Moving Targets II?

Prior to my most recent author visit, several  classes read my Moving Targets  novel about a kid who moves to a small town and gets involved with a small group led by a bully. This is a book about growing up, about facing difficulties, solving problems, and the way animals are treated.

Several students I met with wondered when I’ll be writing the sequel to this story. The truth is, I hadn’t really thought about it. However, it’s possible I may want to write it at some point. But, what would it be about? I’d want to keep the setting the same as well as include the characters that I developed and feel that I know.

Would Paul be in juvenile detention because of what he tried to do at the end of the book? Would he be changed, or would he want revenge? What about the other characters? Would they still be hanging out together? Or would they find new friends, and who might those friends be?

What about David’s father, who we heard about but never really met? Would he come back into David’s life? And what would David’s mother do?

There’s so many options, so many possibilities. That’s what makes writing fiction exciting: you get to create your own world and decide what happens. Powerful stuff!

So, if anyone who knows the story would like to offer ideas and suggestions, I’ll be glad to take a look and give them serious consideration. The best way to share your thoughts would be to make a comment on the tab above.

Looking forward to your great ideas!




  1. Cindy McMahan says:

    Hello Robert,
    Thanks for inviting students to give their ideas, opinions, and thoughts on a sequel to Moving Targets! Our Santiam Elementary 5th and 6th graders are so excited that you will consider writing a sequel.
    Here is a summary of their responses to many of the questions you pose on your blog: (I will try not to give away too much of the details of the book!)
    Would Paul be in Juvenile Detention for what he tried to do? An overwhelming “Yes!” Most students felt that Paul’s action warranted time in detention. A couple students felt that counseling and community service would be alternative consequences for Paul. We discussed that Paul would most likely go through counseling while in Juvenile Detention.

    Would Paul want revenge or would he be a changed person? Most students felt that the book should go in the direction of Paul coming back from Juvenile Detention and trying to get revenge. One idea was that while Paul was gone a new person took his “spot” as a bully. Another student thought that the new leader would be a quality leader (not a bully) and Paul could not regain his bully position. One student said that Paul would be charged with assault and poaching. A few students would like to see that Paul learned a lesson while in detention and he came back as a changed person.

    Other Characters? Many students thought that the same characters would hang out together. One student suggested that the friend group would exclude Paul. Matt would be on crutches and would have a bigger role in the story. Cindy would now be accepted by the others in the group. A few students suggested that David and his buddies would go their separate ways and find new friends. Other students suggested that some new characters are developed in the story. One student suggested that David and Cindy would become boyfriend/girlfriend.

    David’s parents: A few students felt that David’s father would not come back into his life. Others felt that after all that David had been through that David’s father would realize how much he missed David and come back into his life. One student suggested that David’s father would move to the town and David would move in with his dad. Some students thought David’s mother would be mad at his father for trying to visit David… there was a range of ideas to the other possibility that David’s mother and father would fall back in love.

    Other thoughts:
    Student: It would be cool to fast forward the story 5 years in the future.
    Student: I think you are the best author and I think everyone should know about you!
    Student: Thank you for making such a great book!
    Student: Thank you for the opportunity to change the story a little.

    Thanks again for visiting Santiam Elementary… you left a lasting impression!
    Cindy McMahan, Reading Specialist

  2. Cindy McMahan says:

    How exciting! Thanks for making this opportunity available for our students. Once our state testing is completed, I know there will be several students who would like to share their ideas!

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