Kipling’s Choice by Geert Spillebeen

Genre:  Historical fiction

Age Level:  14 and up

# of Pages:  150

RAC:  Yes

Award Winner:  Iowa Teen Award 2009-2010

This fiction story is based on the true events of the famous Jungle Book author Rudyard Kipling’s son, John.  Rudyard had always wanted to serve his country in the armed forces and was disqualified due to physical limitations.  From a young age, he groomed John to want to be a soldier as well, but John had weak eyes.  Rudyard used all of his influence to get John into the army as an officer, which John appreciated.  When John goes to his first battle, however, he realizes that it is a little different than he imagined and he wishes he could just go home and play the rich son again.

The format of the story is interesting because it flashes from John in his first battle back to all the memories of him growing up.  As a child John loved to play with the expensive toys his father gave him, but he often played recklessly and Rudyard encouraged it as typical boy behavior.  In the flashbacks it becomes apparent how important it was to Rudyard for his son to fight for his country like he couldn’t.  He fails to see the possible dangers and never truly believes anything could possibly happen to his son.  Although this story is very interesting, it will be difficult to get young adults to read it.  Many young adults do not like to read historical fiction type topics, but students who like reading about war will enjoy this title.

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2 Responses to “Kipling’s Choice by Geert Spillebeen”


  1. 1 Jason Becker November 29, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    This is an extraordinary biographical novel. The best (anti) war book I ever read.
    Note that is is not about WW.II but about the FIRST WW, the Great War, or WW.1 1914-1918.

    If you want to know the real story of Rudyard Kipling and his lost son, read it!

    JB

  2. 2 elena sapkova January 8, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    From the begining I love this book eaven that I nus started but can someone help me with a summary of this book from page 1 to page 14 I forgat the book at school becouse we are doing it at school pleas someone help I am beging


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