Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Shooting the Moon

Dowell, Frances O’Roark. 2008. SHOOTING THE MOON. New York: Atheneum. ISBN 1416926909 [Suggested Grade Levels 5-9]

Beautifully written--almost lyrical in fact—SHOOTING THE MOON is the story of a girl, Jamie Dexter. Twelve-and-going-on-thirteen, Jamie has a lot to learn about life, love, family, and friendship.

Set in 1969, the novel is a coming-of-age story set during turbulent times when the nation was torn apart by the rightness and wrongness of war. Up until the time when it's her own brother being sent to war, Jamie has never doubted the Army for an instant. Never doubted the justness of the war. She's grown up idealizing the Army, almost worshiping her father who is a Colonel. But once her brother is there and sends her his film to be developed (instead of traditional letters) she begins to change her mind about the war, about many things really. What she finds is the truth, harsh and raw as it may be.

To bring the times to life, listen to some Creedence Clearwater Revival. How does the music of this time period reflect the political and social unrest?

Discuss the book’s use of photography. Why do you think pictures speak more effectively than words?

Other stories about the war:
Couloumbis, Audrey. SUMMER’S END. ISBN 0142407836
Schmidt, Gary D. THE WEDNESDAY WARS. ISBN 0618724834

Other books written by Frances O’Roark Dowell:
CHICKEN BOY. ISBN 1416934820
DOVEY COE. ISBN 0689846673

By Becky Laney

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