CM . . .
. Volume XXII Number 34. . . .May 6, 2016
Vermond’s new book about lying is really good. Should you believe me? Why would I lie to you? How would you even know? And what are the consequences to myself and others if I choose to lie? The studies and opinions shared in the four chapters in this nonfiction book try to answer these questions. The book begins with an April Fool’s Day joke about spaghetti bushes that was televised on the BBC in 1957. Reading about why it was told and how some people reacted, we are asked to think about the difference between truth and lies, and when is it better to lie than tell the truth. After giving four reasons and examples of why we lie, there is a chapter about men and women who lived much of their lives lying (Lance Armstrong) and the different ways people have tried to detect liars (Polygraph machines, and P300 tests). The real-life scenarios about lies that go on at school, home, and in advertising will resonant with children because they are common occurrences (cheating on tests and in video games). Despite the glum subject, the book ends on a positive note about how trust and honesty build better, happier communities.
Hanmer’s cartoon-style illustrations add humour and help lighten the mood of this grim topic. Children, animals, and adults are all shown exaggerating their lies. Their sweat is visible, and so is their dishonesty. Different cultures are represented and the material is broken up into a variety of formats (sidebars, boxes, lists) to make this an easy read. Some of the liars have green skin which matches what the author says about how lying can make us sick.
Back material includes an extensive index, and bibliography, after which the author thanks her sources. Vermond also authored The Secret Life of Money).
Tanya Boudreau is a librarian at the Cold Lake Public Library in Cold Lake, AB.
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