VOYA - Darlene KelmThis account of Malcolm X's death presents the many views of who is responsible for this thirty-two-year-old slaying. It is part of the Mysterious Death series, which centers on individuals whose deaths were surrounded by circumstances that have never been definitively explained. All nine persons in the series led lives characterized by fame, tragedy, and triumph and died amidst an array of conflicting facts and opinions. Lincoln, JFK, and Malcolm X all were assassinated in front of people. The accused murderers were tried and convicted, but were they the only guilty parties? This biography starts with a fourteen-page introduction describing Malcolm X's troubled childhood. His assassination is covered in the first chapter, with the investigation and debate covered in the rest of the book. The 1985 confrontation between X's daughter, Louis Farrakkan, and the FBI also is discussed. The epilogue points to facts that substantiate the theory that X was shot by members of the Nation of Islam, yet questions still remain: Who gave the order? Are there men in prison for the assassination who might be "not guilty"? This book has more physical appeal than the four others we have on Malcolm X, all of which show usage. The pages here are broken up with many photographs. Of special interest are the boxes with a puzzle piece drawing in the corner. They give accounts of Malcolm X's life and death, taken from other biographies, his autobiography, his speeches, and trial testimony. Missing is a timeline and some colored pictures, which would add more appeal. Some students may get hooked on Malcolm X and the series after reading this book. Index. Photos. Biblio. Further Reading. VOYA Codes: 4Q 2P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, For the YA with a special interest in the subject, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8 and Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9).
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 6-9This volume focuses on Malcolm X's violent death and its aftermath; readers are barely introduced to the militant African-American leader before he is gunned down in Harlem's Audubon Ballroom on February 21, 1965. The facts and conjecture surrounding the assassination would be all the more interesting if they were presented along with substantive background information on the man and his mission. This fact aside, Sagan gives a detailed and thought-provoking account of the murder, police investigation, trial, and various assassination theories. Even though Louis Farrakhan ultimately admitted that the Nation of Islam was responsible for the killing, there are still unanswered questions including, "Who gave the order to shoot Malcolm?" The author concedes that the whole truth may never be known. Well-chosen, heavily captioned black-and-white photographs complement the text. In lieu of source notes, annotated lists of works consulted and further reading are provided. This title is an acceptable addition and should be used in conjunction with Walter Dean Myers's Malcolm X (Scholastic, 1993) or Jack Rummel's Malcolm X (Chelsea, 1989).Pat Katka, formerly at San Diego Public Library
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