K-12 Bibliography

Forensic non-fiction

Ahouse, Jeremy J. Fingerprinting. Berkeley, Calif.: Lawrence Hall of Science, Univ. of California, Berkeley, Great Explorations in Math and Science, 2000.
Grade Level: 4–8
Students explore the similarities and variations of fingerprints. They take their own fingerprints (using pencil and transparent tape), devise their own classification categories, and apply their classification skills to solve a crime.
Baden, Michael M., and Judith Adler Hennessee. Unnatural Death: Confessions of a Medical Examiner. New York: Random House, Inc., 1989.
Grade Level: 9–12
Forensic pathologist Michael Baden gives a detailed account of his distinguished career in forensic pathology, and produces dramatic evidence to argue that political intrigue, influence peddling, and professional incompetence have created a national crisis in forensic medicine.
Baden, Michael M., and Marion Roach. Dead Reckoning: The New Science of Catching Killers. New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2001.
Grade Level: 9–12
Forensic pathologist Michael Baden and writer Marion Roach illustrate how advances in forensic science can help forensic professionals answer crucial questions in a criminal case.
Bahn, Paul, ed. Written in Bones: How Human Remains Unlock the Secrets of the Dead. Toronto and Buffalo, N.Y.: Firefly Books, Ltd., 2003.
Grade Level: 9–12
An international team of experts explains how the careful study of the bones reveals compelling pictures of the lives, cultures, and beliefs of ancient societies from around the world.
Baker, Eugene H., and Lois Axeman. In the Detective's Lab. Elgin, Ill. and Chicago: Child's World, 1980.
Grade Level: 4–8
In the Detective's Lab discusses the investigatory work performed in laboratories using clues such as fingerprints, tire tracks, bullet holes, and artists' sketches.
Barber, Jacqueline. Crime Lab Chemistry: Solving Mysteries with Chromatography. Berkeley, Calif.: Lawrence Hall of Science, Univ. of California, Berkeley, Great Explorations in Math and Science, 2001.
Grade Level: 4–8
Crime Lab Chemistry introduces 4th through 8th graders to paper chromatography.
Beak, Nick Huckleberry. Crafty Detectives. Milwaukee, Wis.: Gareth Stevens, Inc., 2000.
Grade Level: 3–12
Crafty Detectives describes the necessary skills for detective work, including information collecting techniques, message sending, and disguising methods.
Beals, Kevin. Mystery Festival. Berkeley, Calif.: Lawrence Hall of Science, Univ. of California, Berkeley, Great Explorations in Math and Science, 1999.
Grade Level: K–8
Mystery Festival uses a classroom learning-station format students study a simulated crime scene, conduct crime-lab tests on the evidence, analyze the results, and try to solve a mystery.
Bell, Suzanne. Encyclopedia of Forensic Science. New York: Facts on File, Inc., 2003.
Grade Level: 9–12
Encyclopedia of Forensic Science contains information on the increasingly popular and relevant subject of forensic science, as well as bibliographical references and an index.
Bender, Lionel. Forensic Detection. New York: Gloucester Press, 1990.
Grade Level: 5–8
Forensic Detection explores the vital role of medicine and microscopy in police investigations.
Blassingame, Wyatt. Science Catches the Criminal. New York: Dodd, Mead, & Co., 1975.
Grade Level: 7–9
Science Catches the Criminal illustrates the usefulness of science in the detection of crime through case histories.
Boraas, Tracey. Police Detective. Bloomington, Minn.: Capstone Press, Inc., LifeMatters Books, 2000.
Grade Level: 6–8
Police Detectives outlines the prerequisites for a career in police detective work.
Brady, Susan, and Carolyn Willard. Microscopic Explorations. Berkeley, Calif.: Lawrence Hall of Science, Univ. of California, Berkeley, Great Explorations in Math and Science, 1998.
Grade Level: 4–8
Microscopic Explorations features 10 learning-station activities. Among the activities, students use microscopes to investigate scientific objects that can be used as forensic evidence.
Campbell, Andrea. Forensic Science: Evidence, Clues, and Investigation. Ed. Austin Sarat. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 2000.
Grade Level: 7–12
Forensic Science describes indicators that forensic scientists use to identify and apprehend criminals. Some indicators covered in the book include rug fiber quality, DNA fingerprints, and bone breakage patterns.
Conaway, Judith. Detective Tricks You Can Do. Mahwah, N.J.: Troll Associates, 1986.
Grade Level: 4–8
Detective Tricks You Can Do follows 2 young detectives through an investigation, while introducing detective artifices such as mirror writing, codes, invisible ink, and fingerprinting.
Croce, Nicholas. Detectives: Life Investigating Crime. New York: Rosen Publishing Group, Inc., 2003.
