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Can I See Your I.D.?: True Stories of False Identities
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Can I See Your I.D.?: True Stories of False Identities

3.38  ·  Rating Details ·  230 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
True crime, desperation, fraud, and adventure: 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 riveting insight into mind-blowing masquerades. Graphic pane ...more
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published April 14th 2011 by Dial Books (first published January 20th 2011)
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(showing 1-30)
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Oct 20, 2016 Sesana rated it liked it
Really interesting stories, but I could have done without the second person narration.
Oct 19, 2011 Wendy rated it it was ok
I was disappointed in this. As a kid I loved to read books about "true stories of dramatic escapes", stuff like that. But there are several things about this book that feel off. The second-person "you are there" narration seemed clever and intriguing at first, but by the third or so story, it was wearying. It's one thing to imagine yourself as a teenager running a subway train on a lark, or pretending to be a boy so you can fight for the Union Army; it's something else altogether when you're ask ...more
Shoval G.
Aug 19, 2013 Shoval G. rated it it was amazing
A book I read and liked very much was Can I See Your I.D.?
The book is about people that created a false identity, and pretending to be someone else,
there were 10 different stories and out of them only two were caught and spend time in prison.
The thing I liked most about this story is how the author finishes the chapter with a question,
or with an unfinished story, and retrieves it by making a page about what happened next to the character.
May 26, 2011 Elsa rated it did not like it
Shelves: qp-2012
Mmmm-no. I felt like I was attending a class with a condescending teacher!
May 19, 2017 Hours rated it really liked it
If you only had the time to read one chapter of this book then Solomon Perel's would be my suggestion.
Mar 19, 2017 Lupe rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
I already knew some of these stories but several were new to me. I think teens would really enjoy these stories.
Loree Burns
Aug 09, 2011 Loree Burns rated it really liked it
I wanted to get my hands on this book for two reasons. First, Chris Barton wrote it. (Duh.) Second, I’d read somewhere the entire collection of thematically-linked true stories was written in the second person; this I had to read.

For those of you who haven’t thought about narrative mode in a while, the second person refers to the use of the personal pronoun “you.” As in:

“You are a fibber. A confabulator. Mary Baker, you’re a liar.”

Those are the opening lines from Barton’s profile of Mary Baker,
Chandrahas C.
Feb 20, 2013 Chandrahas C. rated it really liked it
Can I See your ID
By Chris Barton
118 pages

Can I See You ID is a great book about people who have deceived others by taking on fake identities. Some people in this book have taken on false identities for wealth. Frank W. Abagnale Jr. is a good example of this. He had left home when he was 16 with nothing but a driver's license and a checkbook. By changing his driver's license and tricking banks into giving him money, Frank had made millions by the time he was caught. Others changed for
May 06, 2014 Anna rated it it was amazing
Can I See Your I.D? is a non-fiction book by Chris Barton. A non-fiction book is a book that has true facts about a specific event or topic. An example of a non-fiction book could be a biography or a book that includes facts of something that the author thinks people should know about for example, how the earth evolved. Can I See Your I.D? includes many different kinds of stories of people faking their identities from faking your name and age to pretending you’re a slave owner to even pretending ...more
Dennis Littrell
Aug 21, 2016 Dennis Littrell rated it really liked it
A confection for readers

This is a collection of ten stories about people pretending to be somebody or something they’re not. Keron Thomas, for example, had such a desire to be a subway motorman that he pretended to be one and actually finagled his way into driving the train in New York City. Wow. Only problem: you’ve never done this before and…well, mistakes will happen.

