Save your money.

READ REVIEW

NAVY SEALS

MISSION AT THE CAVES

From the Special Operations series , Vol. 1

The self-told story of a former U.S. Navy SEAL.

Divided into 11 chapters (six autobiographical followed by five fictionalized accounts of actual Navy SEAL missions), the book traces the footsteps of author Webb, a highly decorated U.S. Navy SEAL, from his summer jobs as a teenager aboard dive boats in Ventura, California, and the tumultuous relationship he shared with his father to his graduation from the Navy sniper school and the subsequent missions in which he served in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. The act of war—shooting, bombing, spotting “terrorists”—is made to sound commonplace and is depicted very matter-of-factly, ad nauseam. The repetitive use of “terrorists” to describe enemy combatants in a country invaded by the United States is both inaccurate and reductive. Such statements as “the local people were good people” do nothing to mitigate this, and unsurprisingly, the nearly two-decades–long catastrophe that has been U.S. involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq goes unaddressed. Written, oddly, in the third person, presumably to fit the style of other books in the series, the narrative comes across as vainglorious and exceedingly self-serving, with the resulting haughtiness detracting from an authentic and credible depiction of Navy SEAL life.

Save your money. (Memoir/fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-11468-6

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2018

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The car gets shortchanged, but comparing the divergent career paths of its (putative) two riders may give readers food for...

TWO MEN AND A CAR

FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT, AL CAPONE, AND A CADILLAC V-8

A custom-built, bulletproof limo links two historical figures who were pre-eminent in more or less different spheres.

Garland admits that a claim that FDR was driven to Congress to deliver his “Day of Infamy” speech in a car that once belonged to Capone rests on shaky evidence. He nonetheless uses the anecdote as a launchpad for twin portraits of contemporaries who occupy unique niches in this country’s history but had little in common. Both were smart, ambitious New Yorkers and were young when their fathers died, but they definitely “headed in opposite directions.” As he fills his biographical sketches with standard-issue facts and has disappointingly little to say about the car itself (which was commissioned by Capone in 1928 and still survives), this outing seems largely intended to be a vehicle for the dark, heavy illustrations. These are done in muted hues with densely scratched surfaces and angled so that the two men, the period backgrounds against which they are posed, and the car have monumental looks. It’s a reach to bill this, as the author does, a “story about America,” but it does at least offer a study in contrasts featuring two of America’s most renowned citizens. Most of the human figures are white in the art, but some group scenes include a few with darker skin.

The car gets shortchanged, but comparing the divergent career paths of its (putative) two riders may give readers food for thought. (timeline, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 10-12)

Pub Date: March 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-88448-620-6

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Tilbury House

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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A valuable introduction to a vanished North American people, told with nuance, engagement, and rue.

TUNIIT

MYSTERIOUS FOLK OF THE ARCTIC

Before the Inuit came to the Arctic, there were the Tuniit.

The Qitsualik-Tinsleys offer readers an introduction to this prehistoric people, twining scientific findings with Inuit legend and even Inuktitut grammar to provide a window on the early Arctic. Without going into anthropological specifics, the husband-and-wife team, who include Inuit, Cree, and Mohawk in their combined heritage, introduce the notion that the Tuniit may not have been human before going on to say that they lived in settlements, originated the intricate stone cairns known as inuksuit, and were short, strong, and shy. They introduce snippets of traditional lore that claim supernatural powers for the Tuniit and that build a strong case for the eventual assimilation of the Tuniit by the encroaching Inuit. Anthropological discoveries validate the existence of the Tuniit and their disappearance as a distinct culture and genotype. Bigham contributes moody oil paintings and ink drawings; shifts in typeface seem to indicate corresponding shifts in mode that highlight the persistence of the Tuniit in Inuit legend, though this is not consistent. The authors clearly wrestle with the understanding that Inuit ancestors displaced an earlier indigenous people, introducing real poignancy to their exhortation that their readers respect the Tuniit by remembering them: "We remember a fate that no culture should have to endure."

A valuable introduction to a vanished North American people, told with nuance, engagement, and rue. (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-927095-76-8

Page Count: 60

Publisher: Inhabit Media

Review Posted Online: April 1, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2015

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