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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Two Truths and a Lie: It's Alive! By Ammi-Joan Paquette and Laurie Ann Thompson. Walden Pond Press, Harper. $21.99 ages 8 and up

"The plant world is pretty wild! You've just read about enormous bridges that are actual living plant structures; a type of flower you could use as a nighlight; and a miracle fruit that makes sour things eaten after it taste sweet. What are the truths? What is the lie? Careful research will tell."

Can you guess?

Put this book down on a table where interested readers can find it, and watch what happens! It will hold interest and spark debate at every turn. It is, hopefully, the first in a series with stories about humans, about animals and about plants.

Three facts are provided. The premise is that only two are the truth. Which one is the lie? That is your task to consider. Descriptions are very persuasive, making the decision difficult. But, quality research and careful thought could lead to solving the mystery. You can imagine the many conversations that will be generated when sharing the content.

Each of three parts - plants, animals, humans - contains three chapters. Each chapter tells three stories. At the end of the chapter, you are meant to decide which of the three is a lie. Included photos, charts, and 'talk it out' sections may (or may not) help you with your decision.

If you want your kids to develop critical thinking skills, here is a book that is sure to help. Yes, the answers are provided in the back of the book. Before they are presented, the authors offer a research guide, sure to help if needed. Following those answers, an extensive bibliography is provided.

What a great game! Impetus for finding the truth by doing research is at the heart of it, a much needed skill in these trying times when 'fake news' is often part of the conversation.

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