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!
Seventh grade is not going well for Georges, the only child of an out-of-work Brooklyn architect and a nurse who named him after her favorite painter, pointillist Georges Seurat. Although Georges's mother has taken on double shifts to bring in extra income, the family has had to sell their house and move into an apartment. At school, former best friend Jason, who has started dressing like the skateboarder he isn't, now stands idly by while bullies harass Georges. Newbery Medalist Stead (When You Reach Me) expertly balances Georges's blue period with the introduction of the new neighbors: amateur spy Safer, and his younger sister, Candy, whose parents (in one of many hilarious details) let the kids name themselves. As homeschooled siblings, they offer refreshing perspectives on the ridiculousness of what goes on at Georges's school, including a forthcoming science unit on taste buds that the kids believe forecasts one's destiny. Safer recruits Georges to investigate and observe using the lobbycam to track a mysterious tenant and binoculars to monitor a nest of wild green parrots but the biggest secrets are the ones these two sensitive boys have buried in their hearts. Stead has a talent for introducing curriculum-ready topics in the most accessible ways imaginable, e.g., Seurat's painting methods become a persuasive metaphor for what Georges is going through and how he can survive it. Chock-full of fascinating characters and intelligent questions, this is as close to perfect as middle-grade novels come. Ages 9 12.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I have read Rebecca Stead's two other books, and I enjoyed them very much! The plot so far (from the description) on this one seems to be a little sketchy, but I'm sure it will turn out to be good.
As I just said, I really enjoyed her two other books, but they were differently written: When You Reach Me was written in a fun, fascinating way, and First Light was more of a solemn, beautiful story that was also very captivating. I don't find that to be surprising, though——I consider myself a writer, and I have several different styles myself. I'm just saying that she could take it in either direction.
But judging on her two other works, I'm fairly confident Rebecca Stead will do a good job on this one!
Love pizza, candy or people?
Maybe there could be more pizza in this story, but it might just muck the box up. Some middle school gets in there too. I read the last 2 chapters twice, because the author has only published 3 books. Now what will I do?