Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Case Closed? Nine Mysteries Unlocked by Modern Science (my 50th post!)

Case Closed? by Susan Hughes, illustrated by Michael Wandelmair (2010, Kids Can Press) is a very excellent piece of non-fiction, probably one of the best books I've ever read. Inside it, it offers answers (as far as is possible) to nine most intriguing and puzzling mysteries ever. They include the stories of the INS Dakar, the Anasazi, and what befell Hapshepsut. So you can see, the book is global in scope.

They used lots of different approaches in solving the mysteries. The scientists involved used computer simulations, archaeology, genetics, forensics, historical evidence, and, in at least one case, the search for the legendary city of Ubar, satellite imagery. It was fascinating!

The most intriguing thing is, is that some of the mysteries here aren't fully understood--for example, what happened to Hapshsut's father, King Thutmose I. But in some cases, you actually get the answer--Anastasia, the lost princess of Russia, was never really lost, and neither was her brother--they were just buried separately!

I'd like to see a sequel, because I know some mysteries they've missed--things like Shangri La, and King Arthur, Flight 19 in the Bermuda Triangle....

I'd recommend this to kids above the age of eight, because some of the pictures are a little disturbing (dead people) as are some of the stories (like the burial and exhumation of the Romanovs).

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