Thursday, December 29, 2011

Can I See Your ID?

Can I See Your I.D.?: True Stories of False Identities Chris Barton

For some reason I thought this was about identity theft (why? I don't know.) It's not. It's about people living false lives.

Keron Thomas was a 16-year-old obsessed with trains when he talked his way into being a substitute subway driver--getting the drive the A-train, New York subway's longest train route.

Sarah Rosetta Wakeman pretended to be a man and joined the Union Army. Although she's not the only woman who did this, Wakeman wrote home on a regular basis and only her letters are known to have survived.

Solomon Perel had to Jewish heritage, even ending up as a soldier in the German army and a member of the Nazi youth, allowing him to survive WWII.

Ellen Craft was a light-skinned slave who pretended to be her husband's owner, allowing both of them escape to the North.

Kimberlee Elizabeth Seaman changed her name and her birthday to continue playing teenagers on TV and the movies. When Riley Weston shopped her screen play, she let people believe she was younger than she was, becoming a "teenage" writer on Felicity, a new hit show about teenagers.

These people and more are introduced-- why they did it, how they did it, how they got caught, and what happened next. Fascinating snippets of history and current events. I like that there is a good mix of people and reasons and time periods. Some are recent, some are historical. Some did theirs for very good reasons and some for selfish ones and some just because. Barton spins a tight narrative that draws you in to each deception, letting readers get a good sense of why these people did what they did, good and bad. I also enjoyed that each chapter starts with wordless comic panels (drawn by Paul Hoppe) illustrating something from the story.

Teens will eat it up.

Book Provided by... my local library

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