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Chasing King's Killer: The Hunt for Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Assassin

Tekijä: James L. Swanson

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
2018132,952 (4.18)1
"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 the time, and a blow-by-blow examination of the assassination and its aftermath."--Provided by publisher.… (lisätietoja)
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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 8) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
These are well written books that make the historic events seem like a "whodunit." I've appreciated this author's works. ( )
  HFCoffill | Apr 21, 2023 |
This book provides a biography of Martin Luther King Jr.'s life as well as a brief biography of his assassin's life, and then discusses how the two ended up in the same place at the same time with tragic results for MLK and the nation at large.

Despite the title making it sound like this is a book all about the manhunt for an escaped criminal, this story is as much about King's life and work as it is about his death. It provides detailed accounts about his upbringing, an earlier assassination attempt, the FBI's files on MLK, etc. It discusses the civil rights fight that King was engaged in and the steps toward progress that were made. (The one real misstep in this book was that in its attempts to somewhat simplify things for a young audience, the past-tense language made it seem like civil rights are now all taken care of and no racial tensions exist anymore ... and we all know that is far from true.)

The book then gets to the assassination, which it describes in detail but not luridly. Yes, it's not for the faint of heart, but the author does not treat it gratuitously. This is followed up with the police and FBI steps taken to find the assassin, as well as how he was eluding authorities. The author also describes some of the conspiracy theories that surround the murder and provides evidence against them.

Throughout the book, black-and-white illustrations are used to show crowds gathering at King's speeches, Wanted posters for his assassin, maps showing the crime scene, etc. All in all, this is a solidly researched and informative book for young readers. I confess to learning some more details about MLK's life than I previously knew.

And, the book comes with a preface by John Lewis, which to me authenticates it as being accurate to MLK as a person. Specifically, Lewis says, "In this thrilling, beautiful, and tragic book, James Swanson takes me back to the days of my youth, all the joys and all the sorrows. He portrays Dr. King as he really was: a man of bravery, vision, and hope. He captures the man I knew, my hero, my big brother, and my friend." ( )
  sweetiegherkin | Nov 28, 2020 |
Great nonfiction account of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Tons of detail and information that shows the events leading up to the assassination. Goes into James Earl Ray and his history. Also talks about how he was able to avoid capture for quite a while. Weaves in other facts related to King's trials and challenges as he fought for equality. Also brings other historical events to light with John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, and Lyndon Baines Johnson. If you like history this is a great read. ( )
1 ääni alsparks324 | Jan 30, 2020 |
This highly researched book looks at the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr in Memphis. Chapters about King alternate with an exploration of James Earl Ray's life. From his prison break, life in hiding, to the inexplicable decision to assassinate King, the book looks at Ray's aliases, movements, and wonders about motivation. The extensive end notes are impressive. Context of the time is woven into this story of the intersection of the lives of two men. ( )
  ewyatt | Nov 27, 2019 |
Chasing King’s Killer isn’t just about Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination and the search for his killer. The first part of the book is a biography of King and lays out what he did for the Civil Rights movement in more detail than kids, or even most adults, probably know. For instance, I didn’t know that he was stabbed at the book signing for his first book! I liked that the author went all the way through the period at the end of King’s life when he shifted his focus to include speaking out against the Vietnam War and started to lose public support. It’s important for kids to know that great leaders are not always appreciated like they should be in their own time.

The second part of the book focuses on the life and criminal career of James Earl Ray, the man who assassinated King. I would guess most people don’t know much about his early life. He was a master criminal and escaped from prison more than once.

Eventually, King and Ray’s life intersect. It’s never clear why Ray, who as far as anyone knows had never murdered anyone before, suddenly decided he needed to kill King. Because of this, conspiracy theories abound. This book does a good job of debunking them.

Although this book is intended for middle school and high school students, I found it very informative. I don’t feel like it’s overly simplistic or talks down to the reader. There are photographs throughout which added more to the narrative.

Chasing King’s Killer is a great book for kids (and adults) to learn about Martin Luther King, Jr.’s journey as a Civil Rights leader. It’s a quick but comprehensive read that will keep kids engaged. Highly recommended. ( )
1 ääni mcelhra | Jan 20, 2019 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 8) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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"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 the time, and a blow-by-blow examination of the assassination and its aftermath."--Provided by publisher.

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