Does It Really Take Seven Years to Digest Swallowed Gum?

And Other Questions You've Always Wanted to Ask

From the Series Is That a Fact?

  • Interest Level: Grade 4 - Grade 6
  • Reading Level: Grade 4

It takes seven years to digest swallowed gum. A penny placed on a train track can cause a train to derail. The average human consumes four spiders per year while sleeping. You may have heard some of these common sayings or beliefs before. But are they really true? Can they be proven using science? Let’s investigate seventeen statements about familiar items and everyday events and find out which ones are right, which ones are wrong, and which ones still stump scientists! Find out whether eggs will really stand on their ends during the vernal equinox! Discover whether it’s true that you can swing 360 degrees on a swing set! See if you can tell the difference between fact and fiction with Is That a Fact?

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Interest Level Grade 4 - Grade 6
Reading Level Grade 4
Genre Science
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Lerner Publications ™
Language English
Publication Date 2012-01-01
Reading Counts! Level 4.6
Text Type Informational/Explanatory
BISACS JNF051050, JNF052030
Dewey 610
Graphics Full-color illustrations
Lexile 860
Guided Reading Level U
ATOS Reading Level 5.3
Accelerated Reader® Quiz 134041
Accelerated Reader® Points 1.0
Features Awards, Bibliography/further reading, Glossary, Index, Reviewed, Sidebars, Table of contents, and Teaching Guides

Author: Sandy Donovan

Sandy Donovan has written many nonfiction books for young readers.

Lerner eSource™ offers free digital teaching and learning resources, including Common Core State Standards (CCSS) teaching guides. These guides, created by classroom teachers, offer short lessons and writing exercises that give students specific instruction and practice using Common Core skills and strategies. Lerner eSource also provides additional resources including online activities, downloadable/printable graphic organizers, and additional educational materials that would also support Common Core instruction. Download, share, pin, print, and save as many of these free resources as you like!

Is That a Fact?

There is life on other planets. People have tiny insects living in their eyelashes. You may have heard these common sayings before. But are they really true? Can they be proven through research? The Is That a Fact? series investigates and finds out which statements are true, which ones… View available downloads →


  • Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year, Winner, 2010



“Can you fry an egg on the sidewalk? Can you fly using helium-filled balloons? Separate fact from fiction with this book. It provides easy-to-understand scientific explanations to these and other pressing questions.” —Learning

Library Media Connection

“On each two-page spread questions are answered in a succinct, clear, and understandable manner. In addition, further-related information is provided. The illustrations, a mixture of photographs and cartoons, will grab students’ attention.”
Library Media Connection


“[S]cience and mathematics don’t come in a much slyer package, and an engaging layout with full-bleed pages, dynamic photos, and cartoony drawings makes it all the more fun. This is a rare sort of book that will add pizzazz to science classes.”


“This is a book every student would want to pick up and read. Timeless questions throughout the book represent typical questions that children might ask. The subject matter is very engaging, and the contents page is inviting.”