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Chasing Lincoln's Killer

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,354 Ratings  ·  1,133 Reviews
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.

"This story

Hardcover, 194 pages
Published February 1st 2009 by Scholastic Press (first published January 1st 2009)
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Mar 03, 2009 Elizabeth rated it liked it
One of my students (a delightful young man with autism) recommended this book to me. He purchased his copy at the school book fair in January, and although he really doesn't read well, he had watched a program on the History Channel based on the adult edition of the book (Manhunt) and was able to piece together bits and pieces for comprehension.

While I found the writing in the book to be somewhat disjointed, I learned a lot about the Lincoln assassination and John Wilkes Booth. The book is reple
Matthew Kresal
Jul 25, 2011 Matthew Kresal rated it really liked it
As someone interested in Presidential assassinations I got this book for the subject matter rather then for its reading level. Thinking back to some of the history books I read during my own youth I was expecting that this book would bring the story down to basics. Not only was that assertion wrong I found that Chasing Lincoln's Killer is better written then some of the adult oriented history books I've read.

Author James Swanson has done his research and done it well. Based on his adult book Ma
Kim Nemeth
Mar 08, 2013 Kim Nemeth rated it liked it
While this book was interesting it's not on the top of my list of books to recommend to my middle school students for a few reasons.

I found the characters to be somewhat confusing (I listened to the audiobook so this may have added to my confusion).

While there was a great deal of historical information I am always looking for history that will aid students in understanding the curriculum material and I didn't feel this book offered that. A better choice, in my mind is The Notorious Benedict Arn
Nov 10, 2014 Jessica rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 24, 2011 Jacki rated it really liked it
Shelves: teen-non-fiction
Summary: The YA edition of Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer describes the plot to kill Abraham Lincoln, the assassination, and for the most part, the hunt to capture John Wilkes Booth and his gang of co-conspirators.

Verdict: A short, exciting read.

Yay!: A great entry in the category of non-fiction that reads like fiction, Swanson's reconstruction of events is a page-turner. Unlike many YA adaptations of adult non-fiction, the book never feels like something was left out or thinned
Kathleen Lake cusick
Sep 21, 2012 Kathleen Lake cusick rated it it was amazing

Have you ever wanted to be like a fly on the wall, or on the sidelines of the most influential moments in world history?? Did you ever ponder what was it like for Napoleon in his final days in power at Waterloo, or who Hitler was conversing with and what they were saying at the end of World War II? Well if these lesser known facts interest you, then this story would be for you. The author has pieced together the events surrounding one of the most horrific events in American history, the assassin
Jun 01, 2014 Karen rated it it was amazing
Swanson L. James "Chasing Lincoln's killer" scholastic inc. 2009 New York U.S.A

If you are above middle school aged, this book is for you! Assassination of president Lincoln is one of the most famous history event in the world, but do you know why he was killed? or who did kill him? Do you want to know more detailed about this mysterious story? If so, I highly recommend you to read this book!
Basically this book is all about what happened before the assassination of president Lincoln. John Wil
Jacob Young
May 30, 2014 Jacob Young rated it it was amazing
Chasing Lincoln's killer is a history book telling the story of John Wilkes Booth and his accomplices assassinating the president and other government officials.
The book starts off with John reading the paper. John Wilkes Booth is a actor at Fords theater. He was a tall dark haired man.There was a headline about the confederates surrendering. As a supporter of the confederates this did not make Booth happy. Booth decides to hatch a plan to assassinate the president hopefully turning the war aro
Carl Porras
May 26, 2015 Carl Porras rated it it was amazing
It's hard to think that a single bullet ended Lincoln's presidency, but it did happen all by the hands of John Wilkes Booth. Now you might think that this novel is about the people who tracked Booth and his conspirators, however that's not all what it's about. This story is mainly about the man who did the deed and his helpers. It's about John Wilkes Booth's side of the story, and what he and his conspirators did to assassinate their targets and escape. This book is an AWESOME book and I'd recom ...more
Salve Duplayna
Jun 03, 2015 Salve Duplayna rated it it was amazing
Based on a true story, The author, James L. Swanson, exceptionally captivated John Wilkes Booth and his side of the story on the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. A fast-paced thriller on the pursuit and capture during a twelve day chase for John Wilkes Booth after he assassinated Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre. The author clearly elaborates all the events during the manhunt through Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. Every chapter tells of a different day during the chase of the biggest ...more
May 22, 2015 Ray rated it it was amazing
April 15, 1865 started out as any normal day, but ended as a day that left the United States of America leaderless and in mourning. On that day, Abraham Lincoln was shot and killed by the actor John Wilkes Booth. However, what many people don't know is the thrilling twelve-day hunt for Booth that took place afterwards. Author James L. Swanson tells the virtually unheard of story of the investigation, chase and eventual capture of John Wilkes Booth and his co-conspirators after his assassination ...more
May 05, 2015 Sarah rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
I found this book at a yard sale and decided it was worth $1. I didn't realize it was YA at first so I'm willing to make some concessions re: the content and scope of depth, but this is still a non fiction book. Where are the citations? Erik Larson has spoiled me. There were many 'most certainly' 'probably' and 'most likely's' peppered throughout the book, which just means that the author is taking liberties for the sake of a more exciting story. I don't know. It was entertaining and I think it ...more
Jake B
Jan 08, 2015 Jake B rated it really liked it
This book is about Lincoln killer a guy named booth and how he killed the president and stab the vice president. It talk about booth planning his killing of the president and his friend killing the vice president. His did not kill the vice president. It said the people house he staded at and the people he meant, but he was found in a barn and he would not come out and how the burned the barn down but they he would not come out so they shoot him and they drag him out.

I thought that this book was
Kelly DeLeon
May 29, 2015 Kelly DeLeon rated it it was amazing
This book was to me amazing. What makes it so great how this story is entirely true and this thing actually happened. It is very much an action adventure fiction coming to life in the real words. Every single step of the way to find Booth it is detailed and is a thriller. It is a truly masterpiece of history and was truly a great show that Booth preformed those days. The great description of the book easy made it to visualize in your head. Historical books in my opinion are usually boring and I ...more
Brian E.
May 31, 2015 Brian E. rated it liked it
Chasing Lincoln's killer is about the planning, assassination and post-assassination of the president. This book is a hyper- realistic novel, meaning that every event in this book is accurate. This cause the reader to appreciate the book more because of the sense of reality to it. This book can be very slow at times, but it has some exciting and interesting parts to it. The two most important and exciting parts has got to be the assassination of the president and the killing of Lincolns assassin ...more
May 28, 2015 Jayren rated it it was amazing
This book is about the finest president of all time and a handsome man named Booth and a guy who later in the story, he is really not a gentleman after all. This story takes place in the mid 1800's in colonial days and it features the assassination of lincoln. On April 14, 1865, John Wilkes Booth, a famous actor shot Lincoln at a play at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. The attack came only five days after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his massive army at Appomattox Court House ...more
Ben Bair
May 31, 2015 Ben Bair rated it it was amazing
Chasing Lincolns killer was an epic novel about the search for Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth. The story does an incredible job of describing every sometimes excruciating detail in the story. Everything is true in this novel so what you read is exactly what happened. Pretty Crazy!!! This story follows a young John Wilkes booth before and after he killed our 16th president. This story really makes you wonder did Booth get what he wanted. So for all you history buffs and everyday readers I ...more
Cedrik Vb
Oct 12, 2015 Cedrik Vb rated it it was amazing

Chasing Lincoln's killer

The book chasing Lincoln's killer by James Swanson is a book describing the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865, from when actor John Wilkes booth was planning the murdering of the president , to when the actor was killed at a tobacco farm in Virginia.

this book is awesome because it tells every thing very accurately and precisely. this book is perfect for a report on the assassination of A. Lincoln because
it is a Nonfiction book that is 99.9%
An OK kiddie-light abridgement of Swanson's book Manhunt: The 12 Day Chase For Abraham Lincoln's Killer that sticks to the events and eschews the standard tangents and background that I'm sure are present in the adult version. My biggest beef was the narrator, Will Patton who is apparently an actor, and the entire book sounded like it was narrated by Movie Trailer Guy.

"In a world driven asunder by conflict, ONE MAN can save them all...."

...and at the brink of peace... a TRAITOR rises..."

In short
Adam Lovell
Jan 03, 2012 Adam Lovell rated it really liked it
The story is about John Wilkes Booth planning then killing President Lincoln, and he is on the run and it is just tracking what he is doing. The main Characters are George Atzerodt, Colonel Lafayette Baker, Luther Baker, John Wilkes Booth, Colonel Everton Conger, Captain Samuel Cox and others. Most of them are helping plan to kill Lincoln but a few are just there at the time helping protect the president. The main Characters did run into problems in it like some were injured, some chickened out ...more
Ms. McCall
Expecting to read a novel about the search for John Wilkes Booth, Lincoln’s killer, I found myself much more fully immersed in the act of murder than I anticipated. Not only do we get the chase of Lincoln’s killer, but also the plotting, the killing, and the emotions of Booth that followed. The book title really doesn’t do the content any justice, especially if readers are specifically basing their choice to read Chasing Lincoln’s Killer on the book title.
Beginning with the Confederacy surren
Dylan burns
May 14, 2013 Dylan burns rated it it was amazing
On the evening of April 14th, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was shot in the head at Ford's theater in Washington D.C. He was with his wife and they were celebrating the end of the Civil War. It was Good Friday.

Chasing Lincoln's Killer details the events leading up to Lincoln's assassination as well as the conspiracy plot to kill Vice President Johnson and Secretary of State, William Seward. The book follows Lincoln's killer, actor James Wilkes Booth and his conspirators as they led the authori
Charli M.
Dec 10, 2012 Charli M. rated it it was amazing
Chasing Lincoln's Killer
James L. Swanson
194 pages

The book Chasing Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson is about the assaination of our once beloved president, Abraham Lincoln. The assasinator was a handsome actor named, John Wilkes Booth. He shot lincoln with a pistol and made a run for it. He actually got accepted into some peoples houses and they, of course, knew who he was. He was all over the papers. He and a few of his companions were worth (total) $100,000 WITHOUT Booth. Booth
Adrian Lazaro
Mar 06, 2013 Adrian Lazaro rated it it was amazing
Chasing Lincoln's Killer is one of my favorite interesting book ever. Because I get to find who killed Lincoln and why he attempted to assasinate the president. The person who shot the president was John Wilkes Booth. A southern man who that was born in Maryland and an amazing actor. The assassination happen in the theatre after the civil war. Booth sneaks inside the door where Lincoln is sitting where he can see the play with his wife and no guards... Now you might be saying: "why no guards? Pr ...more
April Fell
Apr 01, 2013 April Fell rated it it was amazing
Swanson, J. L. (2009). Chasing Lincoln's Killer. New York: Scholastic Audiobooks.
Genre: Informational
Format: Audiobook
Selection Process: Goodreads and our textbook
Swanson spins a thrilling tale sure to impress tweens with an interest in history, adventure, murder and political intrigue. Chasing Lincoln's Killer is a tween version of James Swanson's adult fiction title, Manhunt: The 12 day chase for Lincoln's Killers.
Swanson's story takes a fascinating look at the 12 day span of
Joie Elizabeth
May 31, 2015 Joie Elizabeth rated it liked it
In my opinion, the book was okay. I didn't like how the beginning of the book took forever how Booth plans. I also didn't like how the book was dragging Booth's plan, but it never really worked out. The only think that I like about the book is that it is based on a true historical event about our country. I also liked how the author put a lot of detail in the book so you always know what is happening. I didn't find this book that interesting, this book isn't for me.
Gabe Latog
May 30, 2015 Gabe Latog rated it it was amazing
Chasing Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson is a great book that offers the story of Abraham Lincoln's assassination. I enjoyed this book because of the different aspects Swanson displays with the story. One of the things I liked was how he was able to build the suspense in the form of writing when Lincoln's assassin and accomplices were captured by manhunters. This is highly worth reading if people want to read an interesting book about the hunt for Abraham Lincoln's killer.
May 31, 2015 Hannah rated it it was ok
Overall the book wasn't that good and it very slow and really climatic. The book only received two stars because it just couldn't draw my attention and make me want to read more. Things just seemed to keep repeating itself over and over again with Booth and his accomplice going from hiding place to hiding place. Even the climax wasn't the greatest even though it contained John Wilkes Booth's death. All in all I wouldn't recommend any one to read this book.
May 28, 2015 Josh rated it liked it
I thought this book was an okay book. I didn't like this book because in the beginning chapter it was very slow to explain Booth and his insecurities about Lincoln. I also didn't really like how Booth had a plan that would never really work and it ended up not working. What i did like about this book was how it was based off and was made of true historical facts about our country. I also liked how much it describes everyone's part in helping or helping to find Booth.
May 22, 2015 Grant rated it really liked it
The book chasing Lincoln's kill was a cool story it had action and a great storyline. The best part about this book was that it was real at one time and now its apart of history. The story line the characters and the plot of the whole thing was great. The only reason this isn't five stars s because its not one of the best books I ever read before. In this book I cant think of anything that they should have done because it was already great. This is a book thatI might evan read in the future agai ...more
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James Swanson is the Edgar Award-winning author of the New York Times bestseller Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer. Swanson has degrees in history from the University of Chicago, where he was a student of John Hope Franklin, and in law from the University of California, Los Angeles.

He has held a number of government and think-tank posts in Washington, D.C., including at the United St
More about James L. Swanson...

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