|Kennedy's last days : the assassination that defined a generation|
Author: O'Reilly, Bill
A gripping account of the events leading up to one of the most heart-wrenching crimes in the twentieth century.
Download a Teacher's Guide
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG+
Reading Level: 7.90
Points: 6.0 Quiz: 158922
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 8.40
Points: 9.0 Quiz: 60960
Kirkus Reviews (05/01/13)
School Library Journal (00/07/13)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 06/01/2013 As he did with his titles about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, TV pundit O’Reilly has pulled a book for young people from his adult work Killing Kennedy (2012). While this focuses on the assassination, the book does a solid job of introducing John Kennedy and covering the momentous events of his administration: the Bay of Pigs invasion; civil rights clashes and Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington; and the Cuban missile crisis. In a parallel narrative, O’Reilly also tells the story of Lee Harvey Oswald, a loser with delusions of grandeur. The assumption is that Oswald was the lone killer, though an interesting endnote touches upon the mysterious figure who some thought was Oswald’s CIA handler (and who O’Reilly was set to interview on the day the man committed suicide). A present-tense narrative brings the events close to the reader, giving this a you-are-there feel. The photos are well chosen and the back matter extensive; the source notes weren’t available for review. A highly readable addition to Kennedy shelves. - Copyright 2013 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 07/01/2013 Gr 5–9—This adaptation of O'Reilly and Martin Dugard's Killing Kennedy (Holt, 2012) retains the adult version's brief chapters and "you are there" style. It opens with O'Reilly's memories of the day his high-school class learned of the events of November 22, 1963, and then briefly describes the backgrounds of the president and the assassin. Most of the book, however, follows the parallel paths of Kennedy and Oswald as they approach the fateful day in Dallas, describing the most important aspects of Kennedy's presidency and life, contrasting them with Oswald's radical beliefs, myriad failures, and growing isolation. O'Reilly discusses both men's personal lives but omits details of Kennedy's sexual escapades and Oswald's marriage found in the adult version. He gives an hour-by-hour account of the day and the assassination, and Oswald's capture and subsequent murder, and evaluates Kennedy's legacy. An afterword relates the post-assassination fates of major characters, and back matter provides primary-source documents, source information, and an overview of the Warren Commission's investigation. The well-captioned photos and maps that appear on almost every page are a major strength of the book. YA titles such as Wilborn Hampton's Kennedy Assassinated! (Candlewick, 1997) offer similar, detailed accounts of the assassination, but readers will find O'Reilly's readable style and juxtaposition of Kennedy's and Oswald's lives to be appealing. The popularity of the adult title will drive interest, but this book is strong enough to draw its own audience. An excellent choice for middle-school libraries.—Mary Mueller, Rolla Public Schools, MO - Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.