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Children's Literature"I am not evil." maintains a shy Arabella Getchel. Nevertheless, her infatuation with the ruthless and insane John Wilkes Booth as he plots to kidnap and eventually assassinate the president nearly ravaged her youthful being. Wilkes (as he preferred to be called) and Bella alternate roles in this historical novel that reveals happenings in each character's early life, similarities and differences in their personal history, and involvement in Lincoln's murder from the point of view of the killer and the teen. Bella was just eight when their paths first crossed at a Richmond theater. Their mutual love for the stage and her ensuing adoration of the most charismatic and famous actor of his time were further intertwined with her position as a seamstress for Mary Todd Lincoln. Her position eventually gave rise to a White House passport for the slayer's scheme. The accurate drama is enhanced as the fictitious fourteen-year-old girl's tale serves as a mirror that reflects the well-researched people, events, and surroundings of that period in history, including Lincoln's presidency and the Civil War. The author effectively chronicles the lessons of where our country has been in time, and expertly weaves broad personal accounts of lives affected by the tragic events. Readers will quickly become involved in a blend of romance, mystery, and intrigue. 2005, Walker & Company, Ages 11 to 16.