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Forensic Science    by Chris Cooper order for
Forensic Science
by Chris Cooper
Order:  USA  Can
DK Publishing, 2008 (2008)
* *   Reviewed by Michelle York

Blood spatter is not typical fodder for children's books. But it makes for great reading in Chris Cooper's Forensic Science. The book is part of DK Publishing's Eyewitness series, which examines topics of interest as well as places. Each book is crammed with information and vivid pictures.

Cooper's book, which is appropriate for middle schoolers, fits in perfectly. He offers microscopic detail about such things as DNA, fingerprint analysis, ballistics, and trace evidence. He talks about famous murders, such as Jack the Ripper's serial killings. Yet he does it without ever being lurid, so that young readers can develop an appreciation for the scientist, not the criminal.

For example, Cooper talks about blood splatter, showing what teardrop stains say about the victim's position compared to round drops. But he also takes you step-by-step through the testing procedure as a laboratory scientist determines whether an unidentifiable stain is really blood or just dirt.

Readers also get a sense of how the science has changed over time and the possibilities for the future. Those big eyes peering into this book may be routinely scanned into computers someday, and those scans will be better than a fingerprint!

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