Chasing Lincoln's Killer

The Search for John Wilkes Booth
Author: James L. Swanson
Lexile Level: 980L
Grade Level Equivalent: 8.3
My recommended age: 10 and up

One of the most tragic events in American History, the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, has been written about and rehashed countless times over the years.  This tale is the story of the plot to murder Lincoln, the escape attempt, and the manhunt for John Wilkes Booth and his accomplices written for a juvenile audience.  Based on newspaper accounts, journals, trial transcripts and other historical documents, this fascinating account takes us through the conspiracy and eventual capture of Booth and those involved in the terrible tragedy.

This book was a teacher recommendation for my 6th grader.  I found it a great telling of the Lincoln story written for a younger audience so as to keep their attention.  It moves well through all of the details, without getting bogged down in "too much information". Obviously there is the shooting along with a stabbing, and the associated details, but there was nothing that was offensive.  This is a great way to learn history without actually reading a textbook!


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