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Walk Two Moons

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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.

280 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1994

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About the author

Sharon Creech

82 books2,809 followers
I was born in South Euclid, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, and grew up there with my noisy and rowdy family: my parents (Ann and Arvel), my sister (Sandy), and my three brothers (Dennis, Doug and Tom).
For a fictional view of what it was like growing up in my family, see Absolutely Normal Chaos. (In that book, the brothers even have the same names as my own brothers.) Our house was not only full of us Creeches, but also full of friends and visiting relatives.
In the summer, we usually took a trip, all of us piled in a car and heading out to Wisconsin or Michigan or, once, to Idaho. We must have been a very noisy bunch, and I'm not sure how our parents put up with being cooped up with us in the car for those trips. The five-day trip out to Idaho when I was twelve had a powerful effect on me: what a huge and amazing country! I had no idea then that thirty-some years later, I would recreate that trip in a book called Walk Two Moons.
One other place we often visited was Quincy, Kentucky, where my cousins lived (and still live) on a beautiful farm, with hills and trees and swimming hole and barn and hayloft. We were outside running in those hills all day long, and at night we'd gather on the porch where more stories would be told. I loved Quincy so much that it has found its way into many of my books--transformed into Bybanks, Kentucky. Bybanks appears in Walk Two Moons and Chasing Redbird and Bloomability. Bybanks also makes a brief appearance (by reference, but not by name) in The Wanderer.
When I was young, I wanted to be many things when I grew up: a painter, an ice skater, a singer, a teacher, and a reporter. It soon became apparent that I had little drawing talent, very limited tolerance for falling on ice, and absolutely no ability to stay on key while singing. I also soon learned that I would make a terrible reporter because when I didn't like the facts, I changed them. It was in college, when I took literature and writing courses, that I became intrigued by story-telling. Later, I was a teacher (high school English and writing) in England and in Switzerland. While teaching great literature, I learned so much about writing: about what makes a story interesting and about techniques of plot and characterization and point of view. I started out writing novels for adults: The Recital and Nickel Malley were both written and published while I was living in England (these books were published in England only and are now out of print.) But the next book was Absolutely Normal Chaos, and ever since that book I have written mainly about young people. Walk Two Moons was the first of my books to be published in America. When it received the Newbery Medal, no one was more surprised than I was. I'm still a little bit in shock.
After Walk Two Moons came Chasing Redbird, Pleasing the Ghost, Bloomability, The Wanderer, and Fishing in the Air. I hope to be writing stories for a long, long time.
I am married to Lyle Rigg, who is the headmaster of The Pennington School in Pennington, New Jersey, and have two grown children, Rob and Karin. Being with my family is what I enjoy most. The next-best thing is writing stories.

© Sharon Creech

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5 stars
63,019 (38%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 7,777 reviews
Profile Image for Keleigh.
90 reviews51 followers
September 5, 2008
This book was written specifically for my 13-year-old self, which apparently is still alive and well inside of me. It has all the elements I grew up loving: wacky names like Salamanca Tree Hiddle and Phoebe Winterbottom, American Indian themes, lush descriptions of country living, spiritual undertones, a little mystery, a little romance, and a missing mother.

The missing mother thing was the suckerpunch, of course. It's why I found myself lying in the bathtub in the middle of a Monday afternoon, blubbering my head off during the book's unexpected climactic twist. Every so often I revisit Young Adult novels - or dip into new ones - to tap into those raw feelings of childhood, as direct and undeniable as a baby's wail. I related so completely to Salamanca's hidden longing, her concealed desperation for her mother to return. It triggered so many memories, and spurred me to wonder, What were those first days like after my mom left? What protective burrow of my brain did those memories tunnel into, searching for a secret safety that was not present in my life at the time? Salamanca's journey is achingly sincere, funny and adventurous. She is exactly the personality I would have lived vicariously through in my early adolescence, glad for someone else's words to elicit the feelings I strove my damndest to suppress, despite my father's warnings that "You bottle your feelings up just like your mother; someday you could end up like her."

The power of stories lies not only in their construction of identity, but in their ability to evoke feeling - forgotten feelings, stuffed feelings, feelings we thought we succeeded in losing or numbing away. Thank goodness for these unexpected reminders, gifts we receive in solitude, free to experience the fullness of our vulnerability - reconnected to our nakedest, most innocent selves, blubbering in the bathtub.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
January 14, 2022
Walk Two Moons, Sharon Creech

Walk Two Moons is a novel written by Sharon Creech, published by HarperCollins in 1994 and winner of the 1995 Newbery Medal.

The major themes in the story include the development of new relationships, dealing with grief, love, death, cultural identity, women's roles as mothers and wives, the hardships of life, and the adventures of misunderstandings and coming to terms with reality. In 1997, it also won the Literaturhaus Award, Austria, and the Newbery Award.

Creech drew on her own background for many of the book's themes and images, including Sal's love of nature, her relationship with her mother, and the road trip to Idaho that frames the narrative. In an interview, Creech said that she found the aphorism that gives the book its title ("Don't judge a man until you've walked two moons in his moccasins") in a fortune cookie.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش نوزدهم ماه فوریه سال2012میلادی

عنوان: با کفشهای دیگران راه برو؛ نویسنده: شارون کریچ؛ مترجم کیوان عبیدی آشتیانی؛ تهران، نشر چشمه، کتاب ونوشه، سال1387، چاپ دوم سال1388؛ در242ص؛ شابک9789643622787؛ چاپ سوم سال1393؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده ی20م

رمان: «با کفش‌های دیگران راه برو»؛ ماجرای دختری سیزده ساله است، که مادرش، او و پدرش را ترک کرده و رفته؛ داوری نکنید؛ حرف از یک داستان تلخ و سرد نیست؛ پشتِ این داستان، داستان دیگری است، که دل‌گرم و امیدوارتان می‌کند، و یاد می‌دهد، که خود را جای دیگران بگذاریم، و از دریچه‌ ی چشمِ آن‌ها نیز، به همین دنیا بنگریم، و با کفش‌های آن‌ها راه برویم؛ هنوز هم خواندنِ «با کفش‌های دیگران راه برو» لذت‌بخش است، و چراغ‌هایی را توی دل و ذهن، روشن می‌کند، تا بتوانیم بهتر زندگی کنیم، و دیگران را بیش‌تر دوست داشته باشیم، به‌ ویژه مادرها را؛ ...؛

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 23/12/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 23/10/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Danielle.
552 reviews209 followers
March 1, 2008
This book is the perfect example of how a book can be written for a younger audience, but still hold entertainment