A necessary story about a Native American Medal of Honor recipient that feels like a middle-grade social-studies report.

JACK MONTGOMERY

WORLD WAR II: GALLANTRY AT ANZIO

From the Medal of Honor series , Vol. 1

Cherokee citizen Jack Montgomery fights in battle at Anzio, Italy, during World War II.

Fresh off victories in Sicily and Salerno, the 45th Thunderbirds, a division with some 15,000 Native American troops, continue their push to take the Italian peninsula from Nazi German forces. Despite concerns over the battle plan and the precise whereabouts of German troops, Lt. Jack Montgomery leads his platoon “through the icy cold, knee-deep seawater” to establish a beachhead position. After weeks of fighting “without nearly enough armor” support and facing the “Nazis’ most battled-hardened troops,” Montgomery and his men find themselves outmanned and outgunned. It will take Montgomery’s absolute trust in his men and actions that go “above and beyond the call of duty” in order to weather the German blitzkrieg. Part of a new series about Medal of Honor recipients—its companion book highlights Ryan Pitts’ exploits in Afghanistan—this effort delivers a Corps-load of facts about Montgomery’s life, the 45th Infantry, and WWII itself. Though seemingly well-researched regarding Montgomery and the war, a description of the thunderbird as “mythical” reads as cultural devaluing. A list of U.S. Army ranks and unit definitions precedes the book; Montgomery’s Medal of Honor citation, a glossary, notes, and bibliography make up the backmatter.

A necessary story about a Native American Medal of Honor recipient that feels like a middle-grade social-studies report. (Biography. 8-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-15706-5

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

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Involving from "the end of my lovely world" to the end of exile (when the Rudomins, as Jews, were jeered in Poland), this is...

THE ENDLESS STEPPE

GROWING UP IN SIBERIA

To Esther Rudomin at eleven Siberia meant the metaphor: isolation, criminals and cruel punishment, snow and wolves; but even in Siberia there is satisfaction from making a friend of a prickly classmate, from seeing a Deanna Durbin movie four times, from earning and studying and eventually belonging.

Especially in Siberia, where not wolves but hunger and dirt and cold are endemic, where shabbiness and overcrowding are taken for granted, where unselfishness is exceptional. At the heart of Mrs. Hautzig's memoir of four years as a Polish deportee in Russia during World War II is not only hardihood and adaptability but uniquely a girl like any other. Abruptly seized in their comfortable home in Vilna, Esther and her family, are shipped in cattle cars to Rubtsovsk in the Altai Territory, work as slave laborers in a gypsum mine until amnesty, then are "permitted" lobs and lodging in the village--if someone will take them in. After sleeping on the floor, a wooden platform is very welcome; after sharing a room with two other families, a separate dung hut seems a homestead. Then Esther goes to school, the greatest boon, and, to her mother's horror, wants to be like the Siberians....Deprivation does not make Esther grim: the saddest day of her life is her father's departure for a labor brigade at the front, her sharpest bitterness is for the bland viciousness of individuals.

Involving from "the end of my lovely world" to the end of exile (when the Rudomins, as Jews, were jeered in Poland), this is a beautiful book with no bar to wide acceptance (and a rich non-juvenile jacket by Nonny Hogrogian). (Memoir. 8-12)

Pub Date: April 15, 1968

ISBN: 978-0-06-447027-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: T.Y. Crowell

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1968

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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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