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Children's Nonfiction Discoveries


Your Body and the Science of Security

by (author) Maria Birmingham

illustrated by Ian Turner

Owlkids Books Inc.
Initial publish date
Sep 2017
Discoveries, Sociology, Anatomy & Physiology, Inventions
Recommended Age
8 to 12
Recommended Grade
6 to 12
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2017
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


Biometrics — the science of using the body to identify a person — is everywhere, not just in science fiction, but in everyday life. Today, biometrics is on the cutting edge of security. It’s used for access into banks and airports, as well as to keep money and personal information safe. Methods like fingerprinting and retinal scanning might be more familiar, but biometrics can also identify people based on ear shape, scent, vein pattern, and much more.

This book explores nine biometrics in detail, explaining how each works, where it’s used, its pros and cons, and how it compares to other techniques. It also discusses privacy, security, why we need methods of identification, and touches on biometrics of the future. Engaging and colorful design and playful illustrations alongside surprising anecdotes, historical context, and humor make this an enjoyable, in-depth look at a hot topic. Informational text features include sidebars, diagrams, sources, a glossary and an index.

About the authors

MARIA BIRMINGHAM is a longstanding contributor to OWL and Chickadee magazines, and the award-winning author of several books for young people, including Acting Wild, Biometrics, and A Beginner's Guide to Immortality: From Alchemy to Avatars. Maria lives in Brampton, Ontario.


Maria Birmingham's profile page

Ian Turner is an illustrator whose client list includes Cottage Life, Reader's Digest, Toronto Life, and many more. Biometrics is his first children's book. Ian lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Ian Turner's profile page


  • Short-listed, Children's Literature Roundtables of Canada's 2018 Information Book Award
  • Short-listed, Science Writers & Communicators of Canada 2017 Youth Book Award
  • Winner, Lane Anderson Award for Canadian Science Writing
  • Commended, Canadian Children's Book Centre's Best Books for Kids and Teens
  • Short-listed, Silver Birch Nonfiction
  • Short-listed, 2018-19 BC Red Cedar Awards

Editorial Reviews

"Each biometric section provides an overview of the method of collection, and the type and case of collection, and the level of security it provides, in addition to where it is use and the cons of that particular process... Recommended."

School Library Connection

"Accessible, well-organized... an effective springboard for young researchers attempting to zero in on an interesting topic."

Bulletin for the Centre for Children's Books

"A fun, futuristic look as the fascinating worlds of recognition technology...ignites the imagination...offering great depth while managing to keep the reader engaged with Birmingham's expert excellent study guide for an inspired science-fair project, and equally effective as a read for young tweens needing a reminder of their wonderful uniqueness."

Quill & Quire

"Biometrics: Your Body and the Science of Security fills a gap as a readable and comprehensive introduction to the topic of biometrics for young scientists, one applicable for elementary and middle school research or a nice option for young readers of nonfiction and high-interest titles."

Canadian Review of Materials

"From fingerprints to voice, tongue, and even odor recognition, Birmingham explores the ways our identities are being linked to unique physical features or behaviors... May spur young readers into taking care with their IDs and personal information."

Kirkus Reviews

"Written in a friendly and accessible style... This compelling and comprehensible overview of the field is recommended for middle school readers."

School Library Journal

"Appealingly presented... There's a real need for information on this topic for this age."


Other titles by Maria Birmingham

Other titles by Ian Turner