Title: How to Fake a Moon Landing: Exposing the Myths of Science Denial
Author: Darryl Cunningham
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Publication Date: April 2, 2013
Age Range: 12 and up
Lexile Reading Level: No Level
Cunningham addresses and discusses several different controversial topics in this book including the moon landing, climate change, and evolution. He uses hard science to debunk myths and prove conspiracy theories wrong.
The great thing about this book is that the author has very obviously done a lot of research. Instead of believing sensationalized news articles, he looks to science and data to prove whether or not well-known theories are correct. He states at the beginning of the book that while he believes the things he states in his book, he is open to changing his mind if the science is there to back it up. I think that’s a great lesson for kids to learn at a young age. It’s okay to have beliefs and convictions, but it’s also important to not close our minds to other ideas that are logically/scientifically proven to be possible or correct.
While this book is fun in its current graphic novel format, the illustrations really don’t add much to the narrative. Having the text separated by panels may make it easier to read or process, but a lot of the book consists of speech bubbles over our narrator (see panels 2, 3, 4, and 6) or an aside from the narrator over a picture (see panel 5). It seems like the graphic novel format could have been utilized a little better with diagrams or more interesting illustrations.
Overall, I think this book is a great way to introduce youth to using science to inform decisions and beliefs. In addition, it may help them to be a little more informed about some controversial topics and could actually prove to be a launching pad for more in depth research. The library should also try to have resources that contradict the theories posed in this book just to have a balanced collection and to give patrons both sides of the “story”.
This would be a great book for a book club where youth could get together and discuss the different issues, whether Cunningham has them convinced, and why other people may not believe Cunningham’s arguments.