Real or Fake? You CAN Mail a Coconut!

BookendsCoconutCindy: The mailman delivered April Fool’s Day early this week! I came home from work and found a coconut on my porch—a coconut plastered with postage stickers and address labels. After I got over my shock, I picked it up and shook it. Liquid sloshed around inside. It was real!

Closer inspection revealed labels promoting a new series from National Geographic Kids called Real or Fake? Far Out Fibs, Fishy Facts, and Phony Photos to Test for the Truth It looks like another nutty (coco-nutty—get it?) book like those in their other wildly popular Myths Busted! or Weird But True series that we have written about before. We haven’t received the book yet—the coconut beat it to our mailbox—but it releases in May and then you can debate “Real or Fake” yourselves.


This definitely ranks as the weirdest book promotion a publisher has mailed yet! My students are getting a kick out of it as I open my nonfiction booktalks with a show-and-tell this week!

Coconut mailroomLynn: I’m sure the look on my face when I opened my mailbox to find a coconut inside would have made the National Geographic crew happy! My wonderful and patient mailman thought it was hysterical and confirmed his belief that mine is a slightly crazy profession.

Real or Fake by National Geographic KidsThis promotion IS genius, though, as the story has spread! The older members of the focus group and I were convinced the coconut itself was a fake as ours didn’t slosh, nor could we open it with my usual arsenal of box-opening tools. We are determined, however, and I’ve set it aside for next week when the boys are here again. My husband’s shop has LOTS of things we are going to try.

In the meantime, we’ve decided we can’t wait for this new series!



About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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