Monday, January 30, 2012

YA Book Review: Shooting the Moon

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, each has been raised under the mantra of service before self and neither can wait to get out into the world to protect our freedoms and serve.

Think a kindler, gentler Santini as the dad.

Enclosed in her brother's letters to his parents are rolls of undeveloped film distinctly labeled for his sister.

Through her brother's pictures, Jamie goes on a journey.  He tells her his story in Vietnam through images.

What you'll find is a simple story with charming characters--the text is not distracted by extraneous development.  The story cuts a clean line from the first page to the last--it is a very efficient and fast-moving 192 pages.

Reconnaissance Patrol Near South China Sea - David Lavender, US Army

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