Co-authored with Laurie Thompson

Walden Press / Harper Collins, 2017

Tiny scorpions that burrow in books? A chicken that lived for years after having its head chopped off? A medical procedure that can give you X-ray vision? These stories and more are illustrated in full color within these pages. But beware . . . not all of the articles are true! Each action-packed chapter features three stories; two of them are true, but one is a lie. Can you decipher which is which? This innovative book will not only introduce readers to many amazing unknown facts about the natural world, but will also challenge them to read critically, and dig deep to find the truth in their reading.

A Junior Library Guild selection!
Chicago Public Library's Best Books of 2017
2018 Texas Topaz list selection
2017 Booklist Editor's Choice list
2017 Booklist's Lasting Connections List
2017 Nerdie Long-form Nonfiction Award
2017 Cybils Award finalist


"This series opener couldn’t be better timed. Inspired by a parlor game, the authors mix two facts about an aspect of the natural world (plants, animals, and even humans) with one untruth, and invite readers to pick out the bogus entry from each trio. Each entry includes specific (or at least plausible) scientific details, names of actual researchers, and, along, with colorful graphic images, often even photographs (doctored or otherwise). Each group of three also features sidebar definitions, projects to try, or thorny scientific issues to ponder, and a secondary list of hard-to-credit facts, body parts, medical procedures, or other items—each with an embedded ringer. Readers can check their guesses at the back, where generous source notes for all the non-spurious content offered leads to further study. A brief but savvy guide to responsible research methods adds further luster to this crowdpleaser." —Booklist, starred

"With 'fake news' now such a prominent topic of conversation, a book that asks readers to separate bizarre but true stories about nature from fake ones is quite timely. This is the first of a series that presents Ripley's Believe It or Not–type true stories about the natural world alongside Barnum-esque fabrications and challenges readers to discern the real from the fake... Most of these invented phenomena are convincing and difficult to separate from the real. It is up to readers to sort out the fakes from the facts. Sound advice is given on how to seek and evaluate information online, and, for the impatient, the fakes are revealed in an appendix. An engaging, entertaining compendium that will inform and confound." —Kirkus

"Truth is much stranger than fiction, as Paquette and Thompson demonstrate in these themed groupings of nature articles, organized to challenge readers to expose the fake within each set... The game format is flexible enough for individual challenge or team play, and the investigations into Plants/Fungi, Animals, and Humans (and let’s not start quibbling here about the separate Animal/Human categories) strongly commend this for classroom use. Hopefully the It’s Alive! subtitle is a harbinger of more titles to come; this could be addictive." —BCCB