Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead
Rebecca Stead accomplishes all this in Liar & Spy. Georges (silent S!!!) is in seventh grade. He has to move from his house into an apartment due to his father's job change. Georges has to deal with his mom working double shifts as a nurse. He also has to deal with bullying. To be honest, I think Georges handles it perfectly well. In the apartment complex is a home-schooled boy his age. A spy "club" soon begins.
This book explores deception, secrets, truths and friendship. You will not believe how many interesting science and art facts Rebecca Stead incorporates into this novel. You will not believe how Georges communicates with his mom. Sometimes social rules are meant to be broken (or at least examined). The title is not important, but this near-perfect middle school realistic fiction is important. Rebecca Stead is the author of the Newbery Medal Winner When You Reach Me.