Shooting the Moon written by Frances O'Roark Dowell
Jamie Dexter is twelve years old. Her father is a colonel in the U. S. Army, so she is an "Army brat", born in Germany when the Colonel was stationed there. Jamie, TJ (her older brother), and their parents have moved all over during the Colonel's career. Both children idolize their father and dream of following in his footsteps. The story told in Shooting the Moon takes place during the Vietnam War at Fort Hood, Texas.
TJ decides to enlist in the Army, in the Medical Corps, after graduating from high school. The Colonel tries his best to discourage his enlistment, talking up going to college and medical school first. This confuses Jamie. She doesn't understand this "change" in her father. At first she thinks it is her mother influencing her father's attitude. TJ enlists, goes through basic training, and is sent to Vietnam. He doesn't send letters to Jamie, he sends undeveloped rolls of film. Jamie sees a whole different side to the war as she develops the film for her brother. Her view of her father, and Army life, is not the same after viewing the pictures TJ has taken in Vietnam.
Included in the pictures TJ takes are shots of the moon during it's various phases. Just as the moon changes, so do people, so does the idea of what is important or "right."
Frances O'Roark Dowell has written a powerful story of a difficult time, both for a military family, soldiers themselves, and a young girl coming to terms with changing beliefs and attitudes of those around her.
Shooting the Moon written by Frances O'Roark Dowell is a 2010 nominee for the Rebecca Caudill Young Readers' Book Award - the Illinois Children's Choice Award.