When seventh grader Georges (the s is silent) moves into a Brooklyn apartment building, he meets Safer, a twelve-year-old coffee-drinking loner and self-appointed spy.

Georges becomes Safer’s first spy recruit. His assignment? Tracking the mysterious Mr. X, who lives in the apartment upstairs. But as Safer becomes more demanding, Georges starts to wonder: how far is too far to go for your only friend?

Liar & Spy is an inspired, often-funny story about destiny, goofy brilliance, and courage. Like Stead’s Newbery Medal-winning When You Reach Me, it will keep readers guessing until the end.

  • Winner of the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize
  • Shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal
  • A New York Times Book Review Notable Book for Children
  • A New York Times Bestseller


“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, The Horn Book

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

“[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”
-Starred Review, Kirkus

“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, The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“The ending twists readers’ entire perception of the events and creates a brilliant conclusion to an insightful novel.”
-Starred Review, School Library Journal

“Fresh and funny, this will speak to many children trying to find their own way.”

“Rebecca Stead makes writing this well look easy. She is, of course, playing games.”
The Guardian