Wil’s Nonfiction Title on the Kennedy Assassination Scores a Huge Review

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Wil’s recent title The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, released by Scholastic Publishing last fall, received this phenomenal review from the library-industry journal Children’s Literature

“This book goes a long way toward enabling young readers to understand the impact on Americans of the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Mara, in a methodical and compelling style, presents what he calls the “most plausible version” of the day, as well as what transpired later. In five chapters, further divided by engaging subheads (“Profile of a Killer,” “Not One Death, But Two,” “Acquisition of the Murder Weapon”), Mara recreates the event with tension and immediacy by relying on abundant historical photos, quotes from interviews, and details from police reports and newspaper accounts. Sidebars convey interesting information without breaking into the narrative structure. In an early chapter, young readers follow the entire day of the assassination, beginning in the pre-dawn hours at the home of Lee Harvey Oswald, moving toward the shots fired into the open convertible of President Kennedy, and, finally, the swearing in of Lyndon Johnson as the new president. Later, readers learn how Jack Ruby, just two days later on live television, shot and killed Oswald, leaving a host of questions unanswered. In what Mara calls “The Ultimate Whodunit,” he presents a full discussion of the many conspiracy theories that have been debated for years and are still unresolved today. Back matter will assist the young researcher who wishes to learn more about this historic event. Included are chapter notes, references for further research (books, DVDs, and websites), and a full bibliography of books, articles, and interviews. This highly readable, thorough, fair-handed presentation of the Kennedy assassination is an excellent addition to the classroom or home library.”

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