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Forensics for Kids — Review & Giveaway

Thought for the Day:

“I’ve often said that there’s no such thing as writer’s block; the problem is idea block. When I find myself frozen — whether I’m working on a brief passage in a novel or brainstorming about an entire book — it’s usually because I’m trying to shoehorn an idea into the passage or story where it has no place.”
~ Jeffrey Deaver ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:

Surprises in our writing can be a bad thing. HERE D. Wallace Peach has a good post on Story Empire that discusses the importance of Chekov’s Gun.

Can’t get enough about query letters? I know I can’t. HERE is an article from Writer’s Digest by Robert Lee Brewer with 9 Tips on Writing Query Letters to Publishers and Literary Agents.

Point of view can sometimes be a hard decision for writers. Different PoVs go in and out of fashion, and writers may choose to follow the trends. HERE is a good article from thesaures.com that might help.

We have been having a pretty mild (mild by Sacramento standards) summer with a few hot spells, but nothing we couldn’t handle. My daughter’s air conditioner went out and they had to spend more time at my house than usual until it was fixed, but that was fine with me. I’ve been able to get out and walk a little most mornings which has helped with my recovery and my mental state. The weatherman talked the other day about how we are starting to make that turn into autumn. Autumn is my favorite season, and I can’t wait for that. Then I checked the weather app this morning to see how early I would need to get up for my walk and found this. I usually try to put something funny here. This is not a joke. This is Sacramento Summer reminding us that it is still summer and still Sacramento! I sure hope wherever you are, you are having more moderate weather than we are!

When I reviewed Sue Heavenrich and Alisha Gabriel‘s wonderful book, Funky Fungi, I mentioned that I really love books from the Chicago Review Press and that I would be reviewing another book from them soon. Well, today is the day. I want to tell you about Forensics for Kids: The Science and History of Crime Solving, With 21 Activities by Melissa Ross. This is another book that made me think if we had had books like this years ago, there would be a lot more scientists in the world. Any book that makes kids excited about learning science is a gift, and this one does. Here is the review I wrote for the Manhattan Book Review.

With the popularity of mysteries for middle-grade readers and the many, many TV shows about crime labs, it’s no wonder young readers are interested in forensics. This wonderful book is going to satisfy those readers in every way.

It opens with a timeline taking readers from the first recorded autopsy to the recent Rapid DNA Act. Seven chapters cover all aspects of forensic science from hair analysis to odontology to tool mark examination to handwriting analysis and much more. There are stories of actual cases that discuss what forensic tools were used and how they helped to solve the cases.

Melissa Ross

There are also made-up example cases that are designed to engage readers in doing their own forensic analyses. Readers are given instructions for assembling their own forensic kit, which will allow them to do the work required. In addition, there is an excellent glossary, a list of resources including museums and websites, notes including articles and interviews, and a selected bibliography.

This book would be particularly useful in science classes to really get kids engaged and would also help groups form forensic clubs, although individuals will also enjoy it. Don’t miss this terrific book.

I have a gently-read ARC for one of you. All you need do is be a follower or subscriber (it’s free!), have a U.S. address, and leave a comment below. If you would like extra chances, please share the link to this post on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media outlet and let me know you have done that. And don’t forget to check for other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.

18 thoughts on “Forensics for Kids — Review & Giveaway”

    1. You’re welcome. Does this mean I already shared this once? I have been a little befuddled lately. I’ll bet your grandson would like this book. It’s great. Thanks for stopping by.

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  1. The low temperatures on your app are the normal summer temperatures in Ireland, low 70s on a great day! I don’t envy you those temperatures! The book sounds good. It makes me think of Sherlock Holmes though, and I believe Conan Doyle was hugely influential in the early development of forensics. Maybe I need to read the book to find out more! 🙂

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  2. What a fascinating topic for a book. I expect kids would be lined up to read it. Thanks for featuring this unique title on MMGM. No giveaway for me as my stack of books is now three stacks of books! Also–Great list of links and I too never get tired of query articles.
    An update on your troubles last week with Word Press. I was suddenly able to see a preview of a post I am writing by going to the upper right where there is a view menu. Select that and then choose Preview in a New Tab. Give it a try when you are creating your next post!

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  3. It surprises me the number of kids who are really into forensics. But, it is science and I understand the interest and it’s great! Especially with all the technology available to help solve crimes. Fascinating book! Know a teen who’d enjoy this!

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  4. This one got my attention because it’s not a typical MG book, but one that I think would be popular with many kids. With so many more television programs devoted to forensics, I can see this book being popular with a large group of MG readers, as you’ve pointed out.

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