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Chasing Lincoln's Killer

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  5,998 Ratings  ·  1,259 Reviews
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.
Audiobook, 0 pages
Published February 1st 2009 by Findaway World (first published January 1st 2009)
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Aug 09, 2016 Mariah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love reading James L. Swanson, even though I have only read (now) two books by him, I have learned so much. His book are easy to read, detailed, but still short. I love listening to them on book on CD and encourage everyone to :)
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 10, 2014 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Jan 24, 2011 Jacki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
My daughter started this book and abandoned it after just a little bit. I can understand. It was a little boring at the beginning and doesn't grab you at all. However, if you give it a little more time then you really want to, it gets better and interesting. I doubt I can convince daughter to revisit, oh well, I liked it overall.
Barbara Backus
Having learned history back when it was mostly dates of events and battles and hearing only about the most important names of the time, this book was all new information for me. Previously, all I knew about President Abraham Lincoln's assassination was that an actor, John Wilkes Booth, leapt onto the stage of Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C. on Good Friday where he aimed and killed him. I never knew how Booth escaped, who his allies were, and how he managed to avoid capture for twelve days.

Sep 24, 2016 Jim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, nonfiction
Frankly, even if this is YA, students deserve a little better. Not that it is terrible, but it felt repetitive and padded. Would have been better if it had been tightened up. Some may say that would make it boring, but I don't think so. It did have one benefit for me: I completely changed my formerly sympathetic attitude toward Dr. Mudd.
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
April Fell
Apr 01, 2013 April Fell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Adrian Lazaro
Mar 06, 2013 Adrian Lazaro rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Adam Lovell
Jan 03, 2012 Adam Lovell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dylan burns
May 14, 2013 Dylan burns rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jacob Young
May 30, 2014 Jacob Young rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 01, 2014 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Charli M.
Dec 10, 2012 Charli M. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Carl Porras
May 26, 2015 Carl Porras rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 20, 2016 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Chasing Lincoln's Killer" is a rewrite of "Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer" intended for young readers. "Manhunt" is spectacular, the kind of fast-paced nonfiction that feels like a novel. "Chasing Lincoln's Killer" captures much of that excitement while streamlining a significant portion of the details. I read it aloud to my daughters, who are in third and sixth grades. The first third was great; the second third was a bit slow-moving; the conclusion was excellent, though more g ...more
This is one of the best pieces of nonfiction writing for young people I've ever read. In Chasing Lincoln's Killer James Swanson paints a vivid, engrossing picture of the Lincoln's assassination and manhunt for James Wilkes Booth. His description of the actual assassination pulls the reader right into the scene. My middle school boys especially are glued to the book. The research is meticulous and my readers are fascinated by the sepia toned pictures of Lincoln, the conspirators, and the newspape ...more
Salve Duplayna
Jun 03, 2015 Salve Duplayna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Kelly DeLeon
May 29, 2015 Kelly DeLeon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jake B
Jan 08, 2015 Jake B rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 27, 2013 Sara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Linda C
This is Swanson's YA version of his book Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer. It was a quick but thorough rendition of the events leading to and including Lincoln's assassination. The major part of the book deals with the escape of Booth and his cohorts, the things that led to their capture and the death of Booth. Booth was close to capture many times but wrong decisions or pure luck left him free those 12 days. I found some parts of this repetitive, which surprised me since this was ...more
May 05, 2015 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Cedrik Vb
Oct 12, 2015 Cedrik Vb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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%
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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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