Then there’s high school dropout Ferdinand Waldo Demara Jr. who passes himself off as a navy surgeon. It gets a little sticky w
Aaron Estes
Dec 03, 2016 Aaron Estes rated it it was amazing
(Disclaimer: This review is being written as part of an academic assignment)

Can I see Your I.D.?: True Stories of False Identities by Chris Barton is a fascinating anthology of mostly-true stories of famous cases of stolen, mistaken, or hidden identities. Each story is told through a unique second-person narrative style which makes the reader the culprit of each of these actions. Some of the stories are light-hearted and fun, such as the story of a young man who pretended to be a train engineer
Jul 05, 2013 Heather rated it liked it
Most of us have at least thought about the opportunities that a new identity could provide. Some might imagine access to different places and things, some may dream of financial freedom, and others of simply freedom itself. There are countless reasons why one might envision a new identity, but it takes a unique drive, combined with just the right set of circumstances, for someone to actually try it. In Can I See Your I.D.?, Barton passionately and engagingly depicts the true stories of ten such ...more
Jul 18, 2011 Kendra rated it really liked it
Ten short biographies of people who were able to use a fake identity, at least for a while. Many of these stories have been told before, but probably not in a collection like this book. Each biography is told in second person, so the reader can imagine himself in the shoes of each of these people. What I like is that many of these impostors were in their teens when they assumed these false identities, which will make the book even more accessible for teens. One thing that I kept thinking when re ...more
Dec 31, 2012 Hollowspine rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A neat collection of ten true stories of deception. Some of which I'd heard of before, and a couple new to me. The aspect of this book that struck me the most was the way the author chose to present the stories. Rather than just giving the information, and telling the stories as a narrator, Barton pulls readers into the story; by using "You," in describing the characters and their stories he lets the reader momentarily don a disguise of their own and put themselves into the identity of another.

Tells short stories about a series of ten people who convinced the world they were someone else for a time.

The author takes great pains to get at the motivations of the protagonists in these stories. He tells the stories in second person ("You are a fibber."). This makes the reader get into the characters heads in a more direct way than most nonfiction. I was anticipating this form to become annoying, but it didn't really. Only in the afterword, where the author writes second person about himse
Oct 28, 2011 Ann rated it really liked it
Barton speaks to the readers as if they were the star of each of these ten tales of real-life trickers/fakers/amazing liars. Addressing the readers as “you” lands them smack dab in the title role, playing a man who pretended to be African-American to see how people reacted, or a woman who hid her gender in order to fight in the Civil War. This unusual authorial decision works and these stories not only show the depth of human imagination, but also serve as cautionary tales. Sure, it might be gre ...more
Lisa Nocita
Jun 05, 2012 Lisa Nocita rated it liked it
Recommends it for: reluctant readers
Shelves: ya-2011, tag-2012-13
Can I See Your I.D.? is a collection of 10 short biographies of real people who assumed a false identity for one reason or another. The stories span from the civil war to modern times. The reasons for their duplicity vary widely, some are born con artists while others are merely trying to survive. Some of the stories are quite astonishing.

This is perhaps a good recommendation for a reluctant reader or as a read aloud in class. The stories are only a few pages each and read very quickly. It migh
Erin Sterling
Fascinating true stories of people who donned false identities--in some cases, for reasons of social justice, such as the light-skinned slave who passed as a white Southern gentleman to take her slave (actually her husband) up north or the Polish Jew who escaped the Nazi firing squad by becoming a Hitler Youth, and in other cases, just because they could, such as Princess Caraboo, a British woman who pretended to be a princess from another country who had been kidnapped, or a teenager obsessed w ...more
Nov 28, 2011 Christiane rated it liked it
I really enjoyed this quick read about real life people who have taken on other identities. Sometimes it was for fun, such as the teenage Keron Thomas who impersonated a New York Transit Authority train driver and successfully drove a subway for several hours. Others had no choice, such as Solomon Perel, a Jewish teen in Nazi Germany who had to hide his identity and become a member of the Hitler Youth in order to survive. All of the short tales are fascinating, and there is ample bibliographic i ...more
Oct 30, 2014 Kristen rated it liked it
Shelves: teen, nonfiction
The ten stories in this book are all interesting and varied, spanning several time periods and many different kinds of people. One oddity of the book is its use of second person perspective in each story. It gives the book a bit of a Choose Your Own Adventure flavor and some immediacy, but the overall effect is a little jarring as the reader moves from story to story. Also, despite its smaller size, the book is definitely intended for teens; there are references to prostitution, rape, and other ...more
Jun 28, 2012 Kristi rated it really liked it
Can I See Your I.D.? is a fun collection of true crime stories about 10 people who assumed false identities mostly in order to commit some kind of crime. Each story ends with a "What happened next?" to tell the rest of the story and there is a bibliography at the end of the book. The stories are brief which makes for an easy read. Overall I enjoyed the stories and I think boys (especially reluctant readers) would like it as well.
Jen Bigheart (I Read Banned Books)
How much do we love Austin's own Chris Barton? Lots! I.D. is comprised of several real-life stories of young people that pretend to be someone they are not. Maybe pretend is the wrong word...we aren't talking about pirates or fairies, but pilots, dentists, and even soldiers. Some are deemed as heroes, and some are just reckless.

