About the Book: Liar and Spy is a stand alone book by Rebecca Stead. It has 180 pages and was published on August 7th, 2012 by Wendy Lamb Books. It has a Lexile measure of 670 and is a contemporary, middle grade, mystery about Georges (the s is silent), and what happens when he moves to a new apartment and becomes friends with Safer, a secret agent wanna-be.
My Review: Liar and Spy was an enjoyable read that like When You Reach Me and Goodbye Stranger have a wonderful ending. (Seriously, what is it with Rebecca Stead’s amazing endings? It’s like her superpower or something!) The story was interesting and kept me going. I loved all of the unusual names and now have this thing for the name Safer. Part of the ending was a little predictable but it was nonetheless extremely satifying. On the down side, there were a couple minor cuss words but other than that I didn’t really have any problems with the book. This book will draw in everyone from young middle-schoolers to middle-aged adults and I would highly recommend it if you’re looking for a short and easy read that makes you think.
Once again I come to you, ready to share a foul story about my cousin and birds. This time the story involves a different species of birds; ducks, and more specifically, my cousin’s great fear of them.
It all started with a drive to the local river. My parents figured that taking me and my cousin to the river to feed the ducks was a perfectly normal activity and truthfully, I believe they had absolutely no intention in traumatizing my cousin. Nevertheless, that is exactly what happened. We had just gotten to the river and gotten out of the car when the white and brown feathered creatures started advancing towards us.
I highly doubt we had been feeding them for more than two minutes before havoc descended upon us. Whether an overanxious duck pecked at my cousin or whether he was stupid enough to provoke one, I know not; what I do know, however, it that he quickly became intimidated and began backing away towards the car. Unfortunately, he must not have realized that ducks do not see this as a gesture of fear and utter surrender, but rather as one of enticement, or in simple words “Follow me, I have food.” Basically, the closer my cousin got to the car the closer the ducks advanced to him. Sadly, before long, my cousin climbed up onto the hood of the car in a last, fighting attempt to keep the vile creatures away.
Oh yes, what an entertaining spectacle for me and my parents, who rather than helping him, stood off to the side, watching in amusement. Looking back, I can derive one point of importance from this story; ducks are dangerous.
Some people in my family like birds. For example, my cats, but that’s not what we’re going to talk about today. No, today we’re going to talk about the time my cousin almost put a parrot into diabetic shock.
Several years ago my mom and grandmother took me and my cousin to a pet store. Although at the time it seemed like an innocent activity that would keep two little kids busy, it quickly spiraled out of control. My mom was watching me and left my grandmother to look after my cousin, who at the time was probably seven. Well, at some point my grandmother bought my cousin some skittles from a dispenser in the store. This in itself was a mistake. My cousin at the time was the type of kid you had to watch every second and giving him sugar would only double the amount of trouble he could produce. Nevertheless, my grandmother, who may or may not have a similar level of jovial hyper-ness, did buy him some skittles. This alone was not enough to wreak havoc but what came next was. My cousin then gave one of his skittles to a parrot. Me being a particularly observant six-year-old, saw the skittle go into the bird’s mouth and promptly alerted my grandmother. Unfortunately, she said it was fine and promptly grabbed my cousin and fled the scene of the crime.
I still wasn’t satisfied and went to my mom and told her about the incident. At first, my mom dismissed it, thinking it wasn’t a big deal. Nevertheless, she eventually decided it would be best to tell the store clerk. When she did, the clerk lost it. Like really lost it.
“Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! That is a ten thousand dollar bird and he’s diabetic!”
With that, the clerk ran over the bird’s cage in what now was a race against time and began attempting to pry the skittle out of the bird’s mouth. It took a while but she finally removed the half eaten skittle from the bird’s mouth after repeatedly yelling “Drop it! Drop it!’. She then, of course, proceeded to chastise my mom for letting my cousin feed the bird, despite the fact my mom hadn’t even seen it happen. Needless to say, when my mom and I finally made it to the car she made it very clear to my grandmother that thanks to her not-so-extraordinary babysitting skills, a ten thousand dollar bird almost went into diabetic shock.