“Close Calls” is a Close Call to Being a Great Book

Book review by Ethan Jung


You’ve heard of the assassination of John F. Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln, right? Well, did you know that John F. Kennedy and his servicemen survived a week on a deserted island eating nothing but coconuts? How about when George Washington was served poisoned peas for dinner and a girl threw the poisoned peas out the window just in time?

“Close Calls” by New York Times bestselling author Michael P. Spradlin is about how eleven presidents narrowly escaped death. In this book, there are many different incidents, from foiled assassinations to letter bombs that almost kills the presidents, but surprisingly, doesn’t. Many people think the president of the US is one of the most powerful people in the world, and they dream to become one, but after reading this book, I didn’t really want to be a president because it seems very stressful with many potential enemies trying to kill you. The presidents included in this book, unfortunately, were targeted by dangerous people, but while they were vulnerable, many people were involved just to make the president survive, and this inspired me to help those who are in need, friends and foes alike. For example, when Republican President Ronald Reagan was shot and wounded, dozens of people came, even Democrats, and they all helped Reagan survive. Without them, he probably would’ve died. I loved learning about all of the historical facts and stories behind these less known events.

Overall, this book was good, but not great for me. The story content was very engaging and fun, but the vocabulary, flow, and structure of the book might be better for older and more advanced readers. Although this is a pretty short book, these three things made me take more time to read this. Each of the chapters in this book had at least one confusing event, which was hard to follow. This could be a great book for schools, because when you read it at first, it’s confusing, but as you analyze each chapter, you might be able to tell someone a summary about this book better. This is a pretty good book, and it would be a great present for an older crowd above age 10 who loves nonfiction books and suspense. 



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