Great choice for that reluctant reader that starts and stops a book a zillion times.

4 Stars
Jan 31, 2011 Reader rated it really liked it
10 stories of mistaken / misleading personas, where misdirection is elevated to an art. From fake princesses to Klansman masquerading as a Cherokee orphan to actresses fudging their ages, these tales cover deception, fraud, survival in all it's forms. With simple black and white illustrations and helpful historical happenings, this collection of strange and true tales is perfect for middle grade readers. - C
Ethan R.
Apr 22, 2013 Ethan R. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2nd-semester
Can I see your I.D.
By Chris barton
Non-fiction 144 pages
This is a book about people who pretend to be other people to take their money and live the person's dream. Eventually they get caught! People pretend to be thing that they could never achieve. My favorite story is about a little Jewish boy who pretends to be. Nazi so he won't get killed nobody finds out. I think this book deserves ***** stars because it was outstanding and should be a movie.
May 04, 2011 Kelly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: You!
Shelves: nonfiction
This is a really great book by Chris Barton, from whom I expect nothing less. It's informative but also fun to read because it just gives snippets of each person's deceptive life. Then there is a huge bibliography you can use to find out lots more about each person and see how much work Barton put into this. I especially like the end of the chapters where it tells you what happened to each person.
Mimi Nation
Mar 14, 2014 Mimi Nation rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2nd-semester
I really like this book.This book is about people that created a false identity, and pretending to be someone else, there were 10 different stories and out of them only two were caught and spend time in prison. The thing I liked most about this story is how the author finishes the chapter with a question or with an unfinished story, and retrieves it by making a page about what happened next to the character.
Can I See Your I.D.?: True Stories of False Identities presents ten deceivers - teenagers, adults, men and women - some playing for keeps and some just trying on a life as someone else. Some of them are criminals and some are embroiled in desperate schemes to save their lives or liberty.

Full review on Pink Me:
Aug 06, 2011 Alicia rated it liked it
Shelves: teen-books
Interesting short stories of real life folks who have had some crazy adventures under assumed names, genders, and occupations. The writing style was not my favorite, it was told in a rather distracting and occasionally confusing, "Imagine you are a _____ who is ______." But the stories themselves were very compelling, and the chapters were succinct and offered a what-happened-in-the-end conclusion.
Apr 22, 2014 Rachel rated it it was ok
The premise of this book is simple enough and I found the cursory level of detail enough to learn a bit about the topic.

The style of writing, though, drove me nuts. It's all written in second person, as if to the subject of each section. This was not only confusing but annoying to try and figure out what was opinion and what was fact. I appreciate the quirkiness of presenting information this way but it's not my favorite.
Jun 05, 2011 Jamison rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book. The premise is great and we need more good narrative nonfiction for teens. Unfortunately, it just didn't work for me. Some of the stories were more compelling than others, but on the whole it just didn't keep my attention. There was also something odd about using second person point of view in a nonfiction book.
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I’m the author of picture books including bestseller Shark Vs. Train, Sibert Honor-winning The Day-Glo Brothers, and Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List books The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch (2016-17) and Whoosh!: Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions (2017-18), both illustrated by Don Tate.

My new books in 2016-17 include 88 Instruments (illus. by Louis Thomas), Mighty Truck: Muddy
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