I got this book for my 9-year-old daughter, but also read it myself for the purposes of this review. She loves this series of books having already read and re-read The Fact or Fiction Behind London (Truth or Busted). She loves the facts and non-facts and loves de-mistifying things, especially stuff her mother may have said to her about things like swallowing chewing gum.
The presentation is probably one of the things that appeals to her with bold black and white and grey design throughout and lots of pictures in differing art styles. There's something going on on every page. And the text of the book is very bitesize making it ideal for children, but also ideal for the book to be picked up and read from any page at any time.
As well as the truth or busted bits there were other sections too, like sections called "It'll never happen" where figures from the past have said something about a modern (for the time) contraption and have since been proved wrong, or the "Where in the world" sections where things like champagne and poodles origins are explained and are not as we might have believed. Although these are not necessarily "urban myths" they are still interesting.
My daughter's thoughts on the book: "A lot of old wives tales aren't actually true and you find out in this book." And for me maybe the book was a bit short, being under 100 pages (like the other in the series), but I know my daughter loves it (even if she reads it all within a day) and that is good enough for me.
This is a really good set of books. We have (what I think is) the original one which I got for my son years ago. That was called 'The Smell of Poo Closed Parliament' and we have had years of fun going over and over the truth or busted scenarios in that book.
This has developed and is even better. It has a whole load of interesting and fun scenarios. It has whole page sections laying out pros and cons of various urban myths. Was the moon landing a hoax? Was the red santa clause invented by Coca Cola etc. etc.
My son is now 11 and he loves this book. To be honest I love it too.
It is black and white with cartoon drawings, no photos and no colour in the book.
These are really fun 'stocking filler' books. Well edited and I assume the information is fairly accurate - it always seems to be.
Since my 9 year old discovered this series a couple of years ago, these books have regularly featured on her Christmas and Birthday lists- so she was delighted to get this book to read.
Like others in the series it is crammed full the kind of fascinating facts this age group love, all presented humorously and stamped at the bottom with "truth", "busted" or "partly truth". The kind of issues covered include urban myths such as wee turning swimming pool water red, strawberry milkshakes containing crushed beetles, as well as more meaty stories such as Elvis being alive or the moon landings not happening. You can also find out where fortune cookies and chicken tikka masala came from and there are quotes from famous people with a funny twist.
All in all a great non-fiction book that was pounced on and read cover to cover as soon as it arrived here. Great book.
When I was a kid I had a book which I still fondly remember The Whizzkid's Handbook: No. 1. It was full of interesting facts told in a fun way that really did appeal to me and my friends, and this book reminds me of it. The Truth or Busted series of books is aimed at a similar market and is similar in style and content, although it’s obviously designed for today’s kids. At less than 100 pages it’s not a big book, and it won’t take long to read. However, if it gets kids interested in reading more it has to be a good thing. My nieces both enjoyed this book and found it both entertaining and funny but I can’t help wondering whether it will be remembered as fondly as The Whizzkid’s Handbook.
This is the sort of book every vaguely inquisitive child should be bought! For a start, they will get off to a good start in life, being able to sort fact from fiction and seeming very clever to book. Also, Mum and Dad will doubtlessly have a crafty read to catch up on all the things they have always wondered about! The tone is light without being overly silly or patronising. The content is well laid out and almost universally fascinating. I would highly recommend any parent snap this up for their child for all the reasons above!