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This is a detailed, historical presentation of assassination of President Abraham, the government’s 12-day scramble to find and capture the culprit. In addition to a detailed look at John Wilkes Booth’s sinister plot, readers also learn more about Edmund Spangler (who held Booth's horse), Dr. Samuel Mudd, and other people close to Lincoln. Readers are immersed in the time and can see "first hand" how Lincoln's death affected a nation that was not yet 100 years old. 

BTSYA / Teen Reader (17):
I’ve never always been a fan of nonfiction, Swanson’s narrative style makes Chasing Lincoln’s Killer enjoyable to read. Lots of original sources, including newspapers, photos, and other images give readers an in-depth look at the events leading up to the assassination, John Wilkes' Booth and his motivation, Lincoln's death, and it's impact on the country at large.

Chasing Lincoln’s Killer taught me new things about our 16th president’s death. For example, there were other murder attempts. By including people connected to Lincoln, I was able to look at the event from a variety of perspectives. All in all, I really appreciated Chasing Lincoln’s Killer. This book would make a great gift to anyone who loves history, true crime, and biographies.

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

This exceptional illustrated nonfiction history creates plenty of suspense and is sure to thrill and teach all at the same time.

Content Awareness Factors:

This book is about Lincoln’s assassination, so tt includes a rather detailed account of his death and that can be a bit gruesome for some readers.

Type of Book:
This illustrated nonfiction book is part biography, part history lesson.
Educational Themes:

This is a narrative nonfiction book. Although some may see it as a book for school reports, Swanson's writing style makes it an enjoyable read for anyone who is fascinated by history and true crime.

The author introduces a number of people or, in the case of Dr. Samuel Mudd, adds more context to his role in trying to save President Lincoln. Each of these people create opportunities for interesting conversations. SuperSummary has an excellent set of questions about Dr. Mudd, Edmund Spangler, and others, here.

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
12 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
10 and Up
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer age: 17
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow, at least. This is nonfiction that reads like a story, with plenty of suspense to keep readers turning the page.

Title Chasing Lincoln's Killer
Author James L. Swanson
Publisher Scholastic Inc. © 2009
ISBN 9780439903547
Material Hard Cover
Cost $17.99
Genres Biography, History, True Crime
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