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NEVER SUBDUED

A TRUE STORY OF THE PHILIPPINE-AMERICAN WAR AND THE MORO CAMPAIGNS

An often-forgotten conflict comes to life in this authentic account of heroism and atrocity, where the difference between...

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A history of a century-old war with frightening relevance to today’s counterinsurgency campaigns.

Islamic extremists, guerilla warfare, mountain firefights—Americans are painfully familiar with these things from the recent conflict in Afghanistan. But as Hook notes, the U.S. military faced similar challenges in the Philippines following the Spanish-American War. A retired doctor and reserve Army colonel, Hook spent a decade researching the Philippine-American War and the Moro Campaigns. After Spain ceded the islands to the U.S., American soldiers found themselves battling native Filipinos who previously were glad to see them. Emilio Aguinaldo and his revolutionaries wanted independence from foreign rule, but U.S. policymakers had other ideas. Drawing on soldier diaries, newspaper accounts and other sources, Hook presents a boots-on-the-ground narrative of the bloody insurgency that followed. American soldiers fought the elusive Filipinos while suffering under intense heat, relentless mosquitoes and rampant disease. Careful to note discrepancies and biases in his sources, Hook constructs a timeline that captures the tension as events teeter out of control. He also tries to explain the thinking on both sides, showing how policy blunders, duplicity and prejudice may have exacerbated the hostilities. A peace proclamation in 1902 officially ended the insurgency, but the U.S. still faced the problem of controlling the southern islands, which were predominantly Muslim. Combat with Moro fundamentalists featured brutalities similar to those seen in today’s asymmetrical conflicts—hit-and-run attacks, personal jihad and heavy collateral damage on the civilian population. Throughout the book, a cast of colorful characters emerges as politics, war and personal ambition become intertwined. General Leonard Wood’s hard-line approach to the Moros seems counterproductive, while John Pershing’s more sensitive tactics would not look out of place in a modern Army counterinsurgency manual. Though the book lacks literary flair, it’s a balanced look into the fog of war, where allies can become adversaries and the question “What did we accomplish?” is still open for debate.

An often-forgotten conflict comes to life in this authentic account of heroism and atrocity, where the difference between rebel and patriot is which side of the line you stand on.

Pub Date: July 6, 2011

ISBN: 978-0615457017

Page Count: 376

Publisher: Franklin Hook

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2012

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JUPITER STORM

In more ways than one, a tale about young creatures testing their wings; a moving, entertaining winner.

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A fifth-grade New Orleans girl discovers a mysterious chrysalis containing an unexpected creature in this middle-grade novel.

Jacquelyn Marie Johnson, called Jackie, is a 10-year-old African-American girl, the second oldest and the only girl of six siblings. She’s responsible, smart, and enjoys being in charge; she likes “paper dolls and long division and imagining things she had never seen.” Normally, Jackie has no trouble obeying her strict but loving parents. But when her potted snapdragon acquires a peculiar egg or maybe a chrysalis (she dubs it a chrysalegg), Jackie’s strong desire to protect it runs up against her mother’s rule against plants in the house. Jackie doesn’t exactly mean to lie, but she tells her mother she needs to keep the snapdragon in her room for a science project and gets permission. Jackie draws the chrysalegg daily, waiting for something to happen as it gets larger. When the amazing creature inside breaks free, Jackie is more determined than ever to protect it, but this leads her further into secrets and lies. The results when her parents find out are painful, and resolving the problem will take courage, honesty, and trust. Dumas (Jaden Toussaint, the Greatest: Episode 5, 2017, etc.) presents a very likable character in Jackie. At 10, she’s young enough to enjoy playing with paper dolls but has a maturity that even older kids can lack. She’s resourceful, as when she wants to measure a red spot on the chrysalegg; lacking calipers, she fashions one from her hairpin. Jackie’s inward struggle about what to obey—her dearest wishes or the parents she loves—is one many readers will understand. The book complicates this question by making Jackie’s parents, especially her mother, strict (as one might expect to keep order in a large family) but undeniably loving and protective as well—it’s not just a question of outwitting clueless adults. Jackie’s feelings about the creature (tender and responsible but also more than a little obsessive) are similarly shaded rather than black-and-white. The ending suggests that an intriguing sequel is to come.

In more ways than one, a tale about young creatures testing their wings; a moving, entertaining winner.

Pub Date: Nov. 11, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943169-32-0

Page Count: 212

Publisher: Plum Street Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 22, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2018

BROTHERS IN ARMS

BLUFORD HIGH SERIES #9

A YA novel that treats its subject and its readers with respect while delivering an engaging story.

In the ninth book in the Bluford young-adult series, a young Latino man walks away from violence—but at great personal cost.

In a large Southern California city, 16-year-old Martin Luna hangs out on the fringes of gang life. He’s disaffected, fatherless and increasingly drawn into the orbit of the older, rougher Frankie. When a stray bullet kills Martin’s adored 8-year-old brother, Huero, Martin seems to be heading into a life of crime. But Martin’s mother, determined not to lose another son, moves him to another neighborhood—the fictional town of Bluford, where he attends the racially diverse Bluford High. At his new school, the still-grieving Martin quickly makes enemies and gets into trouble. But he also makes friends with a kind English teacher and catches the eye of Vicky, a smart, pretty and outgoing Bluford student. Martin’s first-person narration supplies much of the book’s power. His dialogue is plain, but realistic and believable, and the authors wisely avoid the temptation to lard his speech with dated and potentially embarrassing slang. The author draws a vivid and affecting picture of Martin’s pain and confusion, bringing a tight-lipped teenager to life. In fact, Martin’s character is so well drawn that when he realizes the truth about his friend Frankie, readers won’t feel as if they are watching an after-school special, but as though they are observing the natural progression of Martin’s personal growth. This short novel appears to be aimed at urban teens who don’t often see their neighborhoods portrayed in young-adult fiction, but its sophisticated characters and affecting story will likely have much wider appeal.

A YA novel that treats its subject and its readers with respect while delivering an engaging story.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2004

ISBN: 978-1591940173

Page Count: 152

Publisher: Townsend Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2013

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