Case Closed?
by Hughes, Susan

Price at time of review: $17.95
88 pp.
Kids Can Press Ltd.
Tonawanda, NY
ISBN: 978-1554533626

Grade Level: 3-5

Reviewed by Juliana Texley
NSTA Web Field Editor

There is no single "scientific method," and this attractive book clearly illustrates the eclectic and diverse paths that scientists use to solve mysteries. Each of nine chapters describes how a fascinating question was researched and "solved." Scientific background, content, and methods are clearly described. Photos, diagrams, and sidebars will help middle and secondary readers appreciate the pathways to discovery. Because of its high interest, accuracy and unique perspective on the methods of science, this book was named an NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book for 2011.

Each of these mysteries is ideal for integrated units that cross disciplinary lines. From Hatshepsut and the Anasazi, to the Russian Tsarina Anastasia and Amelia Earhart and the INS Dakar, the mysteries will grab readers and lead them all over the Earth. There is ample content for group projects, links with social studies classes, or independent research. But probably the best part of each chapter is the teaser at the end. After "Mystery Solved," there's another section: "The Investigation Continues..." Unlike television episodes, real scientific answers almost always lead to more questions. This book will undoubtably lead to many more questioning young scientists.

Review posted on 12/1/2010

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