Genre: Historical Fiction
# of Pages: 163 p.
2010 Iowa Teen Award Winner
RAC Book: No
Twelve-year-old Jamie is excited when she hears her older brother, T.J., has enlisted in the Army. Their father is a Colonel and they have lived all of their lives on army bases. She would love to go fight for her country too if they would let her. She is surprised when their father does not want T.J. to go to Vietnam. He does everything he can to convince her brother to back out of his enlistment agreement, but T.J. persists and is sent to Vietnam almost immediately after basic training. He sends generic letters home to his parents, but he sends rolls of film to Jamie. She learns how to develop film by herself so that she is the first one to see the prints and she is surprised by the content of the film. First of all, the war does not look at all as glamorous as she thought it would. Secondly, there are many pictures of the moon, which make her wonder what her brother is trying to show her with the pictures. Jamie soon decides she is not so thrilled about her big brother fighting in the war anymore.
This Vietnam tale is a great way to introduce the Vietnam War to students this age. Jamie’s perspective of the young child who sees war as glamour and heroes quickly changes when she starts seeing what is going on over there. Her father is a well-written character as he is the one who describes some of the errors in the strategy used in the war. The emotions and feelings of soldiers and families help the reader to truly get into the story and feel what it would be like to be in their position. A very well-written book on a very difficult topic.