The Fallacy Detective is a well written book that teaches logic. I really have enjoyed reading it and will be using it this upcoming schoolyear with my 7th grader. I think it is very interesting and will keep students attention as they learn!
The Fallacy Detective Thirty-Eight Lessons on How to Recognize Bad Reasoning, by Nathaniel Bluedorn and Hans Bluedorn, is a book worth having. This is a book with over 200 pages. Its not so big, but after you finish with it, you have already earned one high school credit on logic or critical thinking. It helps the student to spot ways that reasoning are bad. After learning every lesson, there is an exercise to test the students understanding with the answer key found at the last section of the book. It can be used by everyone between the ages of twelve to adult. The teacher does not necessarily have to have experience in teaching logic.I have been teaching this to my daughter for about eight weeks. At first, I thought we can do two lessons a week because it seemed so easy. But at about the third or fourth week, I realized that we cant just go through the lessons so fast. The past lessons must be well understood first before you can move to the next lessons. Guitar Babe is really interested in it. Its easy to see why. Aside from the interesting reading, the book is peppered with comic strips of Dilbert and Calvin and Hobbes. The illustrations are humorous enough for a child to understand and just as funny for an adult. As a way to motivate her, we do the exercises together after every lesson. I find that she has more correct answers than I do. At her age, 14 years, this is not a subject that she can do alone. We have to discuss every lesson. It is joy learning with her because it is also mostly new to me. Doing the exercises with her is very interesting because I am able to spot my own mistakes in reasoning. Personally, I do not find this an easy subject to teach. However, the book makes it easy enough to understand. I highly recommend The Fallacy Detective Thirty-Eight Lessons on How to Recognize Bad Reasoning not just for homeschoolers but for everyone who wishes to understand more about logic.
If you're wondering what a fallacy is, the very first sentence of the book defines it as "an error in logic -- a place where someone has made a mistake in his thinking." Sometimes we do this unintentionally, but sometimes these fallacies are used intentionally to mislead consumers and the general public. The ability to recognize fallacies is important.My first reaction to the book when it arrived was that the cover design is very catchy and pleasing, and the softcover book was well-made. The 9" x 6.5" size is nice to hold, larger than a standard paperback, but not as bulky as a full-size text book. Its design, with the cartoons and short lessons, is appealing to myself and my students.The book is divided into 38 logic lessons. Each lesson begins with a concise and enjoyable description of that fallacy, complete with cartoons to help illustrate the point. Then there are a variety of exercises to help you understand the fallacy and identify it in the world around you. The lessons rely heavily on discussion to help students assimilate the information.My plans were to use this book with my 12 and 14 year old daughters, doing one lesson together at a time. That backfired when my 14 year old (9th grader) ran off with the book and began to devour it. She was fascinated with learning to identify the fallacies, and quickly read through the book. The Fallacy Detective is an excellent logic book for junior and senior high students. It will give students a foundation in logic that will help them think critically about the information surrounding them in life. It will also give them an advantage in school subjects like essay writing, speech, and debate. Its format is easy to use, enjoyable, and most importantly ... effective in teaching the fallacies.** This item was provided free, in exchange for my honest review. **