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

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Annotation: Offers an inside look into the lives of Martin Luther King, Jr., and his assassin, James Earl Ray, discussing the historical milieu and systematically examining the event and its aftermath.
Genre: Government
Catalog Number: #158632
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 373 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-545-72333-7 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-0854-3
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-545-72333-6 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-0854-8
Dewey: 323.092
LCCN: 2017008562
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Publishers Weekly
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sources (press reports, King-s writings and speeches, court records), and other documentation (including a previously unpublished letter from J. Edgar Hoover that underscores the FBI-s harassment of King) provide an immediate look at his pivotal role in the Montgomery Bus Boycott,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.)

School Library Journal Starred Review
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 historyand 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
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Many Americans remember James Earl Ray's gunshot that killed Martin Luther King Jr. King experienced a near-death encounter earlier in 1958 when a mentally ill woman stabbed his chest, narrowly missing his heart. The event reinforced fatalism in King and sets a foreboding tone for this masterful work akin to Swanson's previous success, Chasing Lincoln's Killer (2009). Following a foreword by Congressman John Lewis, the text gives a short biography of King, highlighting his rise as a civil rights leader. It takes on thriller pacing as it portrays, in alternating segments, King's ceaseless work and Ray's escape from prison and eventual plot to assassinate King. Occasional maps and time lines help readers track pivotal movements. As King delivers his stirring "Mountaintop" speech during his last public appearance, untrained hit man Ray stakes out a position to shoot. And as the public mourns King, the search for Ray becomes the largest and most expensive manhunt of the time. Packed with period photographs, the book gives illuminating details, such as how J. Edgar Hoover was ordered to take charge of Ray's capture. It concludes with numerous conspiracy theories and ponders what message King would deliver today. Copious back matter offers a wealth of additional information. This immersive history reveals, in gripping style, how one individual can impact history.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review ALA Booklist (Fri Dec 01 00:00:00 CST 2017)
School Library Journal Starred Review (Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 CST 2018)
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Publishers Weekly
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references (pages 300-349) and index.
Word Count: 40,499
Reading Level: 7.6
Interest Level: 7-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 7.6 / points: 7.0 / quiz: 193762 / grade: Upper Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:8.6 / points:11.0 / quiz:Q72563
Lexile: 1010L

A Chicago Public Library Best Book of the Year
A Kirkus Reviews Best Young Adult Book of the Year

* "[James L. Swanson's] masterful work... reveals, in gripping style, how one individual can impact history." --Booklist, starred review


In his meteoric, thirteen-year rise to fame, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led a mass movement for Civil Rights -- with his relentless peaceful, non-violent protests, public demonstrations, and eloquent speeches. But as violent threats cast a dark shadow over Dr. King's life, Swanson hones in on James Earl Ray, a bizarre, racist, prison escapee who tragically ends King's life.

As he did in his bestselling Scholastic MG/YA books Chasing LIncoln's Killer and "THE PRESIDENT HAS BEEN SHOT!", Swanson transports readers back to one of the most shocking, sad, and terrifying events in American history.

With an introduction by Congressman John Lewis, and over 80 photographs, captions, bibliography, various source notes, and index included.


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