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[Monday Reading] Simplified Forensics and Espionage in Nonfiction PictureBooks for Young Readers

Perfect for young sleuths.


It's Monday! What Are You Reading

Myra here.

It’s Monday, What are You Reading is a meme hosted by Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers (new host of Monday reading: Kathryn T at Book Date). Since two of our friends, Linda from Teacher Dance and Tara from A Teaching Life have been joining this meme for quite awhile now, we thought of joining this warm and inviting community. 

This is our final week for our current reading theme. Might as well bring out the big guns with these two nonfiction picturebook titles on police forensic and espionage, simplified for children’s delectation.

Undercover Operations: The Secrets, The Spies, The Enemies

Written by Adam Sutherland
Published by Wayland (2012)
ISBN: 0750277459 (ISBN13: 9780750277457)Book borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

For young readers who are very much into spies, special agents, double agents, this book will whet their curiosity. It provides just a sampler that hopefully would make even the most reluctant readers interested enough to find even more substantial information on their own.

The book reads like a magazine of sorts, with lots of images, very short captions – with enough reference to popular media to engage a developing reader you would like to entice into picking up a book.

While librarians or teachers may regard the information as not that substantial or too flimsy and superficial – I do feel that there are spaces for books such as these in our libraries – mainly as gateway type of literature that would eventually build a developing reader’s stamina for longer texts.

This particular title also comes with suggested fun activities similar to the image above that young sleuths can try on their own to come up with their “top secret” messages.

Police Forensics: The Crimes, The Clues, The Science

Written by Adam Sutherland
Published by Lerner Publications Company (2012)
ISBN: 0761377743 (ISBN13: 9780761377740)Book borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

This book begins with a short full-page-spread description of what forensic science is across different fields – an information that even I appreciated and did not know about. The following were mentioned: forensic toxicology, forensic psychology (of immense interest to me), forensic pathology, forensic graphology, and forensic dentistry.

There is also a list of “crime lab vocab” – a glossary of terms found in the beginning of the book to help the young reader get into the vibe of reading ‘forensically,’ if there is such a word.

The tools used by forensic scientists are mentioned, albeit briefly, with enough photographs and samplers to make it feel authentic. I especially liked reading about real life stories written by people who are in the field, and what motivated them to study forensic science.

I am certain that as a young child, I would have loved to read these titles. These books are fun, interesting, and engaging without being too overwhelming.

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Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

9 comments on “[Monday Reading] Simplified Forensics and Espionage in Nonfiction PictureBooks for Young Readers

  1. Both of these sound like fascinating books!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I imagine lots of kids will love these books, Myra. Actually, my grandson, a senior in high school, is taking a forensics class for science. He says it’s great!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That is really cool that they have books like this for kids. How fun! I would have gone nuts for something like this back in the day.

    My list!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jana Eschner

    I know some kids who would absolutely love these books. Thanks for sharing. Have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sarah Sammis

    Your books are new to me. My weekly updates

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I bet kids are loving these books — with the explanation of things and descriptions of how to do these things. I’ll have to see if we have any similar titles in our area. Thanks for sharing, Myra!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I always enjoyed the nonfiction section in my elementary school’s library. See what I read this month at Girl Who Reads

    Liked by 1 person

  8. That series looks really interesting. I like the way it’s laid out too – like you said, easy to read, easy to skim through.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. These are the kinds of book that kids in elementary school love to delve into. I laughed when I read this because today a memory came up today on my facebook feed about a couple of students. I hope you enjoy this.
    At lunch this afternoon, two seven year old kids, Paul and Petra, (not their real names) came into the library. Paul asked me if I had any James Bond books. I told him no, and if I did, he was still to young to read them. He then headed off into the furthermost section of the library to find a book. Shortly after this, the two of them came up to the checkout counter. Each had a book on spying in their hands.
    “So,” I said, “You’re interested in spies and spying.”
    They solemnly nodded their heads and I checked the books out for them.
    Then Petra whispered to Paul, “Should we tell her our secret?” Paul wasn’t so sure, so I told them that they could trust me and that I would keep their secret.
    So they confided that they were spies. Paul was James bond and Petra was Mata Hari.
    May the gods and goddesses forgive me for revealing their secret identities.

    Liked by 1 person

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