Monday, October 26, 2009
Chasing Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson
It's highly probable that most Americans know that John Wilkes Booth assassinated Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre on April 14, 1865, but many don't know about the 12-day hunt for Booth through the Maryland and Virginia countrysides. James L. Swanson's Chasing Lincoln's Killer describes the events leading up to and after the assassination and greatly details his escape and eventual capture and death. Readers learn about the Confederate sympathizers who provided weapons, food, and shelter to Booth and his co-conspirator, David Herold, along the way; they learn about the investigation that led up to his capture; and they learn about the trials of the co-conspirators.
Chasing Lincoln's Killer is what great nonfiction should be. It reads like a heart-pounding story with enough detail to give you an intimate picture of Booth, but it doesn't overwhelm you with facts and details that make a lot of nonfiction difficult to navigate. Photographs sprinkled throughout offer visuals of the main "characters" in the book and take you back to 1865. You almost forget that this really happened and that you're not reading a novel.
This book is the YA adaptation of Swanson's Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer, and I'm eager to read it for even more detail.
Chasing Lincoln's Killer is a Cybils nominee in the MG/YA Nonfiction category.
ISBN: 978-0439903547 | Publisher/Publication Date: Scholastic (February 2009) | Source: Copy from public library
Nonfiction Monday is hosted at Wrapped in Foil today.