Johanna’s Letter Essay #5: Liar and Spy

I have just finished reading the book Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead. This was a 200 hundred page realistic fiction book. Rebecca Stead has many books out such as

When You Reach Me, Goodbye Stranger, and First Light. Her book, When You Reach Me, got a Newberry Medal in 2010. Liar and Spy was also presented with a Guardian Prize. As a kid she always wanted to be a writer but thought of it as “impractical”, so she became a lawyer instead. She then wrote a children’s book inspired by her son and never went back. Liar and Spy was published on August 7th, 2012. I remember reading this book as a child so I decided to reread it. It is a thin book and a very easy read. The book is based off of a boy named Georges who is not a very popular kid. He wants friends to play with but he can’t find any. One day he sees a spy club poster and takes it as a joke, but actually ends up going. Georges meets two new friends at spy club and they have even targeted the bad guy. Until one day everything goes wrong. I liked the way the author made Georges not popular and the way she had him grow apart from his childhood friend. That really expressed what popularity can do to young people. It can break friendships apart very fast. If I were the author I would have put more school scenes in the book, just to show how unpopular Georges is. She puts a little bit of bullying into it but it doesn’t really have an affect on the reader. I understand why the author made Georges more separate from his mom. It kept us all wondering where she was and why we never met her or even got a description. All there was were notes from her and it kept the reader wondering. I love this next passage because it really got me hooked, showing all readers can be suspenseful even on the first page.


“Everyone in my class, even Bob English Who Draws, is paying attention today, because this is the first unit 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 own personal fate: true love or tragic death.

Yes, those are the only two choices.” (pg.1)
I really liked this book and I would recommend it to people for an easy read. I rate it an 8 out of ten because I feel like the author rushed the ending. This book was very good overall and

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5 thoughts on “Johanna’s Letter Essay #5: Liar and Spy

  1. Dear Johanna,
    I really enjoyed reading your letter essay. I thought that is was well structured. I liked how you added your own thinking into the letter essay. This allowed
    me to understand your thinking better.

  2. Dear Johanna,
    I like how you went into detail about the author and the other books and the award the author has got. Maybe you could go into a bit more detail the school scenes because you just say he is unpopular and that is it. Also it seems that on my laptop at least that the ending got cut off.


  3. Dear Johanna,
    I really liked your letter essay! It has such great structure, description and you showed great background knowledge about the author which is very interesting to hear for I don’t know too much about this author or her books. And I loved the passage you choose, it really did hook me in and made me wonder “Who is Bob English Who Draws?” “What does it mean that one person will discover his/her own fate?” One thing I would change is maybe have more organisation, the first paragraph was short and continued into the next long, second paragraph. Also, I know you were close to closing the essay, but on my laptop, like George, its cut off.

  4. Dear Johanna,

    Your letter was really good! And the book sounds interesting! I feel as if you really explained the book. I enjoyed reading letter essay and I look forward to reading your future ones.


  5. Dear Johanna,

    Great job! I have actually never heard of this book, but it sounds very good and I definitely need to read it! It appears that your letter essay got cut off though, so I was not able to finish it. But great job!

    Your friend,

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