Middle-Grade Nonfiction Review: Chasing Lincoln's Killer

James L. Swanson’s book, Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer, has been at the top of the best-seller lists for a long time, but I hadn’t gotten around to reading it yet. I was thrilled to hear that he’d recently published a young adult version called Chasing Lincoln’s Killer.

“This story is true. All the characters are real and were alive during the great manhunt of April 1865. Their words are authentic and come from original sources: letters, manuscripts, trial transcripts, newspapers, government reports, pamphlets, books, and other documents. What happened in Washington, D.C., that spring, and in the swamps and rivers, forests and fields of Maryland and Virginia during the next twelve days, is far too incredible to have been made up.”


Swanson begins his tale with these words, and his book lives up to them. A true historical account of the assassination of President Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth in 1865, Swanson’s book reads like a fast-paced suspense novel. Although I learned a lot about Lincoln, Booth, and the Civil War as I read this book, it is about as far from a textbook as you can get.

The story begins on March 4, 1865, at President Lincoln’s inaugural address, after he was re-elected President of the United States in the midst of the Civil War. Readers get an inside view into the mind of John Wilkes Booth, as he plots revenge on Lincoln for causing the downfall of his beloved Confederacy. The events leading up to the assassination unfold at a fast pace. It is amazing, from our view of security in the modern world, to think that Booth simply walked into the theater, shot the President of the United States, and escaped moments later.

From then on, the book follows two tracks: Booth and his accomplices as they flee from the city and head south, and the people investigating the murder and following their trail. The story is as exciting and suspenseful as any good thriller. Interspersed among the story are real photos, drawings, and documents from that time.

I was fascinated by this book. I learned a lot, but I also enjoyed a good story along the way. You can’t make this stuff up – sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction.
(This book is recommended for middle-grade readers through adults).

(From www.greatbooksforkidsandteens.com)

Views: 43

Comment

You need to be a member of Book Blogs to add comments!

Join Book Blogs

Need help?

Badge

Loading…

RSS

Guest Post: The In’s and Out’s of NetGalley

Guest Post: The In’s and Out’s of NetGalley I’m happy to welcome Lili, Children’s Publicity Intern at Bloomsbury USA and a blogger, as our guest writer today. Lili has been documenting her internship experiences in publishing in her Intern Diaries series and recently reflected on the NetGalley approval process from a publisher’s point of view. […]

Top Ten UK Books… coming in April 2015

Every month, we get together to come up with a top-ten list of the UK titles we’re most looking forward to – and this month we’re focusing on books published in April 2015. It’s an eclectic mix this month, with two SF titles – Poseidon’s Wake and The Rebirths of Tao – which I would highly […]

March edition

The American Booksellers Association has announced the selections for the March Indie Next list, drawn from the recommendations of indie booksellers throughout the US. You can request many of these titles on NetGalley right now, and view more information on the ABA site.  If you are a bookseller, you can nominate titles for the Indie […]

© 2015   Created by Tarah Theoret.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service