Shooting the Moon
Frances O'Roark Dowell
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Shooting the Moon

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  2,479 ratings  ·  439 reviews

When twelve-year-old Jamie Dexter's brother joins the Army and is sent to Vietnam, Jamie is plum thrilled. She can't wait to get letters from the front lines describing the excitement of real-life combat: the sound of helicopters, the smell of gunpowder, the exhilaration of being right in the t...more
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by Recorded Books (first published January 29th 2008)
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I've written about this before, but there's a flush of appreciation a reviewer experiences when they discover a great author that they've never read before. Even if that person has been around for years. In the case of Frances O'Roark Dowell, I'd read her first Phineas L. MacGuire book and I thought it was great. Still, I'd never gotten around to reading some of her better known works for older readers. I'd never picked up Dovey Coe or Chicken Boy or even The Secret Language of Girls. It just ne...more
Every single word is spare, perfect, inevitable. It has a brilliant first sentence and a heartbreaking last -- the final scene is a jab to the heart.
A Newbery contender right now, no matter what other gems the year brings us.
Eva Mitnick
If Jamie had the good luck to be an 18-year-old boy instead of a 12-year-old girl, she’d enlist in the army so fast, it’d make your head spin. But she isn’t, and so she volunteers at the rec center, keeping things tidy and playing endless games of gin rummy with her friend Private Hollister.

It’s her older brother TJ who chooses to enlist rather than go to college, and he is sent to Vietnam as a combat medic, much to TJ’s excitement and envy. Strangely, their father the Colonel, who is chief of...more
I picked up this book because of the title - shooting the moon is a term from the game Hearts and playing Hearts is a Good Father memory. That the book is about fathers and daughters sealed the deal for me.

I suppose its the southern-ness of the author - Frances O'Roark Dowell can almost not be anything but southern - that gives it a cadence similar to To Kill a Mockingbird. Colonel Dexter is perhaps something like Atticus - tall, professional and charming. His daughter, Jamie, clearly adores him...more
Author: Frances O'Roarck Dowell

Genre: First person perspective novel

Publication Info: Atheneum (January 29, 2008)

Reading Level: Fluent; 5th or 6th grade

Topic/Theme: Military hardship/ Friendship/ Relationship with family

Issues Addressed: Relationship with the military and the good and bad things it unravels.

Classroom Uses: Individual Reading, Readers Theatre

Summary: Jamie's father is the Colonel. Her brother is overseas in the military. He sends Jamie pictures that he wants her to develop for...more
Shooting the Moon takes place during the Vietnam War. The main character, Jamie Dexter, is an army brat whose father is a colonel and brother, TJ, is getting ready to enlist in the army. She believes in the war and would go herself if she was not too young. Jamie is puzzled when her parents do not want TJ to go to Vietnam. They do everything in their power to stop him from going, but it does not work. TJ sends his parents generic letters, but he sends Jamie rolls of film. He encourages her to l...more
I admire an author who can get us right into a time and place without much set-up. And Frances Dowell does that with this book. Though it seems odd to think of a Vietnam era book as historical fiction,this title is another good addition to that particular list. As an Army brat herself, Frances Dowell brings a credibility to the narration and, even though the father, the Colonel, is a gung-ho soldier, the reader picks up on his pain when his own son, TJ, enlists, well before the main character, J...more
Shooting the Moon, by Frances O'Roark Dowell is about a twelve year old girl, Jamie Dexter who grew up in an army family. Her brother enlisted in the Vietnam War instead of going to college. She fantasized about going into battle, but throughout the book, she learned the not so great reality of the army and of combat overall. Much of the book took place in the army recreation center where she volunteered. She made a long lasting friend there, named Private Hollister. She and her older friend pla...more
Slight. Not going on my list to buy.

I found this book intensely frustrating because I feel that the author was heading for "spare" and headed right over the cliff into "cryptic allusion". For example, when the title is Shooting the Moon, and the protaganist plays card games, one might expect a reference to that version of shooting the moon, as well as the obvious photography angle. I think this may bother me more as an adult because I see the missed connections. I know why a Vietnamese child mig...more
Jaime is a 12 and a half year old Army brat when the Vietnam War is being fought. She refers to her dad in the 3rd person, as The Colonel. She loves being in an Army family, and is super excited and proud when her brother enlists- he is sent to Vietnam as a medic. She thinks she knows everything, but boy, does she have a lot to learn. Her brother, TJ is a great photographer and the Colonel wants him to go to college not into the army.
TJ sends Jaime rolls of film to develop, and she is forced to...more
Shooting the moon
By: Frances o'roark Dowell
Do you know anyone who has a sibling in war? Well in this realistic fiction book called “Shooting the moon” Jamie has a sibling in the Vietnam War and how her and her family feels about it. I thought the book was awesome and I hope you do too.
This book takes place during the Vietnam War. Jamie is the main character in this book and she is telling about how her brother chooses to be in the Vietnam War. Jamie’s father is the army...more
This book reminds me of my cousin because he serves in the military. When TJ sent pictures Jamie instead of letters I thought that was weird because he said he was going to write letters to her but at the same time it was cool because it was pictures of what he was dealing with in the war. Jamie doesn't really think war is that exciting anymore. She thinks its sorta not fair because her best friend was going to be forced but ended up not going. I learned that it was scary and it was not fair eit...more
I truly enjoyed this book. It is an excellent novel for kids starting in probably fourth grade and going up. I excited to share it with my fifth graders. Many kids today feel that being a soldier and going to war is an exciting adventure. Although it may be at times, it is also dangerous, depressing, and life changing. In "Shooting the Moon," the main character, Jamie, is thrilled that her brother enlisted in the Army and will be heading to Vietnam. Even though she is only 12, she wishes she cou...more
Kristina Jo
More of a 2.5-star rating. I only have two specific complaints about it:

1. I am definitely not the target demographic, which I expected, considering that I got the book from the youth department at work. This is more of a quibble and doesn't really affect my rating.

2. Given the subject matter, the age of the protagonist, and her opinions at the beginning of the book, it was really easy to figure out before page 20 how she was going to change before the end of the book. I mean, it's good that she...more
Tenille Shade
This book reminds me of Eli the Good. I found myself thinking about Army Wives while I read this beautiful coming of age story. The war in Vietnam was such a raw time in our history. When people we idolize fall from their pedestals, the world feels unstable. I'm glad her brother came home after two years in a POW camp.
Quick, first impressions: incredible writing. Tight, lyrical -- almost poetic. Loved the characters, Jamie, her dad The Colonel, especially. I loved her relationship with her brother, TJ. I loved the discoveries she made about the war, and about her life. A moving portrait of how war affects people. Loved it.
Judy Desetti
Feb 27, 2014 Judy Desetti rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: gr 5-8, Vietname units
Saw this on the shelf and decided to display for my 8th graders. I read a blurb so I could know a bit about it. It sounded good. No one chose it. I decided to read it for our silent reading class. Two days in to it I could not put it down. I brought it home and devoured the text. Wonderful!! The fall for Jamie from thinking that war was wonderful and Army was the only way; to losing faith as she watches the film her brother sends back from Vietnam develop before her eyes. She learns to develop f...more
Ilene Colletti
wonderful story about a young girl's interaction with her father and her perceptions of the vietnam war when her brother joins the army. her illusions of both the war and her father are shattered after her brother is sent to vietnam.
Fletcher Green
This book was very interesting. It was told from the perspective of a young army girl, who has a father that is a Colonel and a brother who has just joined the Army. The girl works at the Army rec center. Here she befriends a young private who's brother died in battle. During her employment at the rec center she learns to develop the film and pictures her brother sends back from vietnam. He sends all types of pictures but the majority of his pictures are of the moon. During the story private Hol...more
This book is a perfect example of why I love being a Children's Librarian. Shooting the Moon needs to be shared. Read it and pass it on.
I am in highschool, so it may be a bit odd that I'm only now reading a book written for elementary schoolers.
The truth is that I have had this book for years. It's been recommended to me by multiple people, and sitting on my bookshelf. I had picked it up several times, but I couldn't seem to get into it. Now I realize that there may have been some divine force behind that.
Now, I am studying photography and learning what makes a good photo. This novel helped me to see that photography isn't just...more
Erin Fowler
A riveting story about how perceptions change. Jamie grew up in a military family. She lived and breathed the army and if she were older she would join the Vietnam War effort in a heartbeat. She is thrilled when her brother joins the Army right out high school. When he sends her pictures for the war her glamorized view of fighting and war changes as the pictures he sends become more and more difficult to look at. I also really liked the father, daughter relationship built in this story. Definite...more
Brad Skubal
This is the story of a girl who is the daughter of a colonel. Her and her brother are obsessed with the army because thats their dads job and the way they have been raised. So when her brother gets sent to the army she is very excited. He likes to take pictures. so instead of sending back letters he sends back picture of the war and mostly the moon. In the end she saves one of her friends from going over. and then 2 years after the war her brother comes back from being a P.O.W. thats why he coul...more
Summary: Jamie, a 12-year-old Army daughter, cannot understand why her parents don't share her enthusiasm for her older brother's decision to enlist during the Vietnam War. Her romantic notions about the war slowly change as her brother begins sending her undeveloped rolls of film from the war. Jaime's ideas about her father, her brother's refusal to write, and the war itself evolve as she spends her summer hanging with some GI's. As she faces off with one young soldier in a summer-long Rummy ch...more
Independent read: 4th -5th grade

Dowell captures the attention of a prospective reader with the cover of her book, “Shooting the Moon”. It is a black, white, and gray snapshot of a young girl holding a picture of the moon enveloped in a midnight sky, offset by the girl’s blue jeans in the background. The book is small in size for easy handling by children. It contains short chapters with expressive dialogue and good vocabulary for independent readers. I believe this is a good book because it show...more
4th-7th Grade
Francis O'Roark Dowell wrote a book that show's the reader how things are not always black and white. Jamie and her brother TJ grew up to idolize their father, a US Army Colonel, and believed that they wanted to follow in his footsteps. The thought of going to war for their country appealed to them. We see in this book that the country changed during the Vietnam war. The time of not questioning why we were at war had ended, even the Colonel tried to keep his son from going to war. J...more
Leslie Brevard
3rd-5th grades
Dowell did a very good job bringing a lot of emotion to this book, he used humor, sadness and thoughts of confusion. He wanted the readers to realize that war was not all it was all craked out to be that many young men were going to war for all the wrong reasons. Jamie looked up to her brother and her father so much that she even wanted to be apart of the war unitl her brother went to war and sent her the pictures of what war was really like. Dowell did a good job spacing each chap...more
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711Isabel B
SHOOTING THE MOON, by Frances O'Rourke Dowell is an interesting book in many ways.
The ideas that the author brings up are unique at the same time as being easy to connect to. I mean this in the way that the situation that the main character was in was unique to the her, but the ideas brought in by that situation could be connected to many people.

In the book, Jamie Dexter, the main character is brought up as an army brat (her father is in the army, an so they are constantly moving). She is brou...more
Brian Kelley
A clean and uncluttered plot carries Frances O'Roark Dowell's Shooting the Moon. A great book for a middle school library classroom for any reader, it will play well with struggling readers in the 8th grade.

The story grows (briefly) heavy towards the back end, but the author pulls it out any possibility of a grim or disturbing conclusion. Twelve year-old Jamie roots for her brother as he enlists in the Army upon high school graduation and is immediately shipped to Vietnam. A pair of Army brats,...more
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Frances O'Roark Dowell is an author of middle-grade fiction. Her books have received numerous awards, including an Edgar (Dovey Coe), the William Allan White Award (Dovey Coe), the Christopher Award (Shooting the Moon), the Voya Book Award (Where I'd Like to Be), and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Excellence in Children's Fiction, Honor Book (Shooting the Moon). Dowell has an MFA in Creative...more
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“He was a big talker, someone who liked words for words' sake, the sound of them, the way you can pile them up in your mouth and make a poem if you speill them out the right way.
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