Children's LiteratureThis highly readable account of participants and events leading up to and following the assassination of President Lincoln invites readers to consider whether Mary Surratt was guilty as charged. Jones musters evidence on both sides and provides numerous quotes from primary sources woven seamlessly into the lively narrative. Illustrations include contemporary photos of the conspirators and of the Surratt family members, newspaper accounts and wanted posters, and newspaper drawings and etchings depicting incidents. In an interesting epilogue that recaps some of the text, Jones tells what happened next to each primary participant. An author's note acknowledges sources while a separate section recommends websites and several other books to learn more, including Jones's own account of Lincoln's murder in The President Has Been Shot: True Stories of the Attacks on Ten U.S. Presidents. Young readers can't fail to be engaged by this compelling story and to wonder if Surratt knew what she was getting into or was merely an innocent bystander. 2004, Tidewater Publishers, Ages 9 to 14.
Susan Hepler, Ph.D.