Two intrepid librarians

Two intrepid librarians review the best nonfiction books for children

Monday, August 20, 2018

Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries

Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries 
Ammi-Joan Paquette and Laurie Ann Thompson
Walden Pond Press, 2018
Grades 3-8

Following their successful middle grade nonfiction collaboration, Two Truths and a Lie: It's Alive, Paquette and Thompson have returned with another book in the series. This time they turn their attention to unusual events, locations and peculiar stories from the past.

If you're not familiar with the series, here's how it works. In each chapter, the authors share three stories. Two are nonfiction, and one is fiction. After reading the stories, readers guess which one is fake then check the back for the answer. The authors suggest doing some research before deciding which story isn't true. There is even a Research Guide in the back which offers advice such as looking carefully at sources, questioning everything, and asking librarians for help.

The engaging writing style blends narrative and expository and uses the 3rd person point of view to bring readers into the stories.

"Take the locker room. Have you ever gone swimming in a public pool or gym class, leaving your clothes and other stuff behind- only to come back and find it gone? Taken by a proxy thief? If you haven't, lucky you." (p.10-11)

The intriguing topics in the book range from ancient dentistry to Ben Franklin's fart science and a republic with a population of six. Vocabulary words are printed in bold and definitions are provided on the side of the pages.  Some pages are made to look like notebook paper, while other pages use colorful background colors and high-interest photos making this a visually pleasing read for tweens.

Two Truths and a Lie: Histories Mysteries will be in high demand with upper elementary and middle school students. Kids will enjoy reading it independently. It can also be shared with groups of friends or read aloud to a large group. It's the perfect book for discussing fake news and evaluating sources; which is both important and timely.

Visit the publisher's site to download an educator's guide to both books in the series.