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Lincoln's Last Days: The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever
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218 of 233 people found the following review helpful
on September 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
"Lincoln's Last Days" is an edited version of "Killing Lincoln", the original book by Bill O'Reilly. I have read both versions of this book, and was reluctant to give "Killing Lincoln" to the local school library, which was my original intent in its purchase.

My thoughts were that "Killing Lincoln", although a good historical book, had too many references to sex, and far too much intense violence and descriptions of violence and gore, for children. I began whiting these references out of the book, to make it kid-friendly, but found far too many, and decided not to donate it to the school, at all.

I was surprised when Bill O'Reilly announced on "The O'Reilly Factor" he had edited the original book, to make it acceptable for children, and the children's version was called, "Lincoln's Last Days". I saw this as an opportunity for the students to read the book, without the things I found too adult.

I bought two copies of this book, and went through it, to make sure the objectionable parts had been edited back, if not altogether deleted. I must report that O'Reilly and his helpers, did indeed manage to remove the sexual language in the book, and pare back the violence to a tolerable level for younger readers. And this they did, without removing the essence of the writing or book's historical and human value. I would say, "Good job, Mr. O'Reilly!"

Also, I would add that the physical quality of the books was above what I had expected. The covers and the interior photos, and Lincoln's Gettysburg Address on the inside covers are impressive. Nothing was childlike about its presentation, at all, and it is fit and wonderful for adults, as well. I have no qualm, whatsoever, in giving the copies of "Lincoln's Last Days" to the school library. This book is impressive enough that I would consider it also for our home library.
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65 of 72 people found the following review helpful
on August 29, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
My son loves American and presidential history. He is 9 years old and while he often reads on his own, I also look for books that are above his reading level that we can read together. This book is PERFECT for us to read together! The chapters are short, the print larger and the illustrations are captivating. Tonight, my son didn't want me to put the book down (and I'll be honest, I didn't want to either)! Don't think this is a children's book; it's not. The language is advanced and we are definitely "building" my son's vocabulary with this book. I just can't say enough good things about it.....buy it and read it!
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70 of 81 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
A compelling story of the shocking assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, and how this tragedy changed America. One of the most unforgettable, dramatic events in American history. The author delivers a gripping, detailed description of the horror of killing Lincoln, it's emotional turmoil, and the chilling chase of John Wilkes Booth for justice. In 1865, the Civil War came to an end, as well as the life of Lincoln. This historic thriller is impressive, brilliant, and emotionally engaging. The story is exhilarating as it tugs at the heart, the characters are colorful and unique, and the historical setting is perfect. Action-packed, and entertaining throughout, Highly Recommended!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Lincoln's Last Days is an illustrated adaptation of Bill O'Reilly's Killing Lincoln for young readers. I, being a teenager, have never read the adult version of the book, so I was pleasantly surprised when I found this book and discovered that I could borrow it, since I enjoy keeping myself up-to-date with all the latest New York Times bestsellers. After reading James L. Swanson's Chasing Lincoln's Killer, I was also very interested in the Lincoln assassination too. Thus, this book held a no-brainer spot on my To-Read List.

The book is divided into four parts. Part One chronicles the ending of the Civil War, and the terms of the South's surrender. Part Two is where we witness John Wilkes Booth beginning to plot his conspiracy to bring Lincoln and the rest of the government down. Part Three details Lincoln's last day in vivid detail, including the assassination itself. And Part Four ends it all the hunt and eventual trial of the conspirators. There are also some interesting facts afterward as well as timelines and where to go in Washington D.C. to find Lincoln.

The authors use simple prose to get their point across without sounding condescending. The style of the book makes it read more like fiction than non-fiction, and a decent fiction thriller at that, where the pages feel like they're flying by. A bibliography and recommending reading list are provided, and the book is well-researched overall. It's also the right length, and doesn't drag or bore. Bill O'Reilly and Dwight Jon Zimmerman are fascinating teachers of U.S. History.

It is worth noting that the prose is in present tense rather than the standard past tense found in story-like non-fiction books. At first, I was taken a bit aback by this. But I began to get used to it after a bit. Although I still don't understand why the authors chose to do this, I don't think it takes anything away from the reading experience. All it takes is a bit of getting used to. Something else worth mentioning (and this is something I'd liked to have known before I read the book) is that the book is VERY patriotic--maybe a bit too much for my liking. Now, I'm not trying to say that John Wilkes Booth was an awesome person or anything like that, but it did strike me as strange when, in the Note to Readers, Bill O'Reilly wrote that Booth "epitomizes" pure evil. I believe that more research should have been done to get into Booth's head and perhaps give readers some of his possible thoughts without being too one-sided.

The hardcover book itself is beautiful. If you read the hardcover, be sure to take the dust jacket off at least once to gaze at what lies beneath. It's bound well, and the Gettysburg Address on the endpapers is stunning. Perhaps what's most impressive of all is that there's an illustration, photo, or map on nearly every spread, enriching the text. This book would make a splendid gift for any Lincoln lover. I would recommend this book to anyone fascinated with the Lincoln assassination or just wants a good historical read in general. It's not out there with the rest of the truly great Lincoln books, but Lincoln's Last Days does its job well.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I would highly recommend this book. Bill O'Reilly did a superb job on putting together the historical facts of President Lincoln's assassination. I honestly think that this book should be required reading from junior high school on up. This book goes in-depth to describe to what degree Booth's animosity of Lincoln; and, to what great lengths he went to to be able to accomplish what he so purposed. I love this book and am looking forward to Bill's next book: "Killing Kennedy"
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I read Killing Lincoln by same authors and this book is equally as good. I highly recomend it for those in 4th grade and up.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
My grandson is very interested in Lincoln and the Civil War and since I am also a amateur civil war enthusiast, I have encouraged him by buying books that will be suited for his level. He is 9yrs old and has loved every minute of it. He is supposed to read so much per week, according to his teacher, and he has actually read more than required. Every week I ask him about what he has read and has been very knowledgeable about this book. O'Reilly did an excellent job on Killing Lincoln and so far, according to my grandson, he has accomplished done likewise with Lincoln's Last Days. My grandson, highly recommends this book.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This was a great read. Had trouble putting it down to do other things. Had many pictures I had not seen before. Recommend everyone read it.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Your child will read and revel in Mr. O'Reilly's chlildren's version [Lincoln's Last Days] as will we adults in his outstanding account of Mr. Lincoln's death in the #1 best seller "Killing Lincoln". Do yourself a fall favor: Make sure your family has both.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Excellemt read. I started thinking this would be a short story and facts about a 24 hour time period in their lives and it gave so much more detail. I read this in two days. Easy read. I am very interested in facts of Lincolns and his family.
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