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Chasing Lincoln's Killer

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  3,746 ratings  ·  853 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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Newbery 2010
26th out of 107 books — 518 voters
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31st out of 90 books — 352 voters

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Community Reviews

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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
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
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

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
Kim Nemeth
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
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
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
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Adam Lovell
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
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.
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
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
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
Cristian Molina
From the moment the shot was made to booth last stand this book has taught me the story behind lincoln's assasination beyond my imagination. If you seek the backstory of the assasination then read this book and find what lays ahead. I would recommend this book to my friends because of how good it is.
I purchased this book with the intention of beefing up the American history section of my classroom library. Although I have not read Swanson's adult version, Manhunt, I really enjoyed this kid version. It's perfect for 8th graders. It's succinct but includes enough detail that the reader really knows what happened in those 12 days and even includes plenty of pictures ( a sure attention grabber for 8th grade boys). One of the things I will point out to my students is the drastic difference in tr ...more
Kristen Jorgensen
This historical book will keep readers interested. It's a younger version of Swansons adult book "Manhunt," yet is still informative, without glorifying the assassination of Lincoln. The writing style was a bit choppy, as the author skipped from one story (Booths) to another (Lincoln), with some other stories thrown in, every few paragraphs without warning. Still it is basic and simple enough that younger people can learn what happened. I enjoyed the photographs that allow a better look at the p ...more
YALSA Best Books for Young Adults: 2010

This audio book probably has brought me closer to picking up an audio book again. Chasing Lincoln's Killer retells a day by day account of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the process of capturing his assassin, John Wilkes Booth. This informational text narrates the chronological events that most textbooks miss. It surely fills in the gaps between what you know and what you know after listening to this book. More appropriate for upper elementary/mid
Dec 10, 2014 Rees added it
In this book the main idea in this book is about finding the person who killed Abraham Lincoln. In this book its near the end of the civil war and the Union is winning. John Booth, the killer of Lincoln, Is upset about the Confederacy loosing the war and knows that the union will win. So Booth starts plotting to kill President Lincoln. Then booth gets a note saying Lincoln is coming to his theater and Booth knows he'll kill him there. I think that the author made this book to inform the reader ...more
Noah Smith
Chasing Lincoln's Killer

By: James L. Swanson Noah Smith Per.7 12/8/14

John Wilkes Booth has planed to assassinate President Lincoln because Wilkes Booth was in support of slavery, but Lincoln did not like slavery. John would try anything to try to stop slavery from being banned forever. John was a very good and famous actor. He was so famous that he could meet up with all the famous people, including the President, so he used that power to assassinate the President. Booth heard that Lincoln was
Joseph Pickering
Chasing Lincoln's Killer
James L. Swanson

Chasing Lincoln's Killer is about the build up of the assassination of President Lincoln. Then after the killing the chasing down Booth. Also in the story Booth hires three other people to kill the Vice President, and secretary.

In the story Booth sneaks into Lincoln's booth the shoots him at the right time so no one will hear. Before that Booth hires three other people. Those people were George Azerodt, Lewis Powell, and David Herold. Azerodt is sent to ki
Our class read this book together and had some very good discussions, first off a great book. One thing I found annoying about it was even though it was historical with a little research you learn a few things about the book that may or may not be viewed as opinions. the last paragraph sums up the entire book in a few sentences. which makes the book seem like a waste of time to me ( which it isn't at ALL ).

If you do any research on Mary Surratt, many argue that the outcome of her involvement in
Dec 03, 2014 Dinj added it
Din Johnson
English (yellow)
Goodreads review

Chasing Lincoln's Killer, by James L. Swanson, is the story of how Abraham Lincoln's killer was hunted down and killed in the end. The main idea the author was trying to express in this story is that your actions lead to consequences, good or bad. This story takes place in an older fashioned time period, in the late 1800’s. At this time period, people dressed differently. Everyday outfits were tuxedos or white shirts and blazers. This book is wr
Chasing Lincoln's Killer By: James L. Swanson
This book is all about president Abraham Lincoln's assassin John Wilkes Booth, and his murder plots. It describes all of the plans, actions, and man hunt included with the murder. This book is historical fiction so not all of it is true. This book also tells of some of the other people who helped with the assassination and escape.

I personally really enjoyed this book because I love learning about the Civil War, and Lincoln is my favorite president. I
It was 10:13 on April 14, 1865 at Fords Theatre in Washington D.C. This very date, time, and location where our 16th President, President Lincoln was assassinated. The book is called Chasing Lincoln's Killer, by James L Swanson. Not just Lincoln was on the mind of the head leader, John Wilkes Booth. Booth was against many things. For example, Booth was a huge supporter of the confederacy. The confederacy is a group of slave states that are against being part of the United States. One of the many ...more
Do you like books that are true like non-fiction? Wait... why would you? they are just a bunch of facts. Well "Chasing Lincoln's Killer" by James L. Swanson isn't just a bunch of facts, it has it all. This book has facts with-in it but is told in an interesting complex story. This book is non-fiction because this event really happened. I would defiantly read this book from cover to cover because if not you would miss important info. The longish chapters in the book as well as Acknowledgments and ...more
Chasing Lincoln's Killer, a non-fiction book by James L. Swanson, gives a riveting recap of the death of our beloved 16th President, and the manhunt that enfolds. Non-fiction, meaning any and all events in this book are 100% true. Non-fiction can cover anything from biographies, to essays, but in this case, it's history. John Wilkes Booth, a.k.a Lincoln's killer, is a young actor, who deep-down has a strong sense of Confederate blood. Along with his Confederacy comrades, he deploys an audacious ...more
Fresh of his triumphant Civil War outcome, the man who wrote the infamous Emancipation Proclamation (which in theory only made slaves legal in states whom didn't recognize this man as their President), wanted to relax or whatever and go to the theatre. Innocently watching the film, a man named John Wilkes Booth entered his private box, (where the guards didn't even notice him), took his gun out and that was that. Abraham Lincoln, the President, the man originating from Springfield was gone, in t ...more
On April 14, 1865, one of our country’s most influential and important presidents was murdered for vengeance. In Chasing Lincoln's Killer, author James L. Swanson tells the devastating story from beginning to end, providing us with an entire chronology of events following Abraham Lincoln's killing. Because of Swanson’s unbiased account of the historical information, the reader is able to accurately follow John Wilkes Booth and his several accomplices as they attempt to elude every union soldier ...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...
Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer Bloody Crimes: The Chase for Jefferson Davis and the Death Pageant for Lincoln's Corpse "The President Has Been Shot!": The Assassination of John F. Kennedy End of Days: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy Lincoln's Assassins: Their Trial and Execution

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