Lincoln’s Last Days: The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever

Lincoln 2Lincoln’s Last Days:  The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever

Bill O’Reilly and Dwight Jon Zimmerman


This is a great non-fiction book that was written for ages 10 and up.  It is a spinoff from the adult novel.  It is based on primary source documents, which I think, enriches the story and gives this account credibility.  Lincoln is a hot commodity these days and students will not be disappointed with this book that reads like a novel.

It starts off with the final couple of days of the civil war—and gives the reader a glimpse into the strategies and tactics used by both sides.  Solider accounts of the misery from the elements, lack of food and supplies gives students a look at the plight of war.  Through letters and other correspondences Lincoln’s thoughts about the end of war were both satisfied with the victory and grim for what laid ahead for our great nation.  On several occasions Lincoln question his time left on earth.

 On that fateful night when the President and First Lady attended Ford’s Theatre he voiced his mortality to his wife.  But the reader will learn that there were many unique circumstances that allowed John Wilkes Booth to get to President Lincoln and assassinate him with a bullet to the back of the head.

 I loved the young doctor account of how he tried to save and then comfort the dying President (must be my nursing career showing through).  The youngest readers may be a little squeamish with his account of keeping the President alive.

 Finally the accounts of Booth’s escape, his conspirators and his eventual capture will keep student attention to the end of this great book. 


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