Georges (pronounced “George”) and his parents have just moved into a new apartment building. Georges is trying to be okay about it (his dad got laid off and, although they had the best house EVER, it’s time to get something cheaper) but it’s hard. It’s not easy for him to make friends, you see, and even though it’s still just a few blocks away from his old home, change is still not good. And then he meets Safer and Candy. Safer is a spy and Candy is his sister and accomplice. And Safer needs Georges’ help. One of their neighbors (“Mr. X”) may or may not be a killer. At the VERY least, though, he’s certainly a bad person.
I completely loved Rebecca Stead’s earlier book, When You Reach Me (which is an homage to A Wrinkle in Time) and “completely over-the-moon excited” is not too strong a term for how I felt when I saw that she had a new book out this year. It’s actually an understatement, if anything.
The two books are pretty different, but what they have in common are awesome narrators and a clever, sweet story.
My favorite part of this one is the ode to the painting by Georges Seurat. You know the one, where the people are on the bank of a river and they’re walking or watching or sitting (depending on the person). This one. Because of that painting, Georges is the most well-adjusted kid ever.
His mom explains that life is like that painting. You have all these little dots, and it’s so easy to get caught up in the small stuff that you completely miss the big picture. Every day of your life is like a dot. It matters, but it doesn’t MATTER. So while Georges hates school now (because he’s picked on), it still isn’t the big picture.
I love Georges and his parents, and Safer and Candy.
This is a magical book. Highly recommended.