Elem./MG – Can You Believe It? How to Spot Fake News and Find the Facts

Grant, Joyce. Can You Believe It? How to Spot Fake News and Find the Facts. Kids Can Press, 2022. 978-1-525-30322-7. 56 p. $19.99. Grades 4-7.

Students are constantly searching for information online, but not all that information is trustworthy, credible, or even particularly accurate. This book, which deals specifically with “fake news” ideas, attempts to show students what makes up a credible source, teaches about journalism and journalism techniques, and points out the ways in which students can become “investigators” instead of simply believing everything they find online. Concepts like bias, satire, social media advertising, and critical thinking are covered with fun, relevant examples that kids will easily understand, and each page is packed with details and questions that could be used for further discussion. 

THOUGHTS: This is a great resource for teaching students about fake news, with concepts like bias, clickbait, and a myriad of journalism techniques clearly explained. Whimsical illustrations, manageable chunks of text, and numerous side bars and helpful explanations make this book accessible and interesting. Would be a great addition to collections where news literacy and digital citizenship are part of the Reading, English, Library or Technology curriculum.

 070.4 Journalism and News Literacy          Erin Faulkner, Cumberland Valley SD

MG – Fake News

Jackson, Tom. Fake News. Quarto Publishing, 2020. 978-0-711-25034-5. 96 p. $14.75. Grades 5-8.

“Everyone and anyone can have an opinion, but not everyone’s opinion is fully informed.” Learn about censorship, secret agendas, conspiracy theories, and the battle between the media and politicians by reading Fake News. Chapters include the Myths and Meaning, Advertising, Memes, World Wide Web, and Freedom of Speech. This book encourages students to get all the facts before forming an opinion. Each chapter ends with a section of questions the reader can use to help reflect and make sense of what they have read. After reading this book, students will have the knowledge and skills needed to become responsible users of information and be able to make informed opinions about hot topics.

THOUGHTS: An important book for any person wishing to be a more critical thinker. The information presented is relevant to today’s current events and the book will be a valuable addition to any middle school or high school library collection. This book and others can be displayed together to make a compelling collection.

070.4 Media Literacy          Jaynie Korzi, South Middleton SD

Elem. – Facts vs Opinions vs Robots

Rex, Michael. Facts vs Opinions vs Robots. Nancy Paulsen Books, 2020. 978-1-984-81626-9. Unpaged. $17.99. Grades K-2.

Robots are the perfect way to teach kids about facts and opinions! Micheal Rex has created a new book using colorful robots! One of these may be true, and one is my opinion, and I bet you are savvy enough to know which is which – hopefully because an educator or librarian guided you! This very creative story is entertaining to read and goes thoughtfully through the process of identifying facts and opinions and then giving example scenarios to determine how to handle the differences. Just as importantly, young students learn what to do when not enough information is available to sort fact or opinion. The dialogue with the reader and listeners is authentic, fun, and practical- just like robots – in my humble opinion!

THOUGHTS: This was my favorite Zoom read aloud during the spring, as it was interactive, fun, and instructional all at once. There are ample extensions that you can make with classes, and it would be valuable to reread at several points during the year. Highly recommended title for K-2 collections.

Picture Book          Dustin Brackbill, State College Area SD

A book all about facts, opinions, and robots! Take an adventure together to learn about the difference between facts and opinions with our robot friends. A fact is something that can be proven true or false, while an opinion is something that we feel or believe! Sometimes in order to learn new information, we need more information! Together we can learn about facts and opinions and help our robot friends learn, too!

THOUGHTS: I absolutely love this book! This is a great learning tool for teachers to discuss the difference between facts and opinion.

121 Fact/Opinion          Rachel Burkhouse, Otto-Eldred SD