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

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

by James L. Swanson


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NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author James Swanson delivers a riveting account of the chase for Abraham Lincoln's assassin.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780439903547
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 02/01/2009
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 25,422
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)
Lexile: 980L (what's this?)
Age Range: 11 - 14 Years

About the Author

James L. Swanson is the award-winning author of the bestseller Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer. His other books include Chasing Lincoln's Killer, an adaptation of Manhunt for young adults, and his follow-up, "The President Has Been Shot!: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy", which was a finalist for the YALSA-ALA Excellence in Young Adult Nonfiction award. He has held a number of government and think-tank posts in Washington, D.C.

Customer Reviews

Chasing Lincoln's Killer 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 107 reviews.
MaryAnnCNY More than 1 year ago
Our 5th grader's teacher was reluctant to allow her to do a report on the Lincoln Assassination stating that there wasn't a lot of material out there at her grade level. Well, this book proved that theory wrong. Our daughter started reading this book and the next thing you know I was sitting there reading it with her. The book tells the story in a way that the targeted age group can understand and grasp the story. She was engaged and always excited about turning the page to find out what happened next. Everything from the photos of the actual wanted posters to the real photos of the individuals involved in the assassination truly brought the story to life. Even the effect of the cream-colored pages and the brown-shade added to the photos to give them a dated look added to the overall presentation of the book. I would highly recommend this book for any student in the 5th to 8th grade range who is interested in this topic. Our daughter was so excited to put the report together and the necessary poster board as well. And the final result? Grade A! Teacher's comments? "A wow paper and poster!" She also told us that while others were doing their presentations about the Civil War our daughter was able to relate many of the other topics to hers and made the discussions much more lively! A special thank you to James Swanson for taking the sophisticated writing of his book for adults and convert it into a great read for middle grade students! I highly recommend this book! Thank you! Mary Ann
HONESTLY-WRITTEN More than 1 year ago
Chasing Lincoln's Killer is a a very good book. Actually one of the best books I have ever read. If i had to say what age group this is for I would say 10 up. If some one were to ask me if i would read another book by this author I would definatly say "YES". Because James L. Swanson is a really good writer. The type of reader that this is for is a person who likes historical and some action. This book is good to read for many reasons like for a book report, just for fun, want to learn, and possibly a book club
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book taught me so much about Lincoln's killer and I went from knowing nothing to knowing all the details. This story teaches you a lot but is also just a fun, gross, and action-ish book to read for fun. I just couldn't put it down! This is probably for children 9-12.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book this book gives great details and important facts. I recomend that everyone reads this book. For a research paper or just for entertainment its a great book for all to read .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Chasing Lincoln's killer starts out with the assasination of president Lincoln. You follow Booth and Herold from Ford's theatre to Mudd's farm, to captain coxs house, to the jones farm, to the pine thicket all the way to garrets farm to the hanging of the conspiritors. Too bad there are only five stars, I would give it seven stars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Chasing Lincol's Killer I personally think that the book was so good that they should make a movie about it if they already haven't. This book is good for any age from 10 up. if some one were to ask me if the book moved I would have to say "Yes" becauseonce you read a good book just like this you aren't going tonot have different feelings from when you first read this. And I get the chance to read another book by this author I would take it.
BAYERS More than 1 year ago
Chasing Lincoln's Killer "Chasing Lincoln's Killer" by James L Swanson, it's the tail of John Wilkes Booth (the man who assassinated President Lincoln). It was one the best books I have ever read. Once I started reading I couldn't put it down. The beginning was ok but once you got to like the second chapter it was awesome. In the end they should have put more detail. It only took me like two days to read it because it was so good. All the detail in the book made the read even better. It's a good read for any 7th grade or up. I sagest that you are into history or you won't like it as much. They describe the way that John Wilkes Booth is feeling I so much detail when he is in pain you can feel the pain. At the end of the book you actually feel sorry because he's trapped in the silo and can't escape because he went through all of that, falling off the stage, dealing with the pain, and staying in the wild for almost a week. Also when they went to kill the vice president all that they had to go through and still didn't kill him. This is why this is one of my favorite books that I have ever read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Chasing Lincoln's Killer is a very helpful and interesting book. By beginning the book with "John Wilkes Booth awoke depressed" and describing Booth as a cold-hearted man who hated the Union soldiers, Booth's character is expressed well. Throughout the book, Booth went to many places to escape his pursuers. Swanson never made any part of the book boring or too wordy. Although the murder of Abraham Lincoln was a gruesome event, the book has no inappropriate parts and can be read by a person of any age. The book covers all parts of the event, including the accomplices in the conspiracy, and all other aspects of the manhunt. Any information needed about the murder was mentioned in this book. One thing a reader may want to know about the book is that it doesn't contain information about the childhood of John Wilkes Booth, and if you're writing about Booth's life in general, this book would only be helpful for the main event that made Booth famous. I used this book as a reference for a paper and I found all information needed to complete the assignment. The author, James L. Swanson, expresses exceptional writing abilities and can easily get a reader hooked on his writing. The book is fairly long, but it was not hard for me to read it, and I never found myself bored while reading this book. By beginning the book with "John Wilkes Booth awoke depressed" and describing Booth as a cold-hearted man who hated the Union soldiers, Booth's character is expressed well. Throughout the book, Booth went to many places to escape his pursuers. Swanson never made any part of the book boring or too wordy. Overall, this book includes valuable information on the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, and is enjoyable to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is very good. It included some things that i never even knew. I highly recommend this book fo anyone who is looking for a fast-paced adventure!!:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found the book very interesting. I was just amazing! But i have one question...the page numbers on the nook for chasing lincoln's killer is very different then the page numbers on the actual book. Is this a different verson than the one on a regular book? Help would be much appreciated. Thanks!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an amazingly good read i thought it was going to be a horrible book because my teacher was making me read it. But once i started i just couldnt put it down. Well... until the class ended.
WSofSOA More than 1 year ago
If you love history books than this is a great book for you. I do not like reading very much but reading this book was no problem. To me his book is different from most books about the assaination plot of president Lincoln because it has all of the details that you need to know, like the time that a certain event happened, the dates, real pictures, what actually really happened, and all of the other things that you may want to know about. It has a lot of information that I found out about that I would have never known if I never read this book. This book tells you about all of Booths other plans that he hoped to accomplish like killing the vice president in full detail. Another thing that I really liked about this book is that after Booth shot Lincoln it showed the map of his escape from the theater. I think that the author did a great job with this book in every way.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My book club read this book and for our activity we acted out some of the scenes in the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. I felt it was never dull and it also had grreat historical information!!
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
CHASING LINCOLN'S KILLER is a third-person narrative about the events that happened on that fateful night of April 14, 1865.

The story follows John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln, through his planning and committing of the murder and then through his flight from Washington, D.C,. to safety in the south.

With this book, the reader learns of both Booth's struggles and of the lucky breaks he received in the actual action of killing the beloved President of the United States. The reader also learns of events that took place following the assassination.

James Swanson writes an intriguing non-fiction story. In the Note to the Reader, the author states that every event in the book is factual and that all of the quotes are taken from letters, manuscripts, newspapers, and other sources. No quote is produced by the author.

For anyone wanting to know the facts about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, this book is exactly what is needed. For teenagers, CHASING LINCOLN'S KILLER is more helpful and interesting than anything your history textbook could tell you about James Wilkes Booth and his successful assassination of President Lincoln.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Chasing Lincoln’s Killer by James L. Swanson is right after the civil war. The general idea of the book is about John Wilkes Booth killing president Abraham Lincoln, then people chase and trying to find him. This story takes place in the South and includes, John Wilkes Booth, General Robert E. Lee, Mary Todd Lincoln, David Herold, Lewis Powell, George Atzerodt, Vice President Johnson, Mary Surratt, and President Lincoln. If you are very interested in American history or want to learn more about American history, this is a good book for you. I give this book a 4.5 out of 5 because it got into the story slow.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I gave this book two stars because though the topic was very interesting, the book seemed to go on forever. I was personally very interested in this topic and the second and third chapter kind of held up to what I was looking for, what happened when Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. But in chapter one and in all of the chapters after the third, the chapter’s topics and writing style were not as interesting and was tiring, was not set up well, and they were pretty boring in my opinion, as a 13-year-old middle school student. If I were to recommend this to anyone I would recommend this only to people who really are willing to endure this novel like style of writing about the stories of before, while, and after Lincoln’s assassination in Booth’s perspective. And if you only really want to read just about Lincoln’s assassination, as I wanted to, I would just recommend the first page, as to get some background on Booth, and the second and third chapters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book! As a 13 year old, I don’t enjoy non-fiction books. I would only read a non-fiction book if it was assigned to me, which in this case it was. I was able to pick between a few different non-fiction books and Chasing Lincoln's Killer seems very interesting. The cover was a very graphic and descriptive which set the reader up for a action-packed book. I thought that the beginning was very slow and very very detailed, almost too detailed. I didn’t like how long the opening was and how much it dragged. But once I got through the first chapter I really liked it and I enjoyed the pictures. I am a more visual person and visual learner, so seeing the pictures helped draw out the story in my head. I would recommend this book to someone who enjoys action-packed books and who is studying Lincoln and his assassination.
ppie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Hayden smith 5/24/12¿Run! The man hunt is coming¿ said the murderer. In the book chasing Lincolns killer, John Wilkes Booth was a man who did not like President Lincoln and took actions he thought were right. I feel that his actions were not right because most people liked president Lincoln an by doing this he got himself killed. John Wilkes booth killed President Lincoln because he did not like Lincoln¿s choices in government. After killing the president he jumped on to the stage off of a balcony in Ford¿s theatre and broke his leg. Booth had someone waiting with his horse in an alley and then he lied to cross a bridge after it had closed and ran. After he got across the bridge he heard footsteps and it was his friend Harold a great outdoorsman that could help Booth on the way. They stopped at a doctor to fix his leg. His leg was so swollen that they had to cut his boot off it was so stuck. Then the doctor told them about a man that could help them cross the river. So they set up a plan that was the friend would have a secret whistle and whenever they heard that whistle the friend was there to help. After they crossed the river they stopped at a farm owned by a man named Garrett. After they got to Garrett¿s tobacco farm they hid there for a while. The man hunters later knocked on Garrett¿s door and asked where the criminals were but he refused to tell them until they pointed a gun at his head and asked again. So he told them where they were and then Booth was killed by being cornered in the tobacco barn. In conclusion Booth was a bad man and needed to be caught. I think this book was very good because of the details and history so if you like those two things you should read this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
sadiekaycarver on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Having read several books about the assasination of Abe Lincoln, this one is one of the best. It has a timeline of Booth and Lincoln leading up to, during and after the murder. It also includes actual dialogue among the key players of this national tragedy. It is a very interesting book about one of America's darkest days.
abbylibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Complete with blood and guts, this is an in-depth look into the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln and the 12-day manhunt for his killer, John Wilkes Booth. It's filled to the brim with interesting facts and it truly reads like fiction. This is riveting stuff and a great listen for families with tweens and teens.
PeaceLoveTigers on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
i love this book its very dramatic at the end but its a very intence book i was suprised to see what a great book this is it is the impossible but true story of the manhunt to find John Wilks Booth
HaZarD101 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A man on the run after committing a murder¿.but it wasn¿t just any murder, he has just shot President Abraham Lincoln. Chasing Lincoln¿s Killer by James L. Swanson was published on August 1st, 2008 and is 194 pages long. This is one amazing nonfiction book. Chasing Lincoln¿s Killer was an amazing thriller because the attempted murder of Seward and successful murder of our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln.To start off, this book was obviously around the time of Lincoln¿s death and the end of the Civil War. It goes from the night of Lincoln was shot (April 14th, 1865) to the night the manhunt was put to an end. It also talks about the trials and executions of the conspirators. The author talks about Booth¿s 12 day run from the Union and goes deeply in depth on the night that the manhunt was stopped, and ended.The book, as I stated earlier, goes from the night of attacks, to the night the manhunt was ended. It also talks about the punishment for all of the conspirators. The very beginning of the book it gives an overview of the mood of everyone in D.C. after the results of the Civil War. Then it talks about what preparations Booth made before he committed his crime. The author talks about every day of Booth¿s life after his crime in amazing detail. From D.C., to Booth¿s travel through Maryland, to Booth¿s end in the Garret¿s Farm in Virginia, not one day was missed.I believe the author achieved his goal because I read that book to learn more about Booth and what he did, and learned just that and some other related interesting things. I really found the book interesting because I have always liked books about murders and manhunts and things like that, but this book is all of that and more. It is a piece of history and is 10 times better than anything else that I have ever read like it. I would recommend this book to just about anyone that might not even think this subject very interesting. It makes that night and manhunt seem like the most interesting thing that has ever happened in our history. Overall I would give this book 9 ½ stars because it was just amazing. It lost ½ a star because it was a bit hard to keep track of who was who and who did what because of all of the things that went on that night.To sum up, I think just about anybody would like this book. So I would highly urge you to go out to your local library and try reading this book! Who knows? You might end up with a new favorite book!
DustinB1983 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Swanson¿s ¿Chasing Lincoln¿s Killer¿ is an in depth description of the events surrounding President Lincoln¿s assassination. The author brings together original sources to describe in detail the planning, execution, and the chase that followed. He goes into particular detail about Booth and his motivations. The author also tells the story of the planned and failed assassinations of the Vice President and Secretary of State. The assassination takes place and Booth and his men flee. The climax of the story is the capture and death of Booth. Eventually, his co-conspirators are caught and either executed or sentenced to death.Swanson¿s book starts strong. His descriptions of the planning and execution phases are engaging. He drags this part out, draws the reader in, and you cannot help but turn the page. At times, this is tense and others even humorous. It really reads like a novel. This is the most excited part of the story, however, and the rest of the book cannot live up to it. We follow the fugitives on the run and the men we are charged with finding them, but Swanson is not able to make this interesting. Overall, however, the book is a pleasant read. The presentation is attractive, and there are so many great photographs of people, posters, documents, events, and so on. I would certainly recommend this to a young reader who is curious about Lincoln¿s assassination. However, I would probably limit this to high school, as the book includes graphic details of wounds and blood and photographs of hangings that would not be appropriate for all readers. I also find that this book would be useful in an American History classroom. There are fascinating details that are not found in text books. For instance, I learned more about Booth than I ever knew, including his personality, his motivations, and his public profile.