Published by Schwartz & Wade on January 12th, 2016
Genres: Middle Grades, True Crime
Here’s middle-grade nonfiction that reads like a thriller. With murder, court battles, and sensational newspaper headlines, the story of Lizzie Borden is compulsively readable and perfect for the Common Core. Lizzie Borden took an axe, gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one. In a compelling, linear narrative, Miller takes readers along as she investigates a brutal crime: the August 4, 1892, murders of wealthy and prominent Andrew and Abby Borden. The accused? Mild-mannered and highly respected Lizzie Borden, daughter of Andrew and stepdaughter of Abby. Most of what is known about Lizzie’s arrest and subsequent trial (and acquittal) comes from sensationalized newspaper reports; as Miller sorts fact from fiction, and as a legal battle gets under way, a gripping portrait of a woman and a town emerges. With inserts featuring period photos and newspaper clippings—and, yes, images from the murder scene—readers will devour this nonfiction book that reads like fiction.
Surprising as it may be, but I had never heard of The Borden Murders. I was deeply intrigued when I first began reading. I was surprised to see that this book was mostly directed towards middle graders. However, readers of all ages are sure to find this book interesting, though provoking, and riveting! The formatting of the book was fantastic. The photos placed throughout the book were fascinating, allowing the readers to draw their own conclusions since the book doesn’t steer you into one specific direction. Miller’s writing flowed effortlessly, making it slightly challenging read or younger readers. At times, I had to step back and remember that the book was recalling something that actually happened. There was so much detail that you just get lost while reading. And before you know it, you’re staring up at the ceiling wonder what to do next. A great read if you are into true crime.