Saturday, 1 January 2011

Case Closed? Nine Mysteries.... by Susan Hughes

Title: Case Closed? Nine Mysteries Unlocked by Modern Science
Author: Susan Hughes
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Published: August 2010
ISBN: 9781554533626
Publisher website:

Rating 5/5 

This almost A4 sized book has a very colourful cover, the illustrations show you the wide time lines which this book covers. 

The stories within the pages are detailed enough for readers with no knowledge of the non fictional characters or stories to come away with knowledge of both their history, and a solution to the question posed in each of their stories.  We liked the way in which this drew us in as readers, each story starts with why it is considered a mystery, and then puts together a complete picture of the methods and people involved in solving the mysteries.  In some cases it leaves you with another unsolved mystery at the end of the story, which encouraged more discussion between us before moving on to the next one.

As an adult reader I've come away with more of an insight into various time periods in history, as well as a lot of things I didn't know but found intriguing to read about.  For our eldest reviewer, aged 8, this encouraged him to think about history and how science has solved otherwise unsolvable mysteries.  Many of these Shaun found fascinating, and came up with his own theories as to what had happened in some stories, before reading what results science uncovered.  Eg, one story asks what happened to Sir John Franklin whilst he was on expedition.  Shaun's theory was that a Yeti captured them and buried them, as some of his crew members were found in a mummified frozen this case Shaun was proved incorrect, but it was a fun thought!

Overall, this is a great book for children around the ages of 8-12 to get interested in both science and unsolved mysteries, as well as history.  The illustrations are brilliant, and the storyline captivating and interesting.  As an adult I enjoyed it also.

This gains two thumbs up from Shaun, aged 8.  His favourite story from this is the first one, Hatshepsut, the first female Egyptian pharaoh who disappeared without a trace.

Book synopsis from publisher's website:

Source: Kind thanks to the publisher and author for a review copy in exchange for an honest review.


peapod said...

Are they absolutely sure it wasn't a Yeti?? I'm with Shaun on that one ;)
This looks just our cup of tea. It's going on our library list!

Elizabeth said...

Great Blog...first-time visitor.