The Truth Detective

We review the second of this year’s nominees for Book of the Year


Tim Harford is an economics and journalist, and the presenter of More or Less on BBC Radio 4. The Truth Detective (Amazon UK, Waterstones, Blackwells), illustrated by Ollie Mann, is Tim’s tenth book and is about getting readers to think twice before believing statistics presented in the news.




The book is aimed at children and nearly every page has some colour and graphics, giving the book a cartoon feel, and making it rather eye-catching. The content in the book allows the reader to make sense of the world and the information presented to them. The book is very interesting and highlights a number of scenarios in which people were fooled, and tells you how it happened, teaching the reader to not make the same mistakes.


Each chapter provides you with a different tool to help you become the best “truth detective.” The book incorporates history and maths, and makes it fun to learn!


Despite being someone with a rather negative view on statistics, the book was a rather fun read. The book is really useful in making sense of the statistics presented by the media and learning how to question them. It makes you less inclined to believe “click-bait” headlines and give you the skills to determine the true story that can be hidden in articles, but shown by raw data.


Although it is aimed at children, it is still an enjoyable read for adults. This would make a good gift for someone you think they may benefit from having their mind being opened slightly, with an aim of making them less trusting of information because they “read it on the internet.”


You can vote for your favourite book on the Book of the Year shortlist below. The winning book will be crowned the Chalkdust Readers’ Choice. Voting closes at 1pm (BST) on Saturday 30 March.

What is your favourite book on the 2023 Book of the Year shortlist?

  • That's Mathematics by Chris Smith (91%, 277 Votes)
  • Once Upon a Prime by Sarah Hart (3%, 10 Votes)
  • How to Expect the Unexpected by Kit Yates (2%, 6 Votes)
  • Short Cuts: Maths by Katie Steckles (2%, 5 Votes)
  • Headscratchers by Rob Eastaway (1%, 2 Votes)
  • The Spirit of Mathematics by David Acheson (0%, 1 Votes)
  • The Truth Detective by Tim Harford (0%, 1 Votes)
  • The Secret Lives of Numbers by Kate Kitagawa & Timothy Revell (0%, 1 Votes)
  • A Year in Numbers by Kyle D Evans (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 303

Loading ... Loading ...

More from Chalkdust