Posted in History, Non-Fiction, Tween Reads

Book Review: Chasing Lincoln’s Killer, by James L. Swanson (Scholastic Press, 2008)

Recommended for ages 12+

Chasing Lincoln’s Killer is the story of the plot to kill President Abraham Lincoln, the assassination and ensuing manhunt for John Wilkes Booth and his fellow conspirators. Author James L. Swanson based this YA version on his previous book, Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer (William Morrrow, 2006).

A lifelong Lincoln aficionado who shares the 16th President’s birthday, the author wanted to bring his story to a younger audience. He never dumbs down the narrative to reach this audience; rather, he makes it more accessible by featuring over 70 photos of artifacts, newspapers and photos taken from various archives; he summarizes trial manuscripts and interviews, and moves the events along at a pace that younger, less patient readers will enjoy and stick with.

Scholastic’s website offers free teaching resources to use with the book including an audio book excerpt, video interview with the author, and printable Wanted! poster for Booth.

Manhunt received an Edgar Award for the best true crime book of the year in 2007; Chasing Lincoln’s Killer has received recognition as a Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) Best Book for Young Adults. Mr. Swanson holds a seat on the advisory council of the Ford’s Theatre Society. He has collected books and artifacts on President Lincoln since he was 10 years old and has written a photographic history, Lincoln’s Assassins: Their Trial and Execution.

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Author:

I'm a mom, a children's librarian, bibliophile, and obsessive knitter. I'm a pop culture junkie and a proud nerd, and favorite reads usually fall into Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I review comics and graphic novels at WhatchaReading (http://whatchareading.com). I'm also the co-founder of On Wednesdays We Wear Capes (http://www.onwednesdays.net/), where I discuss pop culture and geek fandom from a female point of view.

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