Friday, December 25, 2009

Chasing Lincoln's Killer

One of my favorite movies is Apollo 13.  I knew how the movie would end since it was a retelling of a famous event, but I was still tense as the crew came hurtling back down to earth.  Good nonfiction will hook you like that, even if you know the basic story.

James L. Swanson's Chasing Lincoln's Killer is similar in that you are unable to put down the book even though you know what is going to happen to John Wilkes Booth. Swanson's book, a YA version of his adult award winning Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer, is a gripping retelling of what happened directly before and after Lincoln's assassination on April 14, 1865.  I learned a lot about how the failed kidnapping plot of President Lincoln affected the events of April 1865.  Swanson does an excellent job of presenting interesting details and illuminating the heroic efforts of background figures like Fanny Seward, daughter of Secretary of State William H. Seward, who was attacked on the very same evening.

This book will appeal to history lovers and/or students who like to read mysteries/thrillers since the pacing of the book is similar to that genre.  I swallowed the 194 page book in one setting.  The archival photographs pique your interest and could lead to more research of this era through vehicles like The American Memory Project.

1 comment:

  1. I agree. The book was very difficult to put down. I would have liked to know some figurative language examples though.

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