Chasing Lincoln's Killer

 Swanson, James L. Chasing Lincoln's Killer. 2009. 208pp. Lexile 980.

This suspenseful narrative moves between the manhunt in the countryside for John Wilkes Booth after he shot President Lincoln and what was happening back in Washington, D.C. with those shot and others involved in the crime.  Told in great detail in a lively manner, the fast-paced account looks at the plan, execution, and aftermath of the assassination.  Readers get a strong sense of why Booth did it and learn about his lesser-known co-conspirators.  Photographs and other artifacts from the time, an attractive book design, a map, and a list of the “major participants” add to the whole, although the book lacks documentation and an index.

Reading Std #8: Delineate and evaluate argument and specific claims in a text, assessing reasoning and evidence.   Have students consider the issue of documentation.  Although the author states that all material in quotations is from original sources, is that sufficient to create a convincing argument?  Are there kinds of informational books that don't require documentation?  If so, is this one of them?