Saturday, February 26, 2011
Chasing Lincoln's Killer
Swanson, J.L. (2009). Chasing Lincoln's Killers. New York, NY: Scholastic, Inc.
The book begins with President Abraham Lincoln's inaugural speech on March 4, 1865, of which his eventual assassin, John Wilkes Booth, an actor, was present. It continues on to discuss the end of the Civil War with the fall of the Confederate Army on April 3, 1865. Booth, furious with Lincoln for his success in ending the war and his belief in the rights of black people, had been plotting harm to the president for some time. It was on the night of April 14, 1965, when Mr. Lincoln and his wife were to see a play at the Ford Theater that Booth took his chance to assassinate the president. The book details Booth's plan, as well as his plot with several accomplices to assassinate the Secretary of State and the Vice President as well. It discusses the events that took place that night and the weeks following as the manhunt for Booth and his accomplices ensued.
This book was fascinating. It is full of authentic quotations from the events that took place, as well as maps and photographs of the victims, assassins, and weapons used. This is a riveting historical account of one of the most horrible events in American history. I learned things I had never known about Lincoln's assassination, as the book goes into great detail into the plot. It was fascinating to read about the manhunt for Booth and to see how divided the country was, with all of the people willing to aide Booth in his escape to the South. The photographs are a wonderful accompaniment to the book, providing spooky photographs of Booth's accomplices as they waited their execution aboard prison ships.
Ages 10 - 15
Civil War, racism, history, Abraham Lincoln, assassination
YALSA Best Book for Young Adults
Furious over the fall of the Confederacy, the actor John Wilkes Booth assassinates President Abraham Lincoln in the Ford Theater. What ensues is a chaotic manhunt, full of deception, narrow misses, and those willing to aide a murderer in his escape.