Reviews for Lincoln's Last Days : The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever

Booklist Reviews 2012 October #1
Based on O'Reilly's Killing Lincoln (2011), this version is accessible to younger readers. After detailing events during the last, desperate days of the Civil War, the book's focus shifts from Lee and Grant to Abraham Lincoln and John Wilkes Booth. It traces their lives during the five days leading up to the assassination and provides details of Booth's attack and Lincoln's death. The final chapters discuss the president's funeral, the assassin's escape, and the fate of Booth and his coconspirators. The use of present tense lends immediacy to the telling, which creates dramatic tension as the spotlights shifts, chapter by chapter, from one person to another. However, the book has no source notes, even for reported conversations. Though reproduced in gray scale, the many archival photos, period drawings and prints, maps, and photos of artifacts will help readers visualize the period, people, and events. Pair this with James L. Swanson's Chasing Lincoln's Killer (2009), another young-people's version of a history book written for adults. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: This will no doubt be promoted on Bill's show, The O'Reilly Factor, and on other media outlets, so adult fans may be looking at this for the kids in their lives. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Spring
This book chronicles the last days of the Civil War, the events leading to Lincoln's assassination, and the flurry involved in bringing the conspirators to justice. The present-tense narrative is well written and concise. Archival photographs and drawings add clarity and interest. A lengthy afterword provides additional information, but the lack of source notes is unfortunate. Reading list, websites. Bib., glos., ind.

School Library Journal Reviews 2012 December

Gr 5-9--This skillfully abridged and adapted edition of O'Reilly's Killing Lincoln (Holt, 2011) retains the format of the adult title with brief chapters written in a present tense, "you are there" style. It opens in the often-chaotic closing days of the Civil War, capturing the jubilation following Lee's surrender, the events of Lincoln's last days, and Booth's obsessive hatred of Lincoln and his conspiracy to assassinate him. It then describes the shooting and Lincoln's final hours and death, the manhunt for Booth and his allies, Booth's death, and the speedy trial and execution of his coconspirators. An afterword relates the fates of other important figures, and appendixes include a "Lincoln's World" that provides facts about aspects of the Civil War, time lines, and Lincoln-related Washington, DC, locations. Well-captioned illustrations, which include maps and period photos of the major players and significant locations, appear on almost every page and are both informative and interesting. This thrillerlike adaptation captures the excitement of the Union victory in the Civil War and the shock and horror that quickly followed as the country learned of Lincoln's death and sought revenge on his assassins. The popularity of O'Reilly's adult title will drive interest in this version, but it definitely stands alone and will find an audience among general readers and report writers. Chasing Lincoln's Killer (Scholastic, 2009), the YA version of James L. Swanson's adult best-seller, is more narrowly focused on the conspiracy and the massive manhunt for Booth.--Mary Mueller, formerly at Rolla Junior High School, MO

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