I received an early birthday gift last week. The new novel by Rebecca Stead, the Newbery-winning author of When You Reach Me, will not be published until August 7, but thanks to my friends at Buttonwood Books and Toys in Cohasset, I was able to make it the first book on my summer reading list. It was a good way to begin. Liar & Spy is funny and smart and kind of quirky like When You Reach Me – with the same kind of off-beat characters and situations. Stead’s third novel is about a boy name Georges (the “s” is silent) who moves into an apartment in Brooklyn. There he meets Safer, a boy about his age, who invites Georges to help him spy on his neighbor, Mr. X. There’s lots more going on. Georges friend Jason is ignoring him. His family is having financial trouble. And as you might expect, Stead ties it all together brilliantly. In fact, when I finished the book, I was tempted to go back on page one and read it again to watch how Stead sets it all up. But, with so many books on my nightstand, it may have to wait.
If you still have room for a few more titles, check out Maureen Corrigan’s (Fresh Air’s book critic) summer reading suggestions. I already have way too much on the list, but after listening to her, I added Crusoe’s Daughter by British novelist, Jane Gardam. Here’s the link: