Rebecca Stead, author of the Newbery award-winning book, When You Reach Me, has written another great book for the middle grade crowd. Liar & Spy is immediately engaging with terrific characters. Many readers will relate to Georges' angst about middle school, the classroom drama, and the embarrassment of being a target for the mean kids. Liar & Spy is not so much about spies (although there is a cool Harriet the Spy feel to it). Rather, in this funny, touching, and heartwarming book, some of the themes include family, fears, school (both homeschool and public school), outcasts, and friendship. Triumph comes to Georges and his fellow outcasts at school when they decide there is strength in numbers. They come together and organize themselves in some amusing ways together so, as one character points out, they know they "are never alone." Georges' relationship with his parents is a loving and close one, and his dad is an exceptionally lovable character. Teachers will enjoy the kinship Georges' shares with a special teacher. This book, while compelling, is not fast-paced. Rather, it builds to a completely surprising twist ending that readers will not see coming. Although it is written from the perspective of a boy, it will absolutely be appealing to girls, too. It would make for a great read aloud in a classroom from 4th grade up, as it is wholesome and exceptionally well-written. Adults will enjoy this little gem as much as its intended middle school audience.