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.