Kipling's Choice

Kipling's Choice


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Friday, January 24
11 New & Used Starting at $1.99


As a young man, Rudyard Kipling was devastated when his military application was rejected because of poor eyesight. Although Rudyard would go on to win England’s highest accolades, he never got over this lost opportunity to serve his country.

When World War I broke out, John, like his father before him, wanted to fight for his country. When his military application was threatened for the same reason as his father’s—poor eyesight—Rudyard took matters into his own hands. Determined not to let history repeat itself, the elder Kipling applied all his influence to get his son a commission.

The teenager who had lived his life in comfort and whose greatest concern had been pleasing his father now faced a much greater challenge—staying alive in his first battle.

Geert Spillebeen’s moving fictionalized account follows the true story of John Kipling, a young man whose desire to live up to the family name threatens his very survival. It also draws attention to the senseless suffering and loss of life in this and every war.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780618800353
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 10/30/2012
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 162
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.41(d)
Lexile: 820L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 13 Years

About the Author

Geert Spillebeen lives in Izegem, Belgium, where he is a journalist and radio presenter. This is his first novel published in the United States.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Kipling's Choice 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
kkkoob on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Gripping and horrifying. A fictionalized account of what may have happened to Rudyard Kipling's only son, John, a young officer in World War I. The story pingpongs between John's experiences as a severely injured officer on the battlefield and his memories of life that lead up to this event. Heartbreaking.
Whisper1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I haven't been this affected by an anti war book since reading Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo years ago.John Kipling, son of the Nobel prize winning legend Rudyard Kipling, joined the Irish Guard and, when promoted to Lt., was positioned on the front lines of a bloody battle in Loos France where Germans quickly overtook his men.The majority of the story is told from the voice of John as he lay dying on the battle field. Unable to move or speak, we enter his mind as he slips in and out of consciousness and flashes back to his life of luxury.This is the story of two John's -- the rich, pampered dandy juxtapositioned with the 18 year old bespectacled, small, skinny boy who, in readily accepting his father's mandate that he be a "man", became a casualty of WWI.Because Rudyard could not have a war career of his own, he pushed his son toward this choice.The author cleverly shows the harsh reality learned by Kipling that words are powerful and actions have consequences. Prior to the loss of his son, Rudyard had a gung ho mentality, writing and lecturing that war is just against the "barbarians." Believing the sacrifice of life is the highest honor given for a country, Kipling's thoughts and words came back to haunt him when his one and only son is killed.In the end, by accepting his father's choice that he do what is expected of him, certainly in wartime...for King and Country...the son became one of the 1 million people who died for England and one of the 20 million who died world wide. Rudyard, the father, died years later, a broken man.Highly recommended.
Carmenere on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Kipling's ChoiceThis little book by Geert Spillebeen vividly portraits the battlefield in Loos, France during WWI. The difference is that Rudyard Kipling's son, John, lays dying in a trench during which he reflects upon his life. Seventeen short years.Yes, war is dreadful but so is living vicariously through your young sons life. John was rejected by the Navy and Army because of his terrible vision but because of his father's influence and money he was, at last, accepted into the Irish Guard. Because of his military training he was immediately elevated to Lieutant and given the command of his own group of soldiers. There is a tremendous love between father and son and son only wants to do his father proud.I came away asking myself how often are people placed in a situation for which they are not acceptable because of who they know. In the case of young John Kipling he was placed in a situation which endangered his life and those of his troops.3 out of 4 stars
Prop2gether on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This novelization of the life and death of John Kipling, Rudyard's son, in the fields of battle in WWI, ranks in my opinon with The Red Badge of Courage, All Quiet on the Western Front, and Johnny Got His Gun. It is highly recommended.
tloeffler on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A fictionalized account of the death of John Kipling, Rudyard Kipling's son, during World War I. The story begins with the end, then moves between Kipling's dying thoughts and memories of his life. This is a very, very sad book, made more poignant by the fact that his father pulled so many strings to get him into the war, and he experienced only one battle (although, from recent accounts that I've been reading about World War I, one battle would have been quite enough). It's interesting to see how John goes from being a spoiled young man to being a fairly well-respected lieutenant. This was a quick read, and although I can't call it enjoyable, I am glad I read it.
jjmcgaffey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Weird. I'm a Kipling fan, but there is relatively little mention of John in his various biographies. I wonder how accurate the story is - obviously all the stuff about John dying and remembering is fictional, but the rest, before the war - I wonder. It would explain why there's so little mention of him...