True or False?

True or False? 192p. chart. illus. index. maps. notes. photos. reprods. DK. 2014. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781465424679.
Gr 5–8—DK serves up quite a menu in this browsing treat, offering tidbits on topics that include nature, space, history and culture, and the human body. Each page presents a piece of information commonly believed to be true; the book then sheds light on the fact's veracity and also includes some related content. This title may inspire readers to look further into a topic, but they won't find enough material for report research. Some of the nuggets are so brief that they create more questions than answers. A myth about an apple seed growing into a tree in one's stomach is dispelled this way: "Your stomach does not provide a suitable environment for a tree to grow. Seeds pass along your intestines, and are pushed outside in feces. If a seed survives this journey, it may still grow into a tree, using sunlight energy." Unless elimination occurs in a very natural setting and not on a toilet, that won't likely happen. This is a busy book, so more opportunities exist for problematic editorial decisions: some words seem randomly bolded, and the "Fast Facts" features aren't always clearly connected to a spread's main focus (how a koala's 22-hour-a-day sleeping habit connects to the aphorism "Elephants never forget" isn't apparent). Questions are posed in small colored circles throughout, but readers will have to search for the answers (no page numbers are provided for their locations). However, these glitches don't make the book any less tantalizing, and appetites for the fascinating will be satisfied by goodies like the human digestive tract being approximately the length of a school bus. A fun purchase.—Alyson Low, Fayetteville Public Library, AR

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