FICTION

Forensic Identification: Putting a Name and Face on Death

72p. bibliog. diags. further reading. index. photos. websites. CIP. 21st Century. 2012. RTE $30.60. ISBN 978-0-7613-6696-6; ebook $22.95. ISBN 978-1-4677-0139-6. LC 2011045218.
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Gr 6–8—From watching CSI and Bones, kids know all about forensics, don't they? Well, sort of…. Murray's exposition will help fill the gaps left by a 60-minute format. Using a framework of "case files" (printed in white on black pages), the author covers the obvious-skin, hair, scars, tattoos, fingerprints, and bones-and goes on to the presence of certain isotopes, soft tissue, and the favorite of all cop shows, DNA. The explanations are clear and to the point: this is how the unknown dead are identified, and these are the tools the scientists use in the identification process. Written by a board-certified forensic anthropologist, the book contains color photos (some quite graphic), diagrams, and X-rays. One minimal carp: some captions, printed in red on a black background, are difficult to read. Team this with Sally M. Walker's authoritative Their Skeletons Speak (Carolrhoda, 2012) and Lorraine Jean Hopping's engrossing Bone Detective (Watts, 2005) for a solid exploration of a currently hot science. Intriguing and informative.Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY

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