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The Miscellaneous Club > October 2020: True Crime

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message 1: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (last edited Sep 23, 2020 02:31PM) (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2500 comments Mod
This month we will be exploring true crime books for children/teens. These should be books that describe (in not too much detail) crimes that actually happened, and that are appropriate for children/teens to read. This can include cyber crime and identity theft. Or, they can be general books about investigating crime in general, including forensic investigations.
Following are a few suggestions from my library system's catalog:
Weird but True: Stupid Criminals: 100 Brainless Baddies Busted, Plus Wacky Facts by National Geographic Kids
The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives by Dashka Slater
Agent Kathy Puckett and the Case of the Unabomber by Bryan Denson
They Broke the Law—You Be the Judge: True Cases of Teen Crime by Thomas A Jacobs
The Zodiac Killer: Terror and Mystery by Brenda Haugen
Getting Away with Murder: The True Story of the Emmett Till Case by Chris Crowe
Crime & Detection by Brian Lane
Analyzing Data in the Jungle Park Case by Andrew Einspruch
Investigating a Crime Scene by Tamra B. Orr
Forensic Science Investigator by Tamra B. Orr
Crime Scene Science: 20 Projects and Experiments by Karen Romano Young
(I used the search terms: Crime--Juvenile Literature)


message 2: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2500 comments Mod
Forensic Science Investigator by Tamra B. Orr
This brief book gives an overview of the types of forensic investigators, such as pathologists, toxicologists, and lab technicians. It briefly explains the tools of the trade, how they respond to disasters, and what it takes to become a forensic scientist as a career. One interesting tidbit that I did not know--as of 2013, about half of the victims of 9/11 remained unidentified. The book features lots of photos, a brief bibliography, website list, glossary and index. It would be a helpful books for youngsters considering forensics as a career. For about grades 5 -8.


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Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2500 comments Mod
CSI at Work by John Townsend
One of the "Amazing Crime Scene Science" books, it covers such subjects as crime scene photography, finger prints, trace evidence, ballistics, DNA, and K9 assistance. Briefly mentioned were the murder of JonBenet Ramsey and the disappearance of Madeline McCann. The book is illustrated with photos throughout and includes a website list, a glossary, and an index. Suitable for about grades 5 - 8.


message 4: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2500 comments Mod
The Zodiac Killer: Terror and Mystery by Brenda Haugen
This is a straight-forward and interesting account of the facts surrounding the Zodiac case, as far as was known in 2011, when this book was published. Although Haugen recounts the events surrounding each shooting or stabbing, she does not go into gory detail, making this book suitable for teen readers (or anyone who wants to know the basics). She also relates some of the work that the police did in trying to identify the killer. The book is illustrated with photographs, including a couple of the Zodiac's letters. At the time of this writing, the case was still unsolved (although in 2017, a couple of detectives think they know who the culprit is or was). The book concludes with a timeline of events, a glossary, two bibliographies, an internet site, and an index.


message 5: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2500 comments Mod
Investigating a Crime Scene by Tamra B. Orr
A combination of fiction and non-fiction, the book follows young Jonathan as he goes with his dad, a police sketch artist to work one day, and the police are called to a break-in/theft. The story serves as a frame to show how police investigate a crime, all of the different investigators involved, and the processes they go through to solve the crime. I was surprised to learn that a sketch artist is needed to sketch the crime scene in addition to all the photographs that are taken. The book concludes with a glossary, a short bibliography, web sites, and an index. It is illustrated throughout with photographs.


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Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2500 comments Mod
Crime & Detection by Brian Lane
This Eyewitness book gives an overview of criminals and the people who investigate their crimes. The book's primary focus is on the UK and US; although a few other countries are also mentioned. Each two page spread is dedicated to a topic such as "theft and burglary," "crime scene," "following a scent" and more. An introductory paragraph in large font is accompanied by a number of photos and drawings with captions. The back matter includes a page of amazing facts, a page of questions and answers, a timeline, useful websites, glossary, and index. Unfortunately, the people in the double-page spread of mug shots are not identified. A decent introduction that will leave interested young people wanting to read more on the topics.


message 7: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (last edited Oct 27, 2020 08:09PM) (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2500 comments Mod
Weird But True: Stupid Criminals: 100 Brainless Baddies Busted, Plus Wacky Facts by National Geographic Kids
This was a fun book about some of the idiotic things that some less than brainiac criminals do to get themselves caught, some almost immediately after the crime they committed. Each double page spread had a paragraph about a stupid criminal action, a round circle with a factoid, and a strip along the bottom with a sentence or two about another stupid criminal. Several of the stories featured criminals who left their wallet, with ID, at the crime scene. One would-be bank robber wrote his "Give me all your money" note on the back of a bank check with his information on it. It also boggled my mind at how many home burglars decided to take a nap in the home they were burglarizing! And were caught when the homeowner came home. (Is burglary that tiring?) One criminal made his escape on a riding lawnmower, and another took a city bus. My husband and I had a good time laughing at these stories.


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Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2500 comments Mod
The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden and the Trial of the Century by Sarah Miller
What an excellent example of true crime non-fiction for teen readers (but also great for adults as well). The author covers the murders, the investigation, the inquest, the arrest, the preliminary hearing, the trial, and the aftermath. The book is very readable, almost like reading a novel. Most chapters also have one or more in-depth explanations about something relevant to the chapter, in a gray box. There are also two sections of black and white photos of people, the house, and newspaper articles. In the back, the author includes a couple of pages on how she researched the book; an extensive list of notes for each chapter on the source for all the quotes in the book; a bibliography of primary sources, books, articles, and online sources; and a detailed index.


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Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2500 comments Mod
Blood, Bullets, and Bones: The Story of Forensic Science from Sherlock Holmes to DNA by Bridget Heos
This excellent overview is divided into 11 chapters, covering these topics: poison tests, autopsies and medical examiners, detectives, crime scene evidence, fingerprints, ballistics, blood patterns, buried victims, forensic anthropology, criminal profilers, and DNA evidence. The text is well-written, moves along briskly, and includes many true crime stories that fit the chapter's topic. The back matter includes a glossary, footnotes by chapter, an extensive bibliography, and an index. This book will probably appeal mostly to middle grade and high school students interested in the subject. Also a great overview for adults.


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