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Bones Never Lie - How Forensics Helps Solve History's Mysteries

Bones Never Lie

How Forensics Helps Solve History's Mysteries

Interest Age: 9–12
Grade: 4–4
Reading Level: Common Core Correlations
CCSS.ELA-Literacy Strand-Reading literature: RST.6-8.1,2,3,4,5,6,

Reading Level: Lexile 1000L
Hardcover : 9781554514830, 160 pages, February 2013 , 9.27" x 6.94"
Paperback : 9781554514823, 160 pages, February 2013 , 9.04" x 6.76"


How did King Tut really die?

The mystery of the young pharaoh’s death is only one of the puzzles that modern science has helped solve. Thanks to forensics—the science of examining physical evidence—we now know that King Tut died of malaria. We also know that stomach cancer, and not arsenic as suspected, killed Napoleon.

Seven intriguing stories about historical royal figures whose demise was suspicious, and hard scientific facts about crime-solving techniques make each event seem like an episode of CSI rather than a history lesson.

Kids will be fascinated to find out how scientists use autopsy results, DNA testing, bone fragments, and even insects to determine the cause of death.

At times a gripping whodunit, at others an exercise in deductive reasoning, this book will be hard to put down for any kids who love mysteries, murder, and suspense.


  • Runner-up, Independent Publisher Book Award, Silver 2013
  • Joint winner, EUREKA! Nonfiction Children’s Book Award 2013
  • Joint winner, Best Books for Kids and Teens, starred selection, Canadian Children’s Book Centre 2013
  • Winner, Arthur Ellis Award 2013


“Curious readers will devour this book.”

- CM Reviews, 06/14

“Young readers . . . will be intrigued by the book’s “whodunit” style, and the many photographs, sidebars and glossary of terms, all of which contribute to the mystery-solving.”

- Guelph Mercury Record, 04/13/13

“Like reading a series of thrilling whodunits: seven true crime stories drawn from history, each with a generous amount of gore, treachery, and suspense uncovered in dramatic detail.”

- Crime Writers of Canada, Arthur Ellis Award Committee, 06/05/14

“This is the sort of book that will appeal to all readers.”

- Dewey Divas, 12/06/13

“A must-have for middle school libraries and science classrooms.”

- Mrs. Readerpants, 06/21/13

“The topic is great for the intended age group; the discussion . . . is realistic and accessible.”

- Resource Links, 06/13

“Reads like a thriller. Both science geeks and history buffs will find entertainment here.”

- Library Media Connection, 11/13

“Great writing, spectacular science and all wrapped up in a story that is well-told and forever fascinating!”

- Sal’s Fiction Addiction, 05/13/13

“With colorful photography, excellent graphic images, poignant questions and a fast-paced writing style, this intriguing book will fascinate young readers.”

- Reading Online Today, 05/22/13

“An exceptionally handsome book with clear color photos and intriguing sidebars focusing on scientific techniques.”

- Canadian Teacher, 11/13

“A fully fleshed and crisply told story of forensics at its romantic best.”

- Kirkus Reviews, *starred review, 02/13

“Readers will find plenty to enjoy in the clearly written chapters, and they’ll pick up lots of information about history and forensics along the way. An appealing introduction to some intriguing mysteries from history’s cold cases.”

- Booklist Online, 04/19/13

“If your child loves mysteries, history or CSI this book will enthrall them.”

- SMS Nonfiction Book Reviews, 03/24/20