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.
The Science Unit of Destiny
There's this totally false map of the human tongue. It's supposed to show where we taste different things, like salty on the side of the tongue, sweet in the front, bitter in the back. Some guy drew it a hundred years ago, and people have been forcing kids to memorize it ever since.
But it's wrong--all wrong. As in, not even the slightest bit right. It turns out that our taste buds are all alike, they can taste everything, and they're all over the place. Mr. Landau, seventh-grade science teacher, has unrolled a beaten-up poster of the ignorant tongue map, and he's explaining about how people have misunderstood the science of taste since the beginning of time.
Everyone in my class, even Bob English Who Draws, is paying attention today, because this is the first day of "How We Taste," also known as The Science Unit of Destiny. They all believe that sometime in the next ten school days, at least one person in the room is going to discover his or her ...
This contemporary mystery maintains Rebecca Stead's focus on exceptional characters, unique device, and tight, clever dialogue. There's much going on behind the scenes of Stead's book, and the Newbery Medal-winning author gives a nod to readers' intelligence as she deftly allows the plot to reveal. Whispered conversations and sideways glances add to the suspense, keeping readers riveted from the start.
(Reviewed by Megan Shaffer).
Full Review (872 words).
The "Sir Ott" painting in which Georges takes so much comfort, is titled A Sunday on La Grande Jatte by French Pointillist painter Georges Pierre Seurat (Here's a pronunciation guide). Seurat was born in Paris in 1859 and is widely known for founding the Neo-Impressionistic art movement and use of the pointillist technique.
Pointillism, the term used with respect to the work of Seurat, is the practice of painting patterns of small, distinct dots of pure color next to each other. When seen from a distance, the dots fuse to form images. The pointillist technique focuses on small, individual brushwork strokes which the viewer can't differentiate when looking at from afar.
A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte is ...
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