Sunday, March 8, 2009

Chasing Lincoln's Killer by James Swanson

"It looked like a bad day for photographers."

The following "Note to the Reader" is hidden because it may contain spoilers. If you would like to read the full summary, simply use your cursor to highlight the next few lines and it will magically appear.

Note to the Reader: "This story is true. All the characters are real and were alive during the great manhunt of April 1865. Their words are authentic. In fact, all text appearing within quotation marks comes from original sources: letters, manuscripts, trial transcripts, newspapers, government reports, pamphlets, books, and other documents. What happened in Washington, D.C., in the spring of 1865, 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." — James Swanson

Publisher: Scholastic Press; 196 pages


tessyohnka said...

Swanson provides his reader with an abundance of detail from original sources, newspaper accounts, and pictures, including one of the four co-conspirators "hanging in death" (yikes) -- to tell the story of Lincoln's assassination and the manhunt for his killer. It's a great read and I certainly learned details previously missing from my understanding of the events -- but I guess I give him more credit for his research than for his writing.

Stephanie said...

I agree with tessyohnka. I really thought that the book was full of interesting information that I never knew before. I learned alot while reading it. I did however feel like it was missing something. Possibily it was because it was a condensed and simplified version of the adult book he wrote. I did like it, but mostly just for the info not that it was an amazing book.

Anonymous said...

I am going to have to agree with tessy and Stephanie. Lots of great information, a great book for students to read to learn more about Lincoln and Booth, but not an award winner in my opinion.

lisarenea said...
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lisarenea said...

As a rule, I don’t particularly like to read non-fiction but something about this one really grabbed and held me. I really liked the narrative and thought the author did a good job of humanizing the characters. Plus, I have found it to be a pretty popular and easy sell for some early teen boys. The fact that it is more than a little gruesome has helped with that, I am sure. This is the kind of book I want to give to kids who say history is boring. I wouldn’t give it the Newbery this year, but I think it is a strong book and one I would love to see on recommended reading lists.