Walk Two Moons

Walk Two Moons

4.5 939
by Sharon Creech

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"How about a story? Spin us a yarn."
Instantly, Phoebe Winterbottom came to mind. "I could tell you an extensively strange story," I warned.
"Oh, good!" Gram said. "Delicious!"
And that is how I happened to tell them about Phoebe, her disappearing mother, and the lunatic.

As Sal entertains her grandparents with Phoebe's

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"How about a story? Spin us a yarn."
Instantly, Phoebe Winterbottom came to mind. "I could tell you an extensively strange story," I warned.
"Oh, good!" Gram said. "Delicious!"
And that is how I happened to tell them about Phoebe, her disappearing mother, and the lunatic.

As Sal entertains her grandparents with Phoebe's outrageous story, her own story begins to unfold--the story of a thirteen-year-old girl whose only wish is to be reunited with her missing mother.

In her own award-winning style, Sharon Creech intricately weaves together two tales, one funny, one bittersweet, to create a heartwarming, compelling, and utterly moving story of love, loss, and the complexity of human emotion.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
The struggle of thirteen year old Salamance (Sal) to understand and deal with her mother's disappearance unfolds while on a cross-country trip with her eccentric grandparents. Sal tells them the story of her friend Phoebe whose mother has also left home, but in reality it is her own story. A funny, mysterious, and touching novel. Newbery Award winner.
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
The Newbery Award for best young adult novel is the story of Salamanca Tree Hiddle who is traveling with her odd, but caring grandparents to find her mother and her own healing. By the story's end, she uncovers the truth. Her mother is dead and she has begun a new journey towards acceptance. The committee should be credited for recognizing the beautiful lyricism of the book. The main character is a poetic thirteen year old who feels at odds when her father "pluck[s] her up like a weed"and takes her to Ohio where the "houses were all jammed together like a row of birdhouses." The entire book sparkles with word images, expressed with intelligent metaphor and description. The award could also have been given because Salmanca Hiddle is proud of "the Indian-ness of her blood" in this era that is quick to leap on multi-ethnicity. Despite the lyricism of the writing, poignant themes of acceptance amid change, and interesting characters, the numerous characters and plots will leave young adult readers reeling. Four plots and subplots weave in and out of each other and eccentric characters pop up at every turn in the book. I doubt many children will relate to any of the characters and they might be confused by the preponderance of twists and turns. Only the strongest will persevere in finishing.
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
Salamanca Tree Hiddle, 13, believes her mother will return before the tulips bloom. During a car trip from Ohio to Idaho with her grandparents, true originals, Sal relates all that has happened the past year after her mother's sudden departure from home. A story within a story, Sal tells about Phoebe Winterbottom, her charismatic friend, who exaggerates, who believes she is being stalked by a "lunatic," who avoids cholesterol, unless it's her mother's brownies, and whose mother also has left home. Themes of love, life, death, and relationships are at the core of this story which is playful, imaginative, and satisfying. Awarded the 1995 Newbery Medal.
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9In this Newbery Award book by Sharon Creech (HarperCollins, 1994), 13-year-old Salamanca Tree Hiddle travels west with her Grams and Gramps to Lewiston, Idaho, the destination from which her mother did not return. As Sal entertains her grandparents with stories of her friend, Phoebe, who sees "lunatics" around every corner, threads from many life stories are seamlessly entwined. This pilgrimage wonderfully mirrors the journey of discovery that is adolescence, as Sal's search for the truth about her mother becomes a journey of discovery about much more. In vividly described incidents both humorous and poignant, everyone's "story" is told. The reading by British actress Kate Harper is crisp and well-paced, so that the layered, complex style doesn't confuse listeners. Harper creates appropriate and wonderfully individual voices for everyone, especially the irrepressible Phoebe. The rhythms of the reading effectively reflect the rhythms of the story's back and forth motion and its lyrical language.Mary Arnold, Medina County District Library, Brunswick, OH
Ilene Cooper
Thirteen-year-old Sal Hiddle can't deal with all the upheaval in her life. Her mother, Sugar, is in Idaho, and although Sugar promised to return before the tulips bloomed, she hasn't come back. Instead, Mr. Hiddle has moved Sal from the farm she loves so much and has even taken up company with the unpleasantly named Mrs. Cadaver. Multilayered, the book tells the story of Sal's trip to Idaho with her grandparents; and as the car clatters along, Sal tells her grandparents the story of her friend Phoebe, who receives messages from a "lunatic" and who must cope with the disappearance of her mother. The novel is ambitious and successful on many fronts: the characters, even the adults, are fully realized; the story certainly keeps readers' interest; and the pacing is good throughout. But Creech's surprises--that Phoebe's mother has an illegitimate son and that Sugar is buried in Idaho, where she died after a bus accident--are obvious in the first case and contrived in the second. Sal knows her mother is dead; that Creech makes readers think otherwise seems a cheat, though one, it must be admitted, that may bother adults more than kids. Still, when Sal's on the road with her grandparents, spinning Phoebe's yarn and trying to untangle her own, this story sings.

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Walk Two Moons , #1
Sold by:
Sales rank:
770L (what's this?)
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Walk Two Moons

Chapter One

A Face at the Window

Gramps says that I am a country girl at heart, and that is true. I have lived most of my thirteen years in Bybanks, Kentucky, which is not much more than a caboodle of houses roosting in a green spot alongside the Ohio River. just over a year ago, my father plucked me up like a weed and took me and all our belongings (no, that is not true--he did not bring the chestnut tree, the willow, the maple, the hayloft, or the swimming hole, which all belonged to me) and we drove three hundred miles straight north and stopped in front of a house in Euclid, Ohio.

"No trees?" I said. "This is where we're going to live?"

"No," my father said. "This is Margaret's house."

The front door of the house opened and a lady with wild red hair stood there. I looked up and down the street. The houses were all jammed together like a row of birdhouses. In front of each house was a tiny square of grass, and in front of that was a thin gray sidewalk running alongside a gray road.

"Where's the barn?" I asked. "The river? The swimming hole?"

"Oh, Sal," my father said. "Come on. There's Margaret." He waved to the lady at the door.

"We have to go back. I forgot something."

The lady with the wild red hair opened the door and came out onto the porch.

"In the back of my closet," I said, under the floorboards. I put something there, and I've got to have it."

"Don't be a goose. Come and see Margaret."

I did not want to see Margaret. I stood there, looking around, and that's when I saw the face pressed up against an upstairs window next door. It was a round girl's face,and it looked afraid. I didn't know it then, but that face belonged to Phoebe Winterbottom, a girl who had a powerful imagination, who would become my friend, and who would have many peculiar things happen to her.

Not long ago, when I was locked in a car with my grandparents for six days, I told them the story of Phoebe, and when I finished telling them--or maybe even as I was telling them--I realized that the story of Phoebe was like the plaster wall in our old house in Bybanks, Kentucky.

My father started chipping away at a plaster wall in the living room of our house in Bybanks shortly after my mother left us one April morning. Our house was an old farmhouse that my parents had been restoring, room by room. Each night as he waited to hear from my mother, he chipped away at that wall.

On the night that we got the bad news--that she was not returning--he pounded and pounded, on that wall with a chisel and a hammer. At two o'clock in the morning, he came up to my room. I was not asleep. He led me downstairs and showed me what he had found. Hidden behind the wall was a brick fireplace.

The reason that Phoebe's story reminds me of that plaster wall and the hidden fireplace is that beneath Phoebe's story was another one. Mine.

Walk Two Moons. Copyright © by Sharon Creech. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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