Shooting the Moon by Frances O'Roark Dowell

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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 thick of it. After all, they've both dreamed of following in the footsteps of their father, the Colonel.

But TJ's first letter isn't a letter at all. It's a roll of undeveloped film, the first of many. What Jamie sees when she develops TJ's photographs reveals a whole new side of the war. Slowly the shine begins to fade off of Army life - and the Colonel. How can someone she's worshipped her entire life be just as helpless to save her brother as she is?

From the author of the Edgar Award-winning Dovey Coe comes a novel, both timely and timeless, about the sacrifices we make for what we believe and the people we love.

About Frances O'Roark Dowell

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Frances O’Roark Dowell is the bestselling and critically acclaimed author of Dovey Coe, which won the Edgar Award and the William Allen White Award; Where I’d Like to Be; the bestselling The Secret Language of Girls and its sequels The Kind of Friends We Used to Be and The Sound of Your Voice, Only Really Far Away; Chicken Boy; Shooting the Moon, which was awarded the Christopher Medal; the Phineas L. MacGuire series; Falling In; the teen novel Ten Miles Past Normal; and most recently, the critically acclaimed The Second Life of Abigail Walker. She lives with her husband and two sons in Durham, North Carolina. Connect with Frances online at
Published October 16, 2009 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers. 192 pages
Genres: War, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Shooting the Moon

Kirkus Reviews

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Having been raised in the Gospel According to the Colonel all her life, confirmed Army brat Jamie Dexter (who’ll be 13 in December and therefore knows everything) is mystified when her father—the Colonel—seems less-than-delighted at her brother’s choice to forego college for a tour in Vietnam.

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Publishers Weekly

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Reflecting America's changing sentiments toward war, this coming-of-age novel set during the Vietnam era focuses on the internal conflicts of an Army “brat.” At first, 12-year-old Jamie Dexter doesn't understand why her colonel father—a war hero who “runs the show” at a Texas Army base—disapprove...

Dec 17 2007 | Read Full Review of Shooting the Moon


It's almost heartbreaking to watch as Jamie, steadfast in her beliefs at the beginning of the book, slowly begins to see her opinions change and realize there is "more in heaven and earth."

Dec 29 2009 | Read Full Review of Shooting the Moon

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