Friday, July 18, 2008

Shooting the Moon

Dowell, Frances O'Roark. 2008. Shooting the Moon. New York: Atheneum.

Atheneum has another great book and Junior Library Guild selection in Shooting the Moon, the story of twelve-year-old, Jamie Dexter whose brother is about to leave for Vietnam.

This is another historical fiction novel; this one taking place during the Vietnam War. Jamie is an Army brat. Her father is a Colonel, her mother is a dutiful and cheerful Army wife, and her older brother, TJ, has just enlisted. For a child born on a German Army base and raised on a steady diet of hooah and little green army men, life could not be much better. But as she volunteers at the base rec center and learns to develop the rolls of film arriving steadily from her brother, she begins to realize that life and love and war are more complicated than the "Army way" had taught her to believe.

Shooting the Moon, (titled for her brother's penchant for taking photos of the moon), is a slow and thoughtful look at a difficult period in US History. Neither irreverent, nor uber-patriotic, Shooting the Moon can be read quickly, but will not be easily forgotten.

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