NONFICTION

True or False: A CIA Analyst’s Guide to Spotting Fake News

Feiwel & Friends. Jul. 2020. 336p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781250239495.
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Gr 8 Up–Former CIA analyst Otis has written a necessary and engaging resource that should be required reading for all high school students. The first half of the book outlines the use of fake news and propaganda spread by governments and authority figures throughout history. These informative and entertaining incidents date back over 3,000 years, from ancient Egypt and up to the current 2020 presidential election. Otis amusingly outlines the deceitful work of Ramses II and his spin to convince people he “won” the battle against the city of Kadesh. Each case study is equally captivating. In the second half of the book, Otis explains numerous techniques on how to spot fake news and highlights how legitimate news outlets produce factual articles. With a variety of detailed examples and exercises, readers learn how to analyze news, posts, and photos, as well as how to check their own biases and emotional reactions when trying to determine fact from fiction. The book’s droll tone and quick pace will thoroughly engage even those who dislike nonfiction; all readers will be empowered with a more critical eye when browsing their news feeds.
VERDICT An important, comprehensive text that should be an integral part of all high school information literacy curricula.

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