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Chasing King's Killer: The Hunt for Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Assassin
Contributor(s): Swanson, James L.
ISBN: 0545723337     ISBN-13: 9780545723336
Publisher: Scholastic Pr
    OUR PRICE: $17.99  
Product Type: Hardcover
Published: January 2018
Annotation: "James Earl Ray and Martin Luther King, Jr. had two very different life journeys -- but their paths fatally collide when Ray assassinates the world-renown civil rights leader. This book provides an inside look into both of their lives, the history of thetime, and a blow-by-blow examination of the assassination and its aftermath."--Provided by publisher.
Additional Information
Dewey: 323.092
LCCN: 2017008562
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Book type: Juvenile Non-Fiction
Physical Information: 8.75" H x 5.75" W x 1.50" (1.30 lbs) 373 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 193762
Reading Level: 7.6   Interest Level: Upper Grades   Point Value: 7.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s):
James L. Swanson is the award-winning author of the bestseller Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer. His other books include Chasing Lincoln's Killer, an adaptation of Manhunt for young adults, and his follow-up, "The President Has Been Shot!: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy", which was a finalist for the YALSA-ALA Excellence in Young Adult Nonfiction award. He has held a number of government and think-tank posts in Washington, D.C.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2018 Fall)
Swanson's expertly researched and -written account of King's legacy and assassination also explores how James Earl Ray became the man who killed the civil rights leader. Detailed maps and records are used to trace Ray's flight and eventual apprehension. Numerous archival photographs and large-font captions will draw even reluctant readers into this well-documented narrative. Extensive notes and sources are included. Bib., ind. Copyright 2018 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Reviewed by PW Annex Reviews (Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews)

As he did in Chasing Lincoln's Killer and "The President Has Been Shot!", Swanson offers an absorbing chronicle of the lead-up to and aftermath of the assassination of an American leader. After a concise account of King's upbringing in a close-knit, religious Atlanta family and a childhood lived under Jim Crow, Swanson tracks his speedy ascent to becoming the "beloved living, breathing symbol" of the civil rights movement. Photographs, extensive quotations from a variety of sources (press reports, King's writings and speeches, court records), and other documentation (including a previously unpublished letter from J. Edgar Hoover that underscores the FBI's harassment of King) provide an immediate look at his pivotal role in the Montgomery Bus Boycott, lunch-counter sit-ins, and the 1963 March on Washington. Just as compelling is Swanson's insight into the background of King's enigmatic killer, escaped convict James Earl Ray. The details of Ray's efforts to transform and disguise his appearance, the planning of the assassination, and his flight from authorities are riveting and disturbing. Ages 12–up. Agent: Richard Abate, 3 Arts Entertainment. (Jan.)

Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly Annex.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2018 January)

Gr 7 Up—A detailed, well-organized, and vividly illustrated history of Martin Luther King Jr.'s role in the civil rights movement and U.S. political history—and the killer who assassinated him. After introducing King, the first section of the book develops with a chapter for each year beginning with 1956 and continuing to April 23, 1967, the day that James Earl Ray escaped from prison. The second section gives a synopsis of Ray's early life and criminal history, describes his prison break, and details his wanderings before arriving in Los Angeles in November 1967. Swanson intersperses Ray's travels with a discussion of changes in King's work, specifically his opposition to the Vietnam War and his "Poor People's Campaign." The third section begins on March 17, 1968, as Ray and King both leave California. King headed to Memphis to support sanitation workers, and Ray followed and planned the murder. King's activities, private conversations, and public statements leading up to April 4, counter Ray's surveillance of King and preparations for the murder and his escape. The assassination unfolds moment-by-moment, as does Ray's flight from the scene. The final section covers responses to King's death from his friends and the public and efforts to apprehend his killer. Swanson includes a discussion of Ray's motives, theories regarding other conspirators, and analysis of Ray's claims of innocence, but his final words are a tribute to King's lasting legacy. The source notes are copious and clear enough to serve as a guide for continued study. VERDICT A top pick for YA history collections.—Kelly Kingrey-Edwards, Blinn Junior College, Brenham, TX

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.