Can I See Your I.D.? Cover Image

Can I See Your I.D.? True Stories of False Identities
illustrations by Paul Hoppe

A Junior Library Guild selection

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From the impoverished young woman who enchanted nineteenth-century British society as a faux Asian princess, to the sixteen-year-old boy who "stole" a subway train in 1993, to the lonely-but-clever Frank Abagnale of Catch Me If You Can fame, these ten vignettes offer exhilarating insight into mind-blowing masquerades. Graphic panels draw you into the exploits of these pretenders, and meticulously researched details keep you on the edge of your seat. Each scene is presented in the second person, a unique point of view that literally places you inside the faker's mind. With motivations that include survival, delusion, and plain old-fashioned greed, the psychology of deception has never been so fascinating or so close at hand.

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144 pages
Ages 12 and up
Dial Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 978-0803733107


Reviews & Honors

2012-2013 Spirit of Texas Reading Program - Middle School
July-October 2013 Featured Author/Title

Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)
2012 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Readers

Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)
2012 Nonfiction Award Nominee

Texas Library Association Young Adult Round Table (YART)
2012 Lone Star Consideration List

Texas Library Association Young Adult Round Table (YART)
2012 Tayshas Consideration List

Panda Book Awards
2012 Older Readers Shortlist

Storytelling World Resource Awards
2012 Storytelling Collections Winner

Pennsylvania School Librarians Association YA Top 40 (or so)
2011-12 Nonfiction

Publishers Weekly
*Starred Review* [I]mpeccably crafted ... The use of second-person narration is very effective, allowing readers to assume the identities of each individual. Barton's prose captures the daring, ingenuity, and quick thinking required of each imposter.

Hoppe's black-and-white line drawings lend a gritty comics quality to each story. ... Thoroughly researched and grippingly presented.

The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
*Recommended* The author takes on a suspenseful, energized second-person style and focuses most accounts on a key high-risk moment ... The offbeat, intriguing topic, breezy, accessible style, and compact chapters will sell this to reluctant readers and wide-ranging nonfiction fans alike, and it'd be a gem of a readaloud.

Kirkus Reviews
Barton's use of the second-person point of view gives these stories dramatic tension and a sense of immediacy. Hoppe's graphic panels enhance this effect. ... Teens in the thick of creating identities themselves will find this riveting.

School Library Journal
The chapters offer in-the-hot-seat details about these clever-minded imposters. ... The fascinating stories will provide hours of amusement.

VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)
Young readers who enjoy trickster tales will find this collection of true-life masquerades every bit as delightful. ... These are crazy stories, but true. Barton has collected ... gems and written them with the curious young reader in mind.

bbgb, Richmond, VA
chris barton comes up with cool things to write about at any age level (see shark v. train for the wee ones and the day-glo brothers for the reading ones), but his newest offering may be the coolest. ten true vignettes about people passing for other people, ala frank abagnale of catch me if you can fame. jaw-dropping, riveting and, well, cool.

Biblio File
Fascinating snippets of history and current events. ... 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. ... Teens will eat it up.

The BookKids Blog
This book does an excellent job of bringing these stories to life in a narrative manner while still sticking to strict non-fiction conventions. (There isn't a line of made up dialog.) And since the book is told in second person, it really brings the reader in.

While learning a bit about 10 people in our history who you may never have heard of, you're also learning about yourself. What would it take for you to take on a new identity? What IS your identity now?

Book Binge
Who can say no to the ultimate choose-your-own adventure experience? I loved slipping into the minds of these sometime ne'er-do-wells, people who pulled off the ultimate deceptions. Second person POV is risky, but Barton pulls off a gutsy move to great success. CAN I SEE YOUR ID? is a rare non-fiction treat, a book that unspools like a series of suspenseful capers.

Loree Griffin Burns, Author of Tracking Trash, The Hive Detectives and Citizen Scientists
I really, really enjoyed this book. Check it out, and whatever you do, do not skip the Afterword. It is also written in the second person, but this time the "you" refers to Chris himself. That is, Barton is both the interrogator and the person being interrogated in this final chapter. My head nearly exploded as I tried to follow along. Totally brilliant.

Kathryn Fredrickson, Rolling Meadows (IL) Library, Member of the 2010 Sibert Medal Committee
Written with wit and urgency, Barton makes you wonder what YOU might be capable of doing!

Ingram Library Services
[T]hrilling ... exciting.

Kiss the Book
Notorious fakers and liars masquerade as what they are not in Barton's tales of crime, desperation and adventure. His research is thorough and cited at the back of the book. The episodes told in second person draw the reader in and let them experience the perpetrators' thinking behind each masquerade. ... Engaging and easy to read ... an excellent way to interest young readers in nonfiction or biographies.

Teri Lesesne, Professor of YA Literature at Sam Houston State University, Member of the 2010 Printz Medal Committee
Quick, short chapters will make this another hit with reluctant readers.

I wonder if it's too soon to say that this book is vintage Barton. His subject matter: quirky in the best way. His writing style: breezy and controlled.

The Nonfiction Detectives
Can I See Your I.D.? would make an excellent addition to any YA collection and should be put in the hands of reluctant readers immediately!

Parent:Wise Austin
[C]ompelling and filled with intrigue. Barton's breezy narrative uses second-person, which puts readers right into the mind of the individual being profiled. ... The facts often read like fiction but end notes show the meticulous research that went into the writing.

Pink Me
I really look forward to handing this to older middle school [students] and up ... as a lively piece of leisure reading.

Plano Teens Connect
Why I finished it: Each story in this book is fascinating. I finished the book because I had to know what happened to each person. I wanted to know if they were captured or whether anyone ever figured out who they really were.

Carol Hampton Rasco, President, Reading Is Fundamental
It is a reading experience that held my attention to the end; and young people to whom I have given the book report they could not put it down until they finished it!

Through the Tollbooth
Barton wrote Can I See Your I.D.? entirely in second person. ... It worked. Reading Barton's blend of action, character conflict, and historical detail you can't imagine this book any other way, because the technique puts you masterfully, smack dab in each character's shoes.

The Tri-City News
Barton cleverly places readers in the centre of the action by addressing them with the word "you," as if they are the impostors. ... Barton captivates, in part because the stories allow him to explore the fascinating psychology of deceit. ... [A] slim but entertaining volume appropriate for middle schoolers and up.

The Unseen Teen
[D]ifferent than pretty much any other book you've ever read except for a Choose Your Own Adventure.

Denise Vallandingham, Boone County (KY) Public Library, Member of the 2010 Sibert Medal Committee
An eye-opener with a bold twist. ... suspenseful, enjoyable and informative.


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