Saturday, March 12, 2016

Mara, Wil. The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Mara, Wil.  The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy.  Scholastic/ Watts  2016  112p  $32.50    ISBN 978-0-531-20999-8  ms/hs  Nonfiction  VG-BN     

For the reader who wants a basic understanding of the events leading up to November 22, 1963 -- the fateful motorcade ride through Dallas, background on Kennedy, Oswald, and Ruby, the government investigations, and the conspiracy theories -- this book is a prime source of information.  The succinct writing, numerous photographs, and historical explanations of events and feelings of the time provide report writers with enough data to understand the impact of the assassination.   The chapter on conspiracy theories shows that there were some that were credible and others that do not seem plausible.  The release of the Oliver Stone Movie JFK is mentioned as influencing public opinion about conspiracy theories.  There are two formatting flaws that show a lack of attention to detail, however.  Two chapter subheadings appear at the bottoms of pages in bold red type, and in each case the reader must turn the page to begin reading the text of the subsection: to wit, “The House Select Committee on Assassinations on page 81 and “A Change of Heart” on page 83.  

The book is well sourced with both primary and secondary information, and it includes a timeline, chapter notes, lists of sources, lists for further reading (with none more recent than 2010), and an index.      

Summary: Basic information for reports on the three people involved in the events of November 22, 1963 (Kennedy, Ruby, and Oswald), the government investigations, and the conspiracy theories.  Color or sepia toned photographs appear on most pages.  Index, timeline. Grades 5-10 

Kennedy Assassination, Conspiracy Theories                  --Lois McNicol

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