Grade Level: 4–8
Croce outlines the career paths of FBI agents, police detectives, and private investigators.
Dickson, Louise. Lu and Clancy's Crime Science. Toronto: Kids Can Press, 1999.
Grade Level: 2–5
Readers help Lu and Clancy solve a puppy-napping case by completing 16 forensic science activities.
Evans, Colin. The Casebook of Forensic Detection: How Science Solved 100 of the World's Most Baffling Crimes. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1996.
Grade Level: 9–12
The Casebook of Forensic Detection is a collection of 100 true-crime cases. Additionally, it outlines the historical development of modern forensic procedures.
Fridell, Ron. DNA Fingerprinting: The Ultimate Identity. New York: Scholastic Library Publishing, Franklin Watts, 2001.
Grade Level: 9–12
This book discusses the discovery and initial use of DNA fingerprinting, the past and present roles of DNA in forensic identification, and DNA fingerprinting's current applications in forensics, conservation biology, and human genetics.
Fridell, Ron. Solving Crimes: Pioneers of Forensic Science. New York: Scholastic Library Publishing, Franklin Watts, 2000.
Grade Level: 8–12
Ron Fridell examines the methods developed by 6 pioneers in the field of forensics, who relied on their instincts, their love of details, and their scientific knowledge to solve crimes.
Friedlander, Mark P., and Terry M. Phillips. When Objects Talk: Solving a Crime with Science. Minneapolis: Lerner Publications, 2001.
Grade Level: 5–12
When Objects Talk combines facts and storytelling to illustrate the theories and practices of forensic science.
Gardner, Robert. Crime Lab 101: Experimenting With Crime Detection. New York: Walker & Co., 1992.
Grade Level: 6–9
Crime Lab 101 describes the development of forensic science and introduces techniques of criminal investigation, including fingerprint and voice pattern examination, handwriting analysis, and ballistics.
Genge, Ngaire. The Forensic Casebook: The Science of Crime Scene Investigation. New York: Ballantine Books, 2002.
Grade Level: 9–12
The Forensic Casebook draws on interviews with police personnel and forensic scientists to uncover the vast and detailed inner-workings of criminal investigation.
Goff, M. Lee. Fly for the Prosecution: How Insect Evidence Helps Solve Crimes. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2000.
Grade Level: 9–12
Goff uses actual cases on which he consulted to show how knowledge of insects and their habits allows forensic entomologists to furnish investigators with crucial evidence about crimes.
Harris, Barbara, Kris Kohlmeier, and Robert D. Kiel. Crime Scene Investigation. Englewood, Colo.: Libraries Unlimited, Teacher Ideas Press, 1999.
Grade Level: 5–12
Crime Scene Investigation is a set of interdisciplinary activities for school-aged children, in which students act as reporters, lawyers, and detectives at the scene of a crime. The activities teach children about forensics, while building reasoning and language skills.
Innes, Brian. Forensic Science. Broomall, Pa.: Mason Crest Publishers, 2003.
Grade Level: 8–12
Forensic Science introduces students to the analyses of trace evidence, fingerprints, poison, blood, ballistics, and more.
Jackson, Donna M. The Bone Detectives: How Forensic Anthropologists Solve Crimes and Uncover Mysteries of the Dead. Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1996.
Grade Level: 5–8
This book explores the techniques forensic anthropologists employ to examine skeletal remains and solve crimes.
Jackson, Donna M. The Bug Scientists. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2002.
Grade Level: 3–8
The Bug Scientists introduces entomology, the study of insects, to students, and explains how it pertains to forensic science.
Jackson, Donna M., Wendy Shattil, and Robert Rozinski. The Wildlife Detectives: How Forensic Scientists Fight Crimes Against Nature. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2000.
Grade Level: 4–6
This work describes how the wildlife detectives at the National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory in Ashland, Oregon, analyze clues to catch and convict people responsible for crimes against animals.
Jackson, Steve. No Stone Unturned: The Story of NecroSearch International. New York: Kensington Publishing Corp., 2002.
Grade Level: 9–12
Steve Jackson chronicles how NecroSearch International, a non-profit organization which specializes in the search for clandestine gravesites, was developed, and why it is now used globally in murder investigations.
Jones, Charlotte Foltz, and David G. Klein. Fingerprints and Talking Bones: How Real-Life Crimes Are Solved. New York: Delacorte Press, 1997.
Grade Level: 5–8
This book describes different methods used to solve crimes, including skeletal and facial reconstruction, gathering botanical or geological information, voiceprints, and hypnosis.
Lane, Brian. Crime & Detection. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1998.
Grade Level: 3–7
Crime & Detection explores the changing nature of crime from prehistoric times to the present day, and crime-detection methods.
Lane, Brian, Rob Shone, and Virginia Gray. The Investigation of Murder. Brookfield, Conn.: Cooper Beech Books, 1996.
Grade Level: 4–6
A fictitious murder is used as the framework to discuss the work of law enforcement professionals and forensic experts.
Levine, Shar, Leslie Johnstone, and David Sovka. The Microscope Book. New York: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., 1996.
Grade Level: 5–8
The Microscope Book introduces microscopy and magnification through experiments using easily-obtained materials like comic books, leaves, hair, and potatoes.
Manhein, Mary H. The Bone Lady: Life as a Forensic Anthropologist. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Univ. Press, 1999.
Grade Level: 9–12
Forensic anthropologist Mary Manhein describes her career path and how bones are used to solve crimes in forensic anthropology. In the book, Manheim recollects several cases in which she used her expertise to identify victims' remains.
Maples, William R., and Michael Browning. Dead Men Do Tell Tales: The Strange and Fascinating Cases of a Forensic Anthropologist. New York: Broadway Books, Main Street Books, 1995.
Grade Level: 9–12
Forensic anthropologist William Maples revisits his strangest and most horrific historical investigations.
Mattern, Joanne. Forensics. San Diego, Calif.: Blackbirch Press, Gale Group, 2004.
Grade Level: 4–7
Mattern presents a comprehensive history of forensics, comparing technology and techniques from classical times to present day.
Mellett, Peter, and Terry Riley. Solving a Crime. Des Plaines, Ill.: Heinemann Library, 1999.
Grade Level: 3–6
Readers follow the narrative through an investigation surrounding a Toltec mask stolen from a museum, and reconstruct the crime through analysis of the clues.
Murdico, Suzanne J. Forensic Scientists: Life Investigating Sudden Death. New York: Rosen Publishing Group, Inc., 2003.
Grade Level: 4–7
Murdico examines the careers available in the field of forensics, discussing the necessary education and training, and on-the-job duties.
Otfinoski, Steven, and Betsy Scheld. Whodunit?: Science Solves the Crime. New York: W.H. Freeman & Co., Scientific American Books for Young Readers, 1995.
Grade Level: 7–10
Whodunit? introduces readers to forensic science through 10 case studies.
Owen, David. Police Lab: How Forensic Science Tracks Down and Convicts Criminals. Toronto and Buffalo, N.Y.: Firefly Books, Ltd., 2002.
Grade Level: 7–10
Police Lab shows how forensic scientists gather and analyze evidence, examine weapons and bodies, and use DNA testing and other techniques to help solve crime through 20 real-life case studies.
Oxlade, Chris. Crime Detection. Crystal Lake, Ill: Rigby Interactive Library, 1997.
Grade Level: 9–12
Crime Detection uses familiar examples to explain the science of crime detection, describing how different forms of evidence are analyzed using forensic science techniques.
Parker, Janice. Forgeries, Fingerprints, and Forensics Crime. Austin, Tex.: Raintree Steck-Vaughn, 2000.
Grade Level: 3–4
Forgeries, Fingerprints, and Forensics Crime provides a basic introduction to crime solving with forensic science.
Pentland, Peter, and Pennie Stoyles. Forensic Science. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 2003.
Grade Level: 3–4
Forensic Science is an introductory survey of the scientific principles used in crime solving, such as evidence collection, fingerprint, blood types, hair, fibers, amd DNA profiling.
Platt, Richard. Crime Scene: The Ultimate Guide to Forensic Science. New York: Dorling Kindersley Publishing, Inc., 2003.
Grade Level: 10–12
Crime Scene uses case studies and digital imagery to show how science helps solve mysterious crimes.
Rainis, Kenneth G. Crime-Solving Science Projects: Forensic Science Experiments. Berkeley Heights, N.J.: Enslow Publishers, Inc., 2000.
Grade Level: 5–12
Crime-Solving Science provides readers with detailed experiments describing forensic crime-solving tactics.
Ramsland, Katherine M. The Forensic Science of C.S.I. New York: Penguin Group, Inc., Berkley Trade, 2001.
Grade Level: 9–12
Forensic psychologist Kathleen Ramsland examines the crime-solving techniques dramatized in CBS' television series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, to assess the reality of the cutting-edge forensic procedures depicted on the show.
Rollins, Barbara B., and Michael Dahl. Ballistics. Bloomington, Minn.: Capstone Press, Inc., 2004.
Grade Level: 4–8
Rollins describes the science behind ballistics and the methodologies used to extract information about crimes from ballistic data.
Rollins, Barbara B., and Michael Dahl. Blood Evidence. Bloomington, Minn.: Capstone Press, Inc., 2004.
Grade Level: 4–8
Rollins describes how blood analysis is used to solve crimes.
Rollins, Barbara B., and Michael Dahl. Cause of Death. Bloomington, Minn.: Capstone Press, Inc., 2004.
Grade Level: 4–8
Rollins describes the clues that corpses leave behind about the cause of death, procedures for autopsies, and other methods that forensic scientists use to identify the cause of death.
Rollins, Barbara B., and Michael Dahl. Fingerprint Evidence. Bloomington, Minn.: Capstone Press, Inc., 2004.
Grade Level: 4–8
Rollins presents a brief history of forensics, explains different fingerprinting methods and their uses, and offers information on careers in fingerprinting.
Sachs, Jessica Snyder. Corpse: Nature, Forensics, and the Struggle to Pinpoint Time of Death. Cambridge, Mass.: Perseus Publishing, 2001.
Grade Level: 9–12
Sachs describes the methods that forensic scientists use to determine time of death information, the difficulties that arise in the determination process, and the possible implications of their findings.
Saferstein, Richard. Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 2004.
Grade Level: 11–12
This book introduces the field of forensic science through an exploration of its applications to criminal investigations, and presents explanations of techniques, abilities, and limitations of the modern crime laboratory.
Sheely, Robert. Police Lab: Using Science to Solve Crimes. New York: Silver Moon Press, 1993.
Grade Level: 4–8
Police Lab illustrates the importance of forensic science in crime solving through case histories.
Silverstein, Herma. Threads of Evidence: Using Forensic Science to Solve Crimes. New York: Twenty-First Century Books, 1996.
Grade Level: 7–12
This book highlights the information gained from analysis of blood, teeth, teeth marks, fingerprints, eye prints, DNA, hairs, and fibers in forensic investigations.
Tesar, Jenny E. Scientific Crime Investigation. New York: Scholastic Library Publishing, Franklin Watts, 1991.
Grade Level: 9–12
This book describes the tools and methods used in forensic laboratories to apprehend criminals.
Thomas, Peggy. Talking Bones: The Science of Forensic Anthropology. New York: Facts on File, Inc., 1995.
Grade Level: 6–9
Talking Bones presents the history and technology of forensic science and includes actual forensic cases.
Thomas, Peggy. Forensic Anthropology: The Growing Science of Talking Bones. New York: Facts on File, Inc., 2003.
Grade Level: 6–12
This work offers the history of forensic anthropology and how it has been used to solve some of the most notable crimes of the last 150 years.
Thornburg, Linda. Cool Careers for Girls as Crime Solvers. Manassas Park, Va.: Impact Publications, 2002.
Grade Level: 6–9
Cool Careers profiles 10 women with careers in different areas of crime solving, including a firearms examiner, a forensic anthropologist, and a latent fingerprint examiner; and explains each woman's on the job duties.
Tocci, Salvatore. High-Tech IDs: From Finger Scans to Voice Patterns. New York: Scholastic Library Publishing, Franklin Watts, 2000.
Grade Level: 8–12
High-Tech IDs describes identification apparatuses and techniques, including finger and hand scans, iris and retinal scans, fingerprinting, DNA analysis, and voice pattern recognition.
Ubelaker, Douglas H., and Henry Scammell. Bones: A Forensic Detective's Casebook. New York: Edward Burlingame Books, 1992.
Grade Level: 9–12
Ubelaker, curator of anthropology at the Smithsonian Institute, explains the techniques that forensic anthropologists use to determine information about victims from the examination of bones.
Walker, Pam, and Elaine Wood. Crime Scene Investigations: Real-Life Science Activities for the Elementary Grades. West Nyack, N.Y.: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Jossey-Bass, 1999.
Grade Level: 3–5
Crime Scene Investigations contains more than 60 lesson plans and activities for students to explore and learn about data organization and collection, critical thinking, and simple testing techniques.
Walker, Pam, and Elaine Wood. Crime Scene Investigations: Real-Life Science Labs for Grades 6–12. West Nyack, N.Y.: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Jossey-Bass, 1998.
Grade Level: 6–12
With the lesson plans and activities given, students carefully observe, organize, and record data, think critically, and conduct simple tests to solve crimes.
Wiese, Jim, and Ed Shems. Detective Science: 40 Crime-Solving, Case-Breaking, Crook-Catching Activities for Kids. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1996.
Grade Level: 4–7
Detective Science presents 40 experiments and activities that offer hands-on experiences with forensic science investigation methods.
Woodford, Chris. Criminal Investigation. Austin, Tex.: Raintree Steck-Vaughn, 2001.
Grade Level: 4–8
Criminal Investigation provides a basic analysis of biology and forensic science.
Yeatts, Tabatha and Denise Sterling. Forensics: Solving the Crime. Minneapolis: Oliver Press, Inc., 2001.
Grade Level: 5–12
Forensics profiles eminent scientists in the fields of toxicology, fingerprinting, handwriting and documentation, ballistics, forensic anthropology, and DNA fingerprinting.