Plumbing the Depths of a Good Story

Sometimes once is not enough for me - seeing the movie Amadeus over and over again, eating corn on the cob four days in a row when it's in season, visiting Britain multiple times, walking along Nye Beach, and hiking in the Columbia Gorge. For some authors, writing a story just once is not enough.

In recent years, a number of books for teens and kids have come out that are based on books written for adults. This week I read a fantastic book for older kids and teens called  Chasing Lincoln's Killer  by James Swanson which is based on his Edgar Award winning book Manhunt: The Twelve Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer.

Swanson first describes the days leading up to the assassination, the prior plot to kidnap Lincoln, and the final plan to kill three of the most important political players of the day: President Abra ham Lincoln, Vice-President Andrew Johnson and Secretary of State William H. Seward. He then takes the reader through the assassination and assassination attempts, the various get-aways, the eventual discovery of the culprits and their fates.

Swanson gives just the right amount of detail about the major figures in the story, keeps the action moving, and provides well-placed illustrations including photos of the people involved, newspaper clippings and a map detailing the route of the assassins. 194 pages was probably enough for me, but if you want the full scoop, you can read all 448 pages of Manhunt.

Several other non-fiction adult books and their younger companions to check out are: