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Walk Two Moons Paperback – December 27, 2011
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Thirteen-year-old Salamanca Tree Hiddle's mother has disappeared. While tracing her steps on a car trip from Ohio to Idaho with her grandparents, Salamanca tells a story to pass the time about a friend named Phoebe Winterbottom whose mother vanished and who received secret messages after her disappearance. One of them read, "Don't judge a man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins." Despite her father's warning that she is "fishing in the air," Salamanca hopes to bring her home. By drawing strength from her Native American ancestry, she is able to face the truth about her mother. Walk Two Moons won the 1995 Newbery Medal. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From School Library Journal
Grade 6-9-An engaging story of love and loss, told with humor and suspense. Thirteen-year-old Salamanca Tree Hiddle's mother leaves home suddenly on a spiritual quest, vowing to return, but can't keep her promise. The girl and her father leave their farm in Kentucky and move to Ohio, where Sal meets Phoebe Winterbottom, also 13. While Sal accompanies her eccentric grandparents on a six-day drive to Idaho to retrace her mother's route, she entertains them with the tale of Phoebe, whose mother has also left home. While this story-within-a-story is a potentially difficult device, in the hands of this capable author it works well to create suspense, keep readers' interest, and draw parallels between the situations and reactions of the two girls. Sal's emotional journey through the grieving process-from denial to anger and finally to acceptance-is depicted realistically and with feeling. Indeed, her initial confusion and repression of the truth are mirrored in the book. Overall, a richly layered novel about real and metaphorical journeys.
Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
"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.
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
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.