Monday, August 20, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Thank you to Jen and Kellee at for hosting the Monday ritual of sharing what we read. I love to head over to their blog on Mondays and see what others are reading and recommending. 

Most of my reading has been professional this week, but I did squeeze in a couple of fiction books. One of my favorites was Shooting The Moon by Frances O'Rourke Dowell. Set during the Vietnam era, Jamie Dexter is a self-dubbed army brat with strong opinions and convictions. Throughout the book, her voice is clear and honest, reflective and funny. She and her brother loved the army so TJ enlists as soon as he turns eighteen. Since he is a photographer, TJ sends rolls of film from Vietnam and Jamie learns by developing them that war wasn't how they had envisioned it. Some of the descriptions of Jamie developing the pictures or of her looking at the pictures would serve as great mentor passages. Frances O'Rourke Dowell also does a masterful job of creating dynamic conversations--I especially loved the conversations that Jamie had with people while playing cards.

This would be a great book for an upper elementary library--some descriptions of violence and injuries would worry me for younger students. While the family conflict centers on the Vietnam War, Shooting the Moon is more about family issues, friendship, and personal growth and could be used during a social issues unit as well as a historical fiction one. I have found myself missing Jamie Dexter, an indicator of a great book.


  1. Shooting The Moon sounds like a good addition for younger readers, as you said Melanie. There aren't many books about war that work for the middle grades, especially contemporary. Thanks for the review.

  2. This sounds like a good book to pair with Sara Lewis Holmes' middle grade novel Operation Yes. Thanks for the recommendation!

  3. It's been a while since I read it but I really liked Shooting the Moon. I enjoy reading historical fiction set during the Vietnam War because my dad is a Vietnam veteran. Glad you liked it. I may have to reread it myself!