Monday, July 21, 2014

Nonfiction Monday: "The President Has Been Shot!"

"The President Has Been Shot!" : The Assassination of John F. Kennedy
James L. Swanson

One sunny November afternoon the President of the United States was traveling on a campaign visit to Dallas, Texas.  President Kennedy, his wife Jackie, and the governor of Texas and his wife were traveling in a convertible limousine when three shots rang out.  Governor Connnally was seriously injured; President Kennedy was dead, parts of his brain splattered across the limousine and on his wife.

Who would do such a thing?  Lee Harvey Oswald was a pretty much a loser.  He had failed at everything he’d ever tried to do.  There’s no evidence that he spent a long time planning the assassination; instead, it was pretty much a crime of opportunity. “The President Has Been Shot!” reviews the entire, terrible weekend – a weekend that changed the country.

A finalist for the YALSA nonfiction award this past year, “The President Has Been Shot!” is a thorough account of the assassination.  The book was divided into two parts – part one was an introduction to Kennedy and part two was the assassination.  Although I understand Swanson’s need to inform young adults about Kennedy’s life and the early years of his presidency, I found this section to be a bit choppy and I’m afraid it might turn off some readers.  Once part two began, I was riveted to the story and I think most of my  students will be too.

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