This title is the winner of the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal. Georges (the s is silent) has a lot going on. He's having trouble with some boys at school, his dad lost his job and so his mum has started working all the time - and they have to sell their house and move into an apartment. But moving ...
This title is the winner of the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal. Georges (the s is silent) has a lot going on. He's having trouble with some boys at school, his dad lost his job and so his mum has started working all the time - and they have to sell their house and move into an apartment. But moving into the apartment block does bring one good thing - Safer, an unusual boy who lives on the top floor. He runs a spy club, and is determined to teach Georges everything he knows. Their current case is to spy on the mysterious Mr X in the apartment above Georges. But as Georges and Safer go deeper into their Mr X plan, the line between games, lies, and reality begin to blur.
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Publishers Weekly, 2012-10-29 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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly, 2012-06-11 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. Agent: Faye Bender, Faye Bender Literary Agency. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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