History's Mysteries: Curious Clues, Cold Cases, and Puzzles From the Past

160p. index. photos. National Geographic. Oct. 2017. pap. $14.99. ISBN 9781426328718.
Gr 6 Up—Our world is filled with mysteries, from unexplained disappearances and cryptic codes to paranormal occurrences. A hodgepodge of material categorized into seven themes introduces readers to a brief background of the conundrum, some uncovered details, followed by theories or discoveries. The time frames of these riddles ranges from thousands of years ago (Where is the city of Atlantis? Is the Kraken real?), to more current events (Who is D.B. Cooper? Can the code for Kryptos be cracked?) Common mysteries, such as the Lost Colony of Roanoke, the disappearance of Amelia Earhart, the abominable snowman, and Stonehenge, are found among rarer counterparts. Students will be curious once they read about the monster Kongamato, the Georgia Guidestones, or the Voynich manuscript. The tone of the text is upbeat, making it a pleasurable read. Most questions are given two to three pages, with lots of photographs to provide additional information and pique interest. The layout is inviting and time can be spent studying the photos for more details.
VERDICT This is a win-win for readers who like spooky mysteries and solid nonfiction.

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