Riz Chester: The Fingerprint Code
R. A. Stephens
Wombat Books, 2023
90pp., pbk., RRP $A12.99
Riz Chester has highly tuned senses and notices things that most people don’t, such as the brand of cheese being changed in the tuckshop lunches, the 10gram change in the size of the packets of chips, and the differences between identical twins Sabrina and Jenny. She keeps a note of the differences in her Weird Stuff Log because when she mentions them, people look at her funny.
But, by using her observation skills and logical thinking, she was able to detect counterfeit $10 notes in the first in this series for newly independent readers, and in this episode once again she demonstrates the value of planning, thinking logically and recording what you discover in an organised way as she tries to determine who could have stolen a baby grand piano from the school’s music room.
This time the forensic focus is fingerprints and there is more information about this at the end of the book, enabling students to understand why they leave unique markers all the time that science is beginning to unravel with greater depth and accuracy every day.
There are lots of series published for this age group, but this one particularly appeals to me because of its emphasis on the need to approach a problem in a clear, methodical way thus brining into play all those skills of the information literacy process. What has happened? What do we know? What do we need to find out? How can we find that out? What would be the best tools to use? How do we use them? Do I need help using them…