149 of 164 people found the following review helpful
I wasn't paying attention to the Newbery debates the year "Walk Two Moons" won. In my own humble opinion, after reading this book, I can't imagine how any other was even seriously considered a contender. "Walk Two Moons" is a book as infinitely wise as it is funny. The rare book that can serve up a rousing good story while teaching you a little about the very nature of life, death, loving and grieving. This is a book ostensibly written for children but so incredibly mature that after finishing it you just sit staring at the picture of author Sharon Creech on the book flap thinking over and over in your head, "How did she do it? How did she do it? How did she do it?"
"Walk Two Moons" follows the tales and travels of Salamanca (Sal) Tree Hiddle. Traveling with her parents to Idaho in the hopes of bringing her mother back with her, the juggles two storylines simultaneously. On the one hand, we have Sal, trying to deal with the fact that her mother left her. On the other is Sal's story of her friend Pheobe who's own mother up and left her family one day. While dealing with the painfully realistic reactions children have to such departures on the part of their parents, it also gives us glimpses into families that are rock solid in their love and devotion. You have Sal's grandparents that are taking the trip to Idaho with her. As you learn more about them, you realize how wonderful and tragic their life has been, with a deep abiding love. Also, Sal's friend Mary Lou's family is a rambunctious crew of crazy wonderful people, always messy and always affectionate.
Just describing the plot of this book really doesn't do it any justice. There are just so many things to admire about it. Through her narrator Creech somehow is able to convey a wisdom that goes beyond Sal's own understandings and words. Moreover, though Sal is perhaps one of the sanest people in this story, she is also an incredibly unreliable narrator. I admit, the ending caught me completely off guard. I should have seen it coming, and I didn't. This is the kind of book where you have to read it all the way through once, and then read it all the way through a second time just to pick up all the tiny clues you missed the first time. Along the way, everything from the heart of life to the despair of death is explored carefully and respectfully. Creech is able to repeatedly bring up the motif of "Don't judge a man until you've walked two moons in his moccasins", without ever becoming preachy or didactic. How does she do it? How is this amazing author able to tie every little metaphor and plot point up so perfectly by the book's end?
Critics of the book like to dismiss it for a variety of sins. They claim it hasn't any strong female characters. Apparently Mary Lou's working mom doesn't count. Nor Pheobe's neighbor, a woman who had to deal with the death of her husband and blindness of her mother all on her own. Nor, for that matter, Sal herself. An amazingly capable young woman who is not perfect, but contains all the qualities of a person learning what life is all about. Critics also claim the book is dull. Sorry, folks. It ain't. The book does not suffer from pages of descriptive passages. The characters speak with zing and verve. The plot is fascinating.
I have only ever read two Newbery winners that I truly felt were some of the best children's books ever written. The first was Louis Sacher's "Holes". The second was Sharon Creech's "Walk Two Moons". If you ever read two books intended for kids, I suggest you pick these two without hesitation. Generations from now they will remain the most beloved of this day and age.
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Salamanca Tree Hiddle's grandparents have agreed to take her on a cross-country trip to Idaho to see her mother. About a year ago, Sal's mother left their farm in Kentucky, telling everyone she needed to find herself. For a while, Sal received postcards from her mother, but when they stopped arriving it's as if Sal's life has been put on hold.
She hates her new life in Ohio, and hasn't made many friends in school. She certainly doesn't like her father's new friend, Mrs. Margaret Cadaver! As she and her grandparents set out on the trip to Idaho, the old couple ask Sal to tell them stories. The stories Sal tells are about her classmate, Phoebe Winterbottom, and it's strange, but as Sal talks about Phoebe and her family not only do things become clearer about her friend...they become clearer about herself and her own family.
Sal's voice is so winning in Walk Two Moons that I could sit and listen to her tell an endless number of stories. She tells the truth even when she puts herself in a bad light. By the time Sal and her grandparents reach Idaho, the young girl's going to have some growing up to do, but after reading this book, I know she's going to be just fine.
Walk Two Moons won the Newbery Medal in 1995. In my experience, it's the only book award that hasn't steered me wrong. If you're in the mood for a fast-paced book about love, loss and the complexity of human emotions and relationships, please read Sharon Creech's moving book. Sal's a very special young girl.
42 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2001
This book is a beautiful story about an amazing girl. It is a multitude of stories woven into one another. The first time I read this book I was thirteen and I laughed and cried as I read it. Now I am sixteen and I read the book again recently. It didn't hit me as hard, but it still moved me. You don't have to have tragedy going on in your life to understand Salamanca (the main character), especially if you're just starting your teen years. You see, Walk Two Moons is about growing up. It's about leaving the fairy world that you live in and beginning to understand things about the world that are difficult to accept. Salamanca is being forced out of the safety, and blind contentment of childhood. We all go through it. For her, it was the disappearance of her mother. Maybe for us it was something smaller and more trivial. Either way, the idea is the same.
It's a very real story. It doesn't paint women as people who always do right and are perfect. I'm glad it doesn't! Sharon Creech has created some fascinating, wonderfully flawed women who have made mistakes, and experienced hard times, but are still good people. And Salamanca Tree Hiddle, our main character, is a truly insipiring, intelligent, interesting, and amazing girl. Reading this a sixteen year old I realized what a well written, engaging story Walk Two Moons is. However, at a younger age, the story did something more meaningful. It made me realize that there were people out ther feeling, on some level, the things that I was feeling. I recommend this for 12, 13, 14 year olds. It may mean the most to them. But it is a terrific story, and I'm sure entertaining for people of many ages.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on July 8, 1997
Walk Two Moons is my all-time favorite book. It has a rare combination of humor, mystery, adventure, and sentimentality that make reading it a real experience-an experience that I never get tired of.
The book, in reality, is two stories: The first (the emotional and mysterious one) being that of 13-year-old Salamanca Tree Hiddle (Sal) and the turbulent times after her beloved mother leaves her. The second story (the one with the humor, aventure, and more mystery) is one Sal is telling her grandparents on a car trip from Ohio to Idaho, where Sal hopes to find her mother. It is the story of Phoebe Winterbottom, Sal's best friend, Phoebe's mother (who also disappeared), and Phoebe's wild imagination.
The transitions between these stories are handled surprisingly well; where most authors would have trouble avoiding clumsy jumps between plots, Ms. Creech has laced them together to the point that one could almost not exist without the other.
As it turns out, these two stories are woven together in more ways than one, and the knowledge Sal draws from them, her grandparents, her trip, and herself, finally give her the strength to face the truth about her mother.
I would recommend this book to anyone, and after reading it I passed it on to my best friend and mother, both of whom adored it. To miss this book would be a tragedy
43 of 53 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 1999
My older daughter and I read this book together when she was 11, having rescued it from a cousin's dusty bookshelf. We both fell in love with the characters from the start, and were completely drawn into the story of Salamanca and her family. The story delves sensitively into the life of a thirteen year old girl to whom all girls will relate in one way or another. As a mother, it also made me cherish even more the wonderful/mysterious relationship I have with my daughter. Two years later, we still talk about this book and how much we both enjoyed it, and even re-read certain passages to each other on occasion. We have also mutually devoured anything else we can find written by Ms. Creech, including "Chasing Redbird" and "Bloomabilities," in which the author has interwoven tidbits from "Walk Two Moons" that leave the reader feeling deliciously connected. Yes, Ms. Creech's tales do have sad themes, although bittersweet might be a better adjective. I am especially appreciative that her writing does not contain unecessary themes or inappropriate imagery as is often found in novels for young teens. My daughter and I heartily reccommend this book!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2000
The book Walk Two Moons is a mix of things. It is humorus, touching, and sad. It's the kind of book where you get a headache from turning the pages nonstop. It can have an impact on your life, and can learn a lot from Sal's personality. She is a girl who has had a lot of bad times, and is persistent all the way through. I would not have been that strong at all!Sharon Creech is a very talented writer, and once you read the first page, you will finish the whole book in a day! This isn't just a regular book to read, it's very special, and the best.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on October 11, 2002
Walk Two Moons is a great book. It is about Salamanca Tree Hiddle, a girl who has lots of adventures, and her grandparents, who love listening to Sal's stories, in the car on the drive from Bybanks, Kentucky, to Lewistown, Idaho. Along the way Sal tells the story of Phoebe Winterbottom. Phoebe is Sal's friend. she is a girl who worries a lot and always looks at things in the worst case scenerio. Phoebe's mother dissappears and then Phoebe's family begins receiving secret messages. In the middle of Sal telling Phoebe's story Sal's grandmother becomes ill. At that point the stories of both Phoebe and Sal take a turn.
Sharon Creech, an amazing author, weaves together two tales, with feelings of sadness, happiness, love, mystery, and tragedy that will keep you turning the page for more.
Sharon Creech's novel, Walk Two Moons, can make you laugh with joy, weep with grief, and have love in your heart in just one chapter. Read this facinating book today!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 1997
Walk Two Moons is a wonderful story by Sharon Creech. Sharon Creech has also written two other books, and they are Pleasing the Ghost and Absolutely Normal Chaos.
Walk Two Moons is a story about a girl named Salamanca Tree Hiddle who lives in Baybanks, Kentucky. Everything is fine with the plants and animals everywhere. One day, her mother moves away to Idaho. Then Sal's father plucks her up like a weed and drags her 100 miles north, stopping at Euclid, Ohio. Sal ends up going on a trip with her grandparents (who got arrested on their last trip) to see her mother in Idaho.
"Spin us a story," her grandfather says to her. So Sal tells her grandparents a story about a friend and a "lunatic" who is not a lunatic at all! As Sal tells this story, she slowly reveals the story of her life. When she gets to Idaho, she discovers that an awful secret is true. Then something very bad happens.
I think that Walk Two Moons is sad, funny, happy, and wonderful at the same time! I felt like I was having the same experience as Sal as I read this book.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 2010
Walk Two Moons
Walk Two Moons, by Sharon Creech, tells the story of a thirteen year old girl named Salamanca Tree Hiddle, and her journey from Ohio to Kentucky in search of her mother The story begins with Sal pulling up to her father's friend's house and seeing a face in a window. Little did she know that that face belonged to Phoebe Winterbottom, and that Phoebe's story would help Sal discover her own.
It continues with Sal going on a seven day road trip with her grandparents to visit her mother who is "resting peacefully" in Idaho. Sal was not excited about taking this trip. Being locked in a car with your grandparents for a week does not sound very appealing, but she knew it was a trip she had to take, because she had to find her mother. For the first thirty minutes of the trip, Sal prayed. She prayed that that they wouldn't get in an accident, and she prayed that they would arrive in Idaho by her mother's birthday. Sal knew that wherever her grandparents went, trouble followed, so everything she passed seemed to say "rush, rush, rush."
Once they were on the road for a while, Sal's grandmother asks her to tell a story. She decides to tell the story of Phoebe Winterbottom which begins with Sal's first day of school; the day she meets Phoebe, and they begin to become friends. Eventually, Sal is invited over to the Winterbottom's house for dinner. Sal categorizes them as a plain respectable family, until Mrs. Winterbottom becomes fed up with being respectful and runs off with her long lost son without telling anyone. This is where Phoebe's story begins and when Sal begins to realize why her mother left. Phoebe, being the champion worrier that she is, takes matters to the extreme and concludes that her mother has been kidnapped and possibly murdered. She then goes to the police, who don't believe her story and tell her to go home. After a few days of waiting, Phoebe's mother returns with some life changing news.
While Sal is driving and telling her story, her grandmother suffers a terrible stroke and is kept in the hospital overnight. This means Sal must drive the four hours from the hospital to Idaho to arrive in time for her mother's birthday. On the way, she stops at a cliff where a bus had turned a corner and fallen down the side of the mountain. Sal slowly walked down the steep hill to find a large bus on its side with two huge gashes down the side. After climbing back up, a police officer offers to take her to see her mother. On the way, the officer tells Sal that there was only one survivor on the bus, and that her mother was on it. When Sal hears this news, she knows who the survivor was, and it was not her mother.
In the end, Sal moves back to Kentucky with her grandfather and father, where she learns that her mother is all around her, she just has to look. She still writes to phoebe but she feels at home in Kentucky. Like her grandfather always said, she's a true country girl at heart. While on her adventure, Sal also realized that her mother left for some of the same reasons Mrs. Winterbottom did: she needed to be independent for a while. By the end of this story Sal knows that her mother will always be with her.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2002
Walk Two Moons is about a girl named Sal and a girl named Pheobe Their both moms have left them and Sal and Phoebe both decide to go and try to find them. Sal is going to look for her mom with her grandma and grandpa. Sal's mother is missing so they move to a different town with her father. One day at her new school she meets a girl named Phoebe. After a while thy both became really good friends. After school one day they both find out that her mom is missing.
I'm giving this story 4 out of five stars because it was fun to read and there were lots of excitement. The bad stuff about it was too long of a book. Their are too many people dying in the story, some times when its excitement it becomes not that exciting. After all it's still a good book.