cover image Liar & Spy

Liar & Spy

Rebecca Stead, read by Jesse Bernstein. Listening Library, unabridged, four CDs, 4.75 hrs., $30 ISBN 978-0-449-01408-0

When seventh-grader Georges and his family move into a new apartment building in Brooklyn, N.Y., he meets 12-year-old Safer, who recruits him to join her spy squad in an attempt to gather intelligence about Mr. X, a man who resides in an upstairs suite. As Georges, narrator Jesse Bernstein is youthful yet wise: a child who’s suffered more than his fair share of life. As Safer, Bernstein is darker, sounding like a troubled youth who is ready to control any situation. Of course, there’s more than meets the eye in Stead’s novel, and Bernstein’s understated performance leaves room for interpretation. Listeners will be charmed by this memorable listen and Bernstein’s rendition of two unusual and endlessly interesting characters. Ages 8–up. A Wendy Lamb hardcover. (Aug.)