A Look Inside Kennedy's Last Days
From School Library Journal
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, MOα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.