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The Bone Detectives: How Forensic Anthropologists Solve Crimes and Uncover Mysteries of the Dead Paperback – April 1, 2001

4.2 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In 1987, a skeleton was turned up near a Boy Scout camp in Missouri. A forensic anthropologist was brought and, using clues from the skeleton and some decaying clothes found nearby, determined that the victim was a young Asian woman. From there, police where able to determine the identity first of the victim and then of her killer. Using the Missouri case as a jumping-off point, The Bone Detectives provides an introduction for young readers to the science of forensics. Written for curious readers who are approaching adolescence, this book is sure to appeal to the nearly universal interest that age group exhibits for the macabre and the horrible.

From Publishers Weekly

"More than two hundred bones hold our bodies together, and each one tells a story"-right from the opening words, readers will find themselves glued to this fact-filled foray into the fine art of forensics. A real-life murder case solved through the painstaking work of "bone detectives" serves as a springboard for examining the techniques employed by forensic anthropologists in fighting crime and unraveling archeological puzzles. How a person's height, weight, sex, ethnic heritage and so on can be estimated from just a handful of bones makes for absorbing reading, and the plentiful accompanying photographs are equally intriguing. In addition to the murder case, first-time author Jackson highlights several historically significant finds-including the "Lucy" fossil, a bone fragment found at Little Bighorn, and perhaps this decade's most spectacular discovery, the 5300-year-old mummified "Iceman" found in the Alps (an artistic facial reconstruction is eerily lifelike). The handsome design and Jackson's equable presentation help tone down the grislier aspects of the subject matter. Ages 10-up.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 and up
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Megan Tingley (April 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316829617
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316829618
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.2 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #739,536 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By N. Norman on January 2, 1998
Format: Hardcover
The Bone Detectives is a compelling book for young readers. While the subject matter may seem out-of-the-ordinary and even macabre to many adults, pre-teens and teenagers seem facinated with the science and technology involved in solving murder cases. The book can also serve as a way to open a dialogue about the harsh realities bombarding our children from televison, film, and the evening news.
If you know a bright child with an interest in science or police work, or if you just want to foster an interest,this book is a good start.
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Format: Hardcover
I had the chance to work under Dr. Michael Charney for 5 years before his death. Dr. Charney focused heavily on education and teaching people. That is what this book does. When this book came out he gave me a hard time for buying a copy because it was a "kid's book". All of that aside, the book gives a basic introduction to forensic anthropology on a level that explains it to the reader. It covers the case from start to finish as well as touching on the other aspects of forensic investigation such as forensic entomology and facial reconstruction. So if you have a child that is wanting to learn more about the field or you are looking for a good place to start learning, this is the book to get.
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Format: Hardcover
If you like anthropology or forensic science you will love this book. It tells of forensic anthropology, along with several other forensic techniques. It also explains about forensic archeology, and how past mysteries are being solved using forensics.
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A Kid's Review on January 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I read this book for a sixth grade nonfiction reading assignment.

It explains how forensic anthropologists help police solve crimes by studying the bones of victims. It also describes how Dr. Michael Charney of the Forensic Science Laboratory at Colorado State University helped identify bones found at a Boy Scout camp in Missouri in 1988.

I thought the book was very interesting. If you like shows like Law & Order and CSI or if you like to read mysteries, then you might like The Bone Detectives.

Caelan (age 11)
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Format: Hardcover
Filled with photographs and old cold cases, this book shows how forensic pathologists and archaeologists do their work. Lots of science jobs explained in this book, as well as how science and law enforcement interact.

Great skeleton diagram at the end of the book. Really good photographs throughout.

Some vocabulary includes: lone, preserved, shriveled, corpse, ritual, accessories, soft tissue, preservation, survival equipment, sculpting, prominent, features, hauntingly
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