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Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries

Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries

by Ammi-Joan Paquette, Laurie Ann Thompson
Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries

Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries

by Ammi-Joan Paquette, Laurie Ann Thompson


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Crazy-but-true stories about history, geography, and human achievement make this acclaimed nonfiction series perfect for fans of curiosities and wonders. A fun way for middle graders to explore ways to separate fact from fiction. 

Did you know that a young girl once saved an entire beach community from a devastating tsunami thanks to something she learned in her fourth-grade geography lesson? Or that there is a person alive today who generates her own magnetic field? Or how about the fact that Benjamin Franklin once challenged the Royal Academy of Brussels to devise a way to make farts smell good?

Welcome to Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries! You know the game: Every story in this book is strange and astounding, but one out of every three is an outright lie.

Can you guess which stories are the facts and which are the fakes? It’s not going to be easy. Some false stories are based on truth, and some of the true stories are just plain unbelievable! Don’t be fooled by the photos that accompany each story—it’s going to take all your smarts and some clever research to root out the alternative facts.

From a train that transported dead people to antique photos of real fairies to a dog who was elected mayor, the stories in this book will amaze you! Just don’t believe everything you read. . . .

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062418876
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 05/21/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 134,608
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Ammi-Joan Paquette loves caves, hates mushy bananas, and is ambivalent about capybaras. She is the coauthor of the Two Truths and a Lie series and the author of the novels Rules for Ghosting, Paradox, and Nowhere Girl as well as the Princess Juniper series and many more. She is also the recipient of a PEN/New England Susan P. Bloom Children’s Book Discovery Award honor. Joan lives outside Boston, Massachusetts, where she balances her own writing with her day job as a literary agent. You can visit her online at

Laurie Ann Thompson loves capybaras, hates caves, and is ambivalent about mushy bananas. She is the coauthor of the Two Truths and a Lie series and author of several award-winning nonfiction books, including Emmanuel’s Dream, a picture book biography of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, which was the recipient of the Schneider Family Book Award and was named an ALA Notable Book and a CCBC Choice, among other accolades. She lives outside Seattle with her family, and you can visit her online at

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

Part 1 Hazy Histories 1

Chapter 1 Over 1,000 Years Ago 2

A Mammoth Cave's Mystery Walker 2

B Holey Molars! 6

C A Curse on All Thieving Bathers 10

Chapter 2 Over 100 Years Ago 16

A Onesimus and the Fight against Smallpox 16

B All Aboard the Railway of the Dead 21

C Boilerplate: The Man, the Myth, the Machine 26

Chapter 3 Over 10 Years Ago 31

A Audubon the Painter Prankster 31

B Cannibal Rats, Ahoy! 36

C The North American Santa Accident 40

Part 2 Peculiar Places 45

Chapter 4 Natural 46

A Magical Mankato 46

B Are You Smarter Than a Bird Brain? 50

C Honey: So Sweet and So… Colorful? 55

Chapter 5 Unnatural 60

A Welcome to Molossia, Population: 6. 60

B Big Bird Goes to Church 64

C Going to the Dogs… On Dog Island 68

Chapter 6 Supernatural 73

A Hello, Dolly! 73

B Everybody Smile and Say "Fairies" 78

C The Creepy Case of Highgate Cemetery 83

Part 3 Perplexing People 89

Chapter 7 Interesting Individuals 90

A Ben Franklin's Farts 90

B The Life-Saving Magic of Tilly Smith 95

C My, Oh My, Magnetism! 100

Chapter 8 Law and Order 105

A When the Boss Says "Bark" 105

B Stop, in the Name of the Tree Police! 109

C A Little Decency, Please 113

Chapter 9 Curious Culture 118

A Please Play with Your Food! 118

B Out in the Meadow, Where the Marshmallows Grow 123

C Here, Hyena-Hyena-Hyena! 127

Research Guide 132

Answer Guide 137

Bibliography 146

Photograph Credits 162

Index 165

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