Liar and Spy - by Rebecca Stead
A Book Report by Luke Newburn
Safer is the twelve year old boy who lives in the same apartment as Georges. He drinks a lot of coffee and has no other friends, so he takes on the hobby of spying. He makes Georges his first recruit to the spy club. He enjoys bossing Georges around and immediately begins teaching him how to be a spy. Safer is the second protagonist in the book.
Candy is the sister of Safer. She sometimes helps Safer and Georges with spying. Spying is not her main hobby. She loves to change clothes, eat candy, and watch the beautiful parrots nest across the street. Candy is a supporting character in the story.
Mr. X is the antagonist in the story. He is the mystery neighbor who lives above Georges. He wears a black hat, black shirt, and black pants and carries a big heavy suitcase. Georges, Safer, and Candy watch him through the apartment security cameras to try and figure out what he is hiding.
CONFLICT AND PLOT
The book begins by introducing the main character Georges, his Mom and Dad, and his neighbors Safer and Candy. We also meet Georges' classmates including Dallas the school bully.
I have identified two conflicts in this book. The first conflict is man versus man. I believe it is man versus man because he is trying to spy on the mysterious Mr. X who Georges can not figure out why he keeps bringing large and heavy suitcases into and out of the building. He has sent his good and newly found friend Safer into the his Mr. X’s house to see what he is up to. I also believe it is man versus self because he struggles with leaving his house that he grew up in and the nice room his dad made for him. He is also struggling with his mom having to work double shifts at the hospital because his dad got released from his job. The last topic is that his new friend who he thought was absolutely perfect lied to him about the whole spying business and it turned out he was just Mr. X's dog walker.
The rising action in this story would definitely be the spying on Mr. X because they are getting closer and closer to the climax. Eventually in the story, they get to the point where they need to sneak in to his apartment to find out the truth of why he is going back and fourth into and out of his apartment.
I believe the climax in the book is when Georges really finds out the truth about the history between Mr. X and Safer. As it turns out, Safer knew that Mr. X wasn't a bad guy at all and he had been lying to Georges the entire time they were spying.
The falling action is when Safer apologizes for lying to him and they become friends again.
The Mr. X conflict was resolved by him meeting Mr. X and he turns out to be a nice man. The man versus self conflict resolved when he made friends with the not as cool kids. The other man versus self conflict was resolved when he finally stopped pretending that his mom was not working at the hospital but she was actually sick.