Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Children's Nonfiction Values & Virtues

Half-Truths and Brazen Lies

An Honest Look at Lying

by (author) Kira Vermond & Clayton Hanmer

Owlkids Books Inc.
Initial publish date
Apr 2016
Values & Virtues, Sociology, Manners & Etiquette, Media Studies
Recommended Age
8 to 12
Recommended Grade
3 to 7
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2016
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


Do you believe in telling the truth? Sure you do. But even that’s a lie — because we all lie. Whether to protect a friend, to make someone feel better, or to avoid telling even bigger lies later, lying is actually central to human nature. Usually we’re taught that lying is bad, and that’s that. But in reality, it’s rarely so black and white.

Kira Vermond’s latest book answers questions like: Why do we lie? What types of lies are there? What are the consequences of lying? What methods are used to detect lies? And when is it okay or even good to lie?

From forgeries and hoaxes to plagiarism and placebos, Half-Truths and Brazen Lies offers historical anecdotes, scientific studies, and sociocultural analyses to help unpack the complex world of untruths. Told in a witty, conversational tone with an index and full-color illustrations, the book takes a thorough, nuanced approach to a fascinating aspect of human behavior.

About the authors

KIRA VERMOND is an award-winning writer and longtime freelancer from Guelph who rarely has a free moment to relax. With over 1,000 articles under her belt, Canadians have read her travel, career and money columns for The Globe and Mail and Chatelaine and listened to her career advice on CBC Radio weekday mornings for years. In 2010, Chatelaine and John Wiley published her book Earn, Spend, Save: The savvy guide to a richer, smarter, debt-free life. Kira also contributes to OWL Magazine, Today's Parent, Parents Canada, Canadian Family, PROFIT, FORUM Magazine, and many other consumer and trade publications.

Kira Vermond's profile page

Clayton Hanmer is an illustrator whose crude, energetic comic style has given him a surprisingly broad range of clients from The Globe and Mail to Owl Magazine. He is also the illustrator of The Secret Life of Money by Kira Vermond (Owlkids Books, 2012) and Not Your Typical Book about the Environment by Elin Kelsey (Owlkids Books, 2010). He lives in Port Hope, Ontario, Canada.

Clayton Hanmer's profile page


  • Short-listed, Red Cedar Award Nominee 2017-18
  • Short-listed, Nominated for the 2017 Silver Birch Nonfiction Award
  • Short-listed, Red Dot student’s choice book awards
  • Shortlisted for the 2017 Children's Literature Roundtables of Canada's Information Book Award
  • New York State NYC Reads 365 list selection
  • Short-listed, Grade 4-6 Diamond Willow
  • Short-listed, Canadian Children's Book Centre's Best Books for Kids and Teens

Editorial Reviews

"A clever, entertaining and engaging book... Vermond asks the right kinds of questions, and it's clear that she wants her readers to seriously consider some very complex social issues."

Canadian Children's Book News

"Rich with evidence, explanation, and food for thought, this well-documented approach to an issue not often covered in depth for this age group will be enjoyed for curiosity's sake as well as a resource for study."


""[Lying is] central to human nature," writes Vermond in this intuitively clear survey of the good, bad, and ugly manifestations of lying."

Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

"I enjoyed this book because it made me feel better about myself, knowing that everyone lies."

Murphy, age 10, Kids' Book Buzz

"Pithy and engaging... Interesting sidebars, a thoughtfully compiled index and bibliography round out the illuminating, fascinating text."

Quill & Quire

"Explores complex issues...a great conversation starter."

The National Reading Campaign

"Vermond's new book about lying is really good... Despite the glum subject, the book ends on a positive note about how trust and honesty build better, happier communities. Recommended."

Canadian Review of Materials

"An excellent, well-written, and comprehensive purchase for school and public libraries."

School Library Journal

Other titles by

Other titles by

Related lists