The Books

The Great Moon Hoax

by Stephen Krensky
Illustrated by Josee Bisaillon

One Potato Review

In 1835 The Sun began publishing a series of articles about the discoveries of an astronomer based eight thousand miles away in South Africa, who was allegedly training his super-powered telescope on the surface of the moon and finding bluish, bearded bison, upright walking beavers, diaphanous man-bats and an “equitriangular temple, built of polished sapphires.” The story is further related by two orphan paperboys who shout themselves hoarse in the streets every morning and make a killing – well, thirty-three cents – till the news is revealed as pure fiction. Was it worth it? The Sun continued to publish for another hundred or so years, the boys remain unjaded – “It was fun to think about,” says one, “and I can still do that. It’s really all about the words. Even if they’re not quite true, they can make us see amazing things.” – and here for 13 bucks is story you can keep telling when newspapers no longer exist.

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