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DEATH OF A DREAMER by Alison Marie Behnke


The Assassination of John Lennon

by Alison Marie Behnke

Age Range: 11 - 16

Pub Date: May 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-8225-9036-1
Publisher: Twenty-First Century/Lerner

Twin narratives converge in New York City on December 8, 1980, when John Lennon was murdered by Mark David Chapman.

Behnke calls the murder an assassination, and by the general definition of the word—“to murder (a usually prominent person) by sudden or secret attack, often for political reasons”—the murder of John Lennon might qualify. Lennon was political by the end of his life, writing “Give Peace a Chance,” which became the anthem of the peace movement, but he was hardly a revolutionary, as Behnke terms him. Chapman was not especially political, and he didn’t really seem to know why he attacked Lennon; it was certainly not from any well-thought-out political motives, as the author herself describes. The volume will have plenty of eye appeal for young readers, though, with its lively (if overdone) black-and-white design, well-chosen photographs and thorough backmatter that includes a handy timeline and a “Who’s Who?” section. The writing is mostly clear, though occasionally awkward and too often interrupted by unnecessary definitions and asides. It's an adequate starter book for readers a bit young for Elizabeth Partridge’s John Lennon: All I Want is the Truth (2005).

A good first volume for a new generation of John Lennon fans. (source notes, bibliography, for further information, index, about the author) (Nonfiction. 11-16)