Wednesday, August 8, 2012

the dots matter

Today I finished Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead.
I pre-ordered this book as soon as I heard that Rebecca Stead was writing a new middle grade book. In 2010 her book When You Reach Me won the Newbery Award and was a favorite in our house. We still say "Book Bag Pocket Shoe" to make each other laugh.

Liar & Spy did not disappoint. The writing was beautiful and the characters endearing. And, without giving too much away, Rebecca Stead is still as clever and tricky with Liar & Spy as she was with When You Reach Me.

Georges is a seventh grader dealing with the complexities of friendship, moving, preoccupied parents, bullying, and trust.

Georges is named after French painter Georges Seurat. One of my favorite bits in the book is the mix of science and art and Seurat's painting techniques as a metaphor for life.
"And then I think of all those thousands of dots Seurat used to paint the picture. I think about how if you stand back from the painting, you can see the people, the green grass and the cute monkey on a leash, but if you get closer, the monkey kind of dissolves right in front of your eyes. Like Mom says, life is a million different dots making one gigantic picture. And maybe the big picture is nice, maybe it's amazing, but if you're standing with your face pressed up against a bunch of black dots, it's really hard to tell." ~ Georges

Other favorite bits... chicken is chicken, bittersweet, scrabble notes, umami, Volleyball!, Candy, and Bob English Who Draws. You'll know what I mean once you read the book...

If you love a great book and a surprising twist... 
this is the book for you.
Life is really just a bunch of nows, one after the other.  The dots matter.

*and for Minecraft fans... check out this Minecraft Seurat 

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