Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Shooting the Moon by Frances O'Roark Dowell

"The day after my brother left for Vietnam, me and Private Hollister played thirty-seven hands of gin rummy, and I won twenty-one."


The CIP summary is hidden to prevent possible spoilers. If you'd like to read this brief summary, just highlight it using your cursor and it will magically appear in the following lines.

LC CIP Summary: "When her brother is sent to fight in Vietnam, twelve-year-old Jamie begins to reconsider the army world that she has grown up in."


Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers; 163 pages
(Alternate spellings of this award include: Newberry, Newbury, & Newbary)

12 comments:

Mary said...

I love this book! Normally, I am hesitant about reading “war books” written for kids. They either don’t seem to ring true or they are incredibly message-laden. This book doesn’t fall into either of those traps. The setting -- both time and place -- as well as the characters, are fully fleshed out and believable; the moral is left to the reader to decide. I predict this is a book that will be talked about a great deal this year.

Kris said...

I just finished reading this book -- I was able to start and finish it in one afternoon -- and really liked it. I agree that it wasn't like other war books written for kids; it was touching and heartfelt, without being preachy.

Teresa said...

Excellent story and well worth discussing. The first person point of view works well. The family dynamics are interesting and well drawn.

Lisa said...

I agree that this was a great book. The character of the father especially intrigued me. We see him only briefly but in so many different ways - from his humorous, fun and relaxed side to the candid picture that captures his weariness. I was also especially fond of the ending which I have heard described as too neat - I, on the other hand, felt that it was perfectly hopeful without glossing over the certain difficulty and lingering effects. Wonderful!

cary's girl said...

I enjoyed this book as well - I also thought the family dynamics were wonderful. However, I was a little put off by what I felt was a rather abrupt ending.

Jen said...

I usually enjoy this author, and wasn't let down this time, either. It helped me to watch her growth through relationships with a number of well-developed characters in the book.

And while I agree that I did find the end of the book to be somewhat abrupt; to end the book any other way would have been too dark for me, so I was pleased with the ending, however choppy it did feel.

Anonymous said...

Excellent book. The main character is instantly likable and you feel like you know her by the third page. Though they're very different books, this has several elements in common with Park's "Keeping Score": girl makes friend with young man, young man teaches her a cool skill, young man goes to war...

Anonymous said...

I did enjoy this book. Jamie really grew up a lot in the book. The characters were very realistic. I did feel the ending was somewhat abrupt. I would have liked to have an epilogue instead of just a few concluding paragraphs. That would have made it just a little bit more believable to me. Other than the ending, the only other thing I did not like about the book was the flashbacks. While they were important to the story, I sometimes had trouble remembering what was going on before the flashback started.

pianolibrarian said...

I liked that the characters in this book weren't quite sure what their feelings were about the war. It's certainly true of how Americans were feeling at the time when this book was set, and it resonates well now in a time of war and uncertainty. It's an echo that I think kids will pick up on.

Clare said...

I really liked this book. The story was simple enough for kids, but still brought about a lot of emotions and childhood perceptions. This would be a great book to discuss as far as what things seem to be when they are considered heroic rather than serious or scary. I would not typically be interested in reading war books but this one kept it very personal, which helps keep the reader involved throughout.

miss pea said...

this book has weight and gravity. What I mean by that is this is a story that you can actually feel lightening, then getting a bit heavier then it actually ends with a kind of release and loss of gravity.
A really good book.
Priscilla

kmg365 said...

Hmm. I'm going to have to buck the trend, here. I feel as though I *should* have connected with this book pretty strongly. As a girl, I got letters from my brother, who was with the army in Vietnam. I didn't feel like this book captured the feel of the era very well, nor did the particular story told draw me in.