant prose, compassionate insight into the lives of young people, wry sense of humor, deft plotting, and ability to present complex ideas in an accessible and intriguing way make this much more than a mystery with a twist.”
  • Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, June 11, 2012:
    “Chock-full of fascinating characters and intelligent questions, this is as close to perfect as middle-grade novels come.”
  • Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, June 1, 2012:
    “[A] big-hearted, delightfully quirky tale…. Georges resolves his various issues in a way that’s both ingenious and organic to the story….Original and winning”
  • A Finalist for the Carnegie Medal
    A New York Times Bestseller
    A New York Times Notable Children’s Book
    A Junior Library Guild Selection 
    Named a Best Book of the Year by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, The Horn Book Magazine, The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Chicago Public Library
    Named to 21 State Award Lists 

  • “Readers will sympathize with Georges and Safer as they negotiate various familiar obstacles, but it’s the celebration that will leave them exultant. The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Starred review
  • The ending twists readers’ entire perception of the events and creates a brilliant conclusion to an insightful novel. School Library Journal, Starred review
  • Stead’s spare and elegant prose, compassionate insight into the lives of young people, wry sense of humor, deft plotting, and ability to present complex ideas in an accessible and intriguing way make this much more than a mystery with a twist. The Horn Book, Starred review
  • Chock-full of fascinating characters and intelligent questions, this is as close to perfect as middle-grade novels come. Publishers Weekly, Starred review
  • [A] big-hearted, delightfully quirky tale…. Georges resolves his various issues in a way that’s both ingenious and organic to the story….Original and winning Kirkus Reviews, Starred review
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A 2012 School Library Journal Best Book
  • One of 2012 Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books for Children
  • One of the 2012 Amazon Best Books of the Year
  • A 2012 Anthony Award Nominee for Best Children's/Young Adult Novel
  • Selected for the Fall 2012 Kids Indie Next List: Top 10
  • A 2012 Barnes & Noble Best Book for Children
  • A 2012 Publishers Weekly Best Book: Children's Fiction
  • A 2012 ALA Best Book for Young Adults
  • A 2012 New York Times Book Review Notable Book

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Molly | 2/16/2014

    " Loved this so much I wanted to start reading it over again from the beginning as soon as I finished. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Phoebe | 2/14/2014

    " Saddled with an embarrassing name, Georges is also dealing with a new apartment and starting 7th grade. His father lost his job, so the family has downsized and his mother works double shifts at the hospital. He meets Safer and his little sister Candy, two strange yet smart kids who don't go to school, and even though Safer has some crazy ideas, Georges feels comfortable in their big, homey apartment. Bullied at school, lonely at home, Georges deals with his reality but is unable to share the truth either with Safer or with himself, until he has to face the thing he is most afraid of in the whole world. Read attentively because this book contains a big plot twist. Another genuine, entrancing tale from Stead. Fabulous. 6th grade and up. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 2/4/2014

    " Again, terrific. Stead has such a gift for creating characters and setting and then putting them into a plot that keeps you guessing. The emotional development here is truly excellent. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 stillme | 1/21/2014

    " ALA ALSC Notable 2013 "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary Louise Sanchez | 1/13/2014

    " Seventh grader Georges (silent S,pronounced George) and his family have to move, due to economic problems, from his Brooklyn home, complete with a loft for Georges which includes a fire escape, to a nearby apartment. Here Georges meets Safer, a home-schooled kid Georges' age, who wants Georges to help spy on a bonafide murderer who lives in the apartment above Georges'apartment who has to be taking out dead bodies in suitcases. Georges grows out of his silent S name into a young man with a voice when it concerns bullying and what he'll do in the name of friendship. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barbara | 1/12/2014

    " Seventh grader Georges is adjusting to the bullies in his class who pick on him for various reasons, including his name--he's named after artist Georges Seurat--as well as having to move from the family's house to an apartment. Plus, his mother is always absent, working extra shifts at the hospital. When he meets Safer, and eccentric young neighbor intent on spying on another neighbor, he reluctantly joins in but becomes increasingly anxious since Safer asks him to lie to his father and break into an apartment. When Georges realizes what's actually going on, he is angry but eventually realizes that lies often spring from fear and not from an intent to hurt someone. I like how the author puts as much emphasis on the challenges of Georges' situation at school as what's going on at home. When he cleverly finds a way to thwart those who are harrassing him, I wanted to cheer. While I had an idea of what was going on with his mother and with Safer early on in the book, I still enjoyed it and recommend it highly. One of the cool aspects of this one is how George left messages using Scrabble tiles for his mother, and then she left messages for him. (Well, really, his father is the one who left the messages, but still, this playing with letters and words shows how much the family enjoys wordplay.) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Roe | 1/7/2014

    " My 10 year old daughter and I read this together and enjoyed Georges' approach to navigating middle school social interactions. Good story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole | 1/2/2014

    " I wonder how the intended audience feels about this book. As an adult...or "experienced reader," rather, I enjoyed the story, the themes, the details, etc. But as a teen, I'm afraid it wouldn't be very satisfying. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shauna | 12/1/2013

    " Read with the 6th graders. A difficult read aloud. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emily Wallace | 10/23/2013

    " Loved the characters. This book would be a great one to read and discuss with middle school age students. It also has a great anti bullying message. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathy Larson | 9/29/2013

    " Part mystery, part childhood survival. Forced to move to an apartment building after his father loses his job, XXX makes friends through a spy group he meets with in the basement of his apartment building. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Esther | 8/12/2013

    " It was a quick, enjoyable read. Not as good as her newberry winner When You Reach Me but still good. It was similar to WYRM as she keeps you guessing about certain characters and the storyline. The writing was good and I found it refreshing just like her 1st novel. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alethea | 8/10/2013

    " Loved it! I think I'll read it again right away. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alissa Nigro | 8/10/2013

    " I was expecting more :/ "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Margaret | 4/19/2013

    " 2013 mock newbery "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Claudia Haines | 1/3/2013

    " Interesting story. Characters are well-developed. I liked the approach to dealing with bullies. The ending was very surprising-almost too abrupt. I thought I had missed a page. All in all, a good read for 9 and up. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susan Schuler | 11/29/2012

    " Quick fun read. Stead is a great storyteller and she spins a quirky funny tale where the underdogs outsmart the bullies! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heather | 11/1/2012

    " Would be a good read aloud to compliment predictions and inference reading strategies, 4th grade and up. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jo Sorrell | 8/16/2012

    " This one never engaged me although I read it pretty quickly. I don't see a Newbery out of this one at all. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 laura | 7/21/2012

    " it was no 'when you reach me,' but then again, what is? besides perfection. and while not being perfect, this book was pretty darned good. "

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About the Author
Author Rebecca Stead

Rebecca Stead has written three novels for children: When You Reach Me, a New York Times bestseller, and winner of the Newbery Medal and the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award for Fiction; Liar & Spy, a New York Times bestseller and New York Times Book Review Notable Book for Children; and First Light, a Junior Library Guild Selection and a New York Public Library Best Book for Teens. She lives in New York City with her family.

About the Narrator

Jesse Bernstein is an audiobook narrator and winner of seven AudioFile Earphones Awards. His many works include The Battle of the Labyrinth, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Girls, Chasing Windmills, and Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson Series.