Scene of the Crime: Tracking Down Criminals with Forensic Science

Viking. Oct. 2021. 192p. Tr $22.99. ISBN 9780451476463.
Gr 6 Up–Forensic science has been a pop culture darling for some time, whether through television dramas, true crime books, or movies. This book provides teens the science that informs those scenes. Newquist presents a compulsively readable narrative of the evolution of cracking cases. The main lens of the book is the science that decodes a crime scene. However, readers who come for the crime will stay for the history, as the book begins at the dawn of civilization; crime is as old as humans. Centuries of advancements in law, science, policing, media, and medicine are covered comprehensively yet economically in a digestible 150 pages of text. The book is printed in full color and the core narrative is well supplemented by photographs, illustrations, and colored boxes of text containing information like vocabulary words, additional concept explanations, or easy-to-replicate forensic science activities (hands-on experiments with titles like Bite Marks, Fingerprints, and Blood Spatter Analysis) that can be done at home or in a classroom.
VERDICT A recommended scientific foundation for a YA audience interested in crime dramas and true crime that could easily coincide with lessons from a wide range of subjects.

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