Chasing Lincoln's Killer: The Search for John Wilkes Booth
  • Chasing Lincoln's Killer: The Search for John Wilkes Booth
  • Chasing Lincoln's Killer: The Search for John Wilkes Booth
  • Chasing Lincoln's Killer: The Search for John Wilkes Booth
  • Chasing Lincoln's Killer: The Search for John Wilkes Booth
  • Chasing Lincoln's Killer: The Search for John Wilkes Booth
  • Chasing Lincoln's Killer: The Search for John Wilkes Booth
  • Chasing Lincoln's Killer: The Search for John Wilkes Booth
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Chasing Lincoln's Killer: The Search for John Wilkes Booth

4.2 76
by James L. Swanson
     
 

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Based on rare archival material, obscure trial manuscripts, and interviews with relatives of the conspirators and the manhunters, CHASING LINCOLN'S KILLER is a fast-paced thriller about the pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth: a wild twelve-day chase through the streets of Washington, D.C., across the swamps of Maryland, and into the forests of… See more details below

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Overview

Based on rare archival material, obscure trial manuscripts, and interviews with relatives of the conspirators and the manhunters, CHASING LINCOLN'S KILLER is a fast-paced thriller about the pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth: a wild twelve-day chase through the streets of Washington, D.C., across the swamps of Maryland, and into the forests of Virginia.

"This story is true. All the characters are real and were alive during the great manhunt of April 1865. Their words are authentic and come from original sources: letters, manuscripts, trial transcripts, newspapers, government reports, pamphlets, books and other documents. What happened in Washington, D.C., that spring, and in the swamps and rivers, forests and fields of Maryland and Virginia during the next twelve days, is far too incredible to have been made up."

So begins this fast-paced thriller that tells the story of the pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth and gives a day-by-day account of the wild chase to find this killer and his accomplices. Based on James Swanson's bestselling adult book MANHUNT: THE 12-DAY CHASE FOR LINCOLN'S KILLER, this young people's version is an accessible look at the assassination of a president, and shows readers Abraham Lincoln the man, the father, the husband, the friend, and how his death impacted those closest to him.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Drawn from Swanson's 2007 adult work, Manhunt, this adaptation offers younger audiences a chronological, sometimes graphic play-by-play of Lincoln's assassination and the pursuit of his murderer and cohorts. An ever-increasing cast of characters in the 1865 conspiracy fills the pages, from assassin John Wilkes Booth to the Union sergeant who ended Booth's life in a burning tobacco barn. The narrative, peppered with some editorializing, jumps between Washington, D.C., and Booth's countryside hideouts: "Booth's leg was throbbing painfully. He needed a doctor.... At the Petersen house, Abraham Lincoln would soon have more doctors than he could ever want, but little use for any of them." While Swanson's 14 brief, descriptive chapters tell a riveting story, the myriad details and jumping back and forth can at times feel whipsawing. Still, this smartly designed work, printed in sepia ink and featuring well-integrated news clippings, playbills, portraits, period artwork and other extras, should appeal to students of Lincoln and the Civil War, but also attract newcomers to the subject. Ages 12-up. (Feb.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Sharon Salluzzo
Fine storytelling and compelling writing take the reader through the twelve-day search for Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth. Swanson sets the stage (no pun intended) by presenting a concise description of the causes and effects of the Civil War. He then begins with Lincoln's second inaugural, recording that Booth was in the audience that day and subsequently remarked to a friend in New York City, "What an excellent chance I had, if I wished, to kill the president on Inauguration Day! I was on the stand, as close to him nearly as I am to you." Readers will ascertain not only how but why Booth changed his mind from kidnapping to killing Lincoln. The plot to kill the President, the Vice-President, and the Secretary of State sent chills down the spine of this reader. There is not much background on the co-conspirators, but Swanson presents some fine details about how the events played out. The photos, maps, and reward posters help the reader gain a sense of the mood of the people of the United States at that time. The author comments on the continuing fascination with John Wilkes Booth. While there are a number of books about him, this one deserves a wide readership. Reviewer: Sharon Salluzzo
School Library Journal

Gr 5 Up

This volume is an adaptation of Swanson's Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer (HarperCollins, 2006). Divided into 14 chapters and an epilogue, the sentences are shorter and chapters are condensed from the original but the rich details and suspense are ever present. Lacking are a bibliography and a notes section. Excellent black-and-white illustrations complement the text. Devoted to the South, John Wilkes Booth had planned to kidnap Lincoln and hold him hostage, but when that plan did not materialize, he hatched his assassination plot. Co-conspirators in Washington, Maryland, and Virginia helped him escape and evade capture for 12 days before being surrounded in a barn and killed. Readers will be engrossed by the almost hour-by-hour search and by the many people who encountered the killer as he tried to escape. It is a tale of intrigue and an engrossing mystery. With the approaching bicentennial of Lincoln's birth, this is a most welcome addition to all libraries.-Patricia Ann Owens, Wabash Valley College, Mt. Carmel, IL

Kirkus Reviews
The 2009 bicentennial of Lincoln's birth has spawned a large crop of books about his life and presidency. Swanson offers an exhaustive look at his death and the 12-day search for his killer, including a discussion of Booth's motivations and descriptions of the parts played by others involved in the plot. Redacted from the author's 2006 bestseller Manhunt, this version features reproductions of photographs, articles and other archival material, as well as quotations liberally sprinkled throughout. Readers will find the list of the people involved a terrific help in keeping track of the large cast of characters. The sequence of events leading up to and following the assassination is meticulously detailed, sometimes graphically enough that some readers may be disconcerted, though others may be ghoulishly fascinated. Whether young readers will share the enthusiasm of their elders for the blow-by-blow description of this convoluted tale remains to be seen. If they do, this comprehensive examination should answer all of their questions. Sadly, except for one brief note attesting to the authenticity of the dialogue, there are no sourcing statements. (map) (Nonfiction. 12 & up)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780439903547
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
02/01/2009
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
21,333
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)
Lexile:
980L (what's this?)
Age Range:
11 - 14 Years

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