After Georges’s father loses his job, he and his parents sell their house and move into an apartment building in Brooklyn, New York. There he meets a kid called Safer, with whom he strikes up a friendship based on spying on another tenant in the building. His mother has picked up extra shifts at the hospital, so he communicates with her via messages left in Scrabble tiles on his desk. At school, Georges is tormented by another student, one he stood up to once at the end of gym class. Liar & Spy is a story about friendship, bravery, and camaraderie.
I’m not sure how many of my 8th graders will enjoy the mystery in this story; I think the plot moves too slowly for their preferences. I do think it’d be more accessible to them than the other novel I’ve read by Stead, When You Reach Me, which has to do with the allusion to A Wrinkle in Time.