Book Reviews

Aim by Joyce Moyer Hostetter Review

Genre: Historical Fiction

Age Range: 10 and up

Rating: 5 / 5 stars

Reviewed by Maggie

“It was Pop who taught me to shoot. He showed me how to aim and hold that gun real steady.”
Summary from Goodreads – As World War II threatens the United States in 1941, fourteen-year-old Junior Bledsoe fights his own battles at home. Junior struggles with school and with anger-at his father, his insufferable grandaddy, his neighbors, and himself-as he desperately tries to understand himself and find his own aim in life. But he finds relief in escaping to the quiet of the nearby woods and tinkering with cars, something he learned from his Pop, and a fatherly neighbor provides much-needed guidance.
“The way I figure it, what I learned from the two of them and from my own dumb mistakes is enough to fill a book.”

Aim is the prequel to Blue and part of the Bakers Mountain Stories series. It’s been a while, but I did read Blue back in elementary for school. So, it was fun to return back to the world, but this time in the eyes of Ann Fay’s (main character from Blue) neighbor, Junior. I enjoyed the book a lot.

Junior was an interesting main character. Suffering from his father’s death and the burden of his father’s mistakes, Junior sets out to find some respect for him and his mother. The journey he takes to find his questions concerning his father’s death and his path to get his respect was one that touched my heart.

The setting was down to earth and gave me that homey feeling. The way Hostetter weaves the dialogue and wording just brought the story to life in a fun and fresh way. The whole story was real and beautiful. And the time period chosen for the tale was perfect and added more depth to the storyline.

“America was the land of the free. And we wanted to keep it that way. Even if it meant all-out war. I was pretty sure that’s exactly what was about to break loose.”

Hostetter will draw readers into an exciting tale about family, forgiveness, love, and healing, drawing you deeper with every word written on the page in Junior’s country boy tone. Definitely one worth picking up no matter what your age.

“And when I feel like I’m up in the air on a scary bridge I’ll hang on to his words. Don’t look down. Keep your eye on where you’re going. You’ll get across just fine.

Issabelle Perry is a proud Jesus follower, an extroverted writer, and a homeschool graduate. When she's not writing, you can find her reading, jamming to Skillet, studying history, hunting for Narnia in wardrobes, or envisioning herself wielding a magnificent sword (but due to her clumsiness, let’s hope that never happens). This self-proclaimed exclamation mark enthusiast can be found hanging out at Teen Writers’ Nook, a community of teen authors Issabelle co-founded in 2020. She is the author of Don't Let Me Go (Sky's the Limit Press 2024), May We Make Them Proud (2023), and a co-editor for two anthologies. What she’s probably doing right now is fangirling about her favorite books to random people or scanning the pantries for chocolate.