Read On!

Mrs. Farquharson’s musings about books for children and young adults

November 1963


swansonI was in the fifth grade on November 22, 1963. I still have a vivid memory of my teacher coming into our classroom after speaking to other teachers in the hallway. It was the first time that I had ever seen a teacher cry, and she shared the news that President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated. We were sent home from school early, and I spent the rest of the weekend watching television with my family. There was no shielding children from this national nightmare, and many of us were also watching the live coverage when Lee Harvey Oswald was also killed.

o'reillyThis has become history for today’s middle school students, but there are two recent books that bring this history to life – “The President Has Been Shot!”: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy by James L. Swanson (Scholastic Press, 2013) and Kennedy’s Last Days: The Assassination That Defined a Generation by Bill O’Reilly (Henry Holt, 2013). O’Reilly’s volume is adapted from his title, Killing Kennedy. Both Swanson and O’Reilly have chronicled this major event for adults and young adults alike.


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