Shooting the Moon


Shooting the Moon         Scholastic ©2008
Frances O'Roark Dowell            163 Pages

rmy brat, Jamie Dexter, is “combat ready” when her brother, TJ, enlists in the US Armed Forces as a medic and is deployed to Vietnam. During this time, Jamie becomes friends with Private Hollister who is on “rec” duty at the base. When she learns Pvt. Hollister is about to be deployed, Jamie speaks with her father, Colonel Dexter, to persuade him not to deploy her new friend. 

Character Descriptions:

Jamie Dexter is a 12 year old girl who has grown up in the military and believes she too is “combat ready” just like her brother.
Colonel Dexter is Jamie and TJ’s father. He has always been supportive and proud of being in the military until his son decides to enlist.
TJ Dexter is Jamie’s little sister who upon graduation high school, he was sent to Vietnam as a part of the medical team in the military. Instead of writing letters to his sister, TJ took pictures and had Jamie develop them in the “rec” center.
Private Hollister becomes friends with Jamie through his duty on the base.  

Personal Reflection: Shooting the Moon would appeal to young girls who may have family or friends serving or who have served in the Armed Forces. It is a relatively easy read for reluctant readers. The author does a marvelous job expressing Jamie’s change of feelings from the beginning of the story to the very last page.

     Social Studies

Related Works:
     A Boy at War by Harry Mazer

Discussion Questions:

1. How did Jamie's opinion about war change throughout the book?

2. What could the author have done differently to pull the reader farther into the story?

Award: Christopher Award