Half-Truths and Brazen Lies: An Honest Look at Lying

illus. by Clayton Hanmer. 48p. bibliog. index. Owlkids. Apr. 2016. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781771471466.
Gr 4–6—Though kids are taught that lying is wrong, they also encounter situations where telling the whole truth isn't advisable. Children are told to say they like their birthday presents even when they don't. A fake news story on April Fool's Day is good for a laugh, but is it a lie? What if being honest would unnecessarily hurt a friend's feelings? Vermond successfully tackles all of these complex issues, using tons of realistic examples, citing scientific studies, highlighting historical and current figures, and pointing out cultural differences. This book doesn't endorse deception, but it brings complexities into the light for parents, teachers, and kids to talk about openly. For example, the author explains how the consequences of cheating on a test include not only getting in trouble but also not learning the information and falling more behind in class, which could lead to a cycle of even more cheating. Perfectly placed to break up the large blocks of text, Hanmer's amusing comic-style illustrations add levity to this serious topic.
VERDICT An excellent, well-written, and comprehensive purchase for school and public libraries. That's the honest truth.

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