We live in an information jungle! Join us to find your way through it with essential critical literacy skills. From spotting fake news to solving mysteries and investigating disasters, you will be able to THINK FOR YOURSELF and QUESTION EVERYTHING!
Reviewed by Nikki Gamble
Question Everything: an investigators toolkit invites the reader to do just that. News has always been presented with a bias, and sometimes a shocking disregard for the truth, but now more than ever, concerns are rising about the increase in fake news and disinformation. The micropublisher b small published the award-winning Real-life Mysteries (Blue Peter Book Award Best Book with Facts 2018) which presented in a fun and easily digestible way possible explanations for some of the world’s mysteries like the Loch Ness Monster and Shackleton’s mysterious ghostly companion. This book was picked up by teachers who could see the potential in using it to teach children to be critical about what they read. There is a further book in this series by Susan Martineau, Real-life Disasters : Investigate What Really Happened!
Publisher, Sam Hutchinson realised that there was more that could be done to explicitly address in a children’s book the skills of reading critically. Question Everything is a toolkit for readers. It’s a small format handbook which starts by acknowledging how confusing the information jungle can be. We are all bombarded every day with messages from social media, traditional media, at home and school. The book then goes on to provide some practical strategies to help young readers navigate the world, with a simple toolkit to help them take stock and to question.
The format is colourful, with bold logographics, created by illustrator Vicky Barker and the content covers topics as wide-ranging as spotting fake facts, how numbers can be used to provide an angle on a subject and how old news can resurface as though it’s new.
Question Everything: an investigators toolkit is a useful book for the classroom and handy for teachers to support critical literacy lessons across the curriculum.
Formerly a teacher (secondary and primary) and university lecturer, with over 35 years’ experience, Nikki has worked extensively in schools across the UK and internationally. She is the author of Exploring Children’s Literature now in its fourth edition (Sage, 2019) Co-author of Guiding Readers, winner of the UKLA Academic Book award (UCL, 2016). Nikki runs workshops for teachers, librarians, students and researchers on different aspects of children's literature, an online summer school and an Audience with events, celebrating writers and illustrators who have made an exceptional contribution to the world of children's books. Further information exploringchildrensliterature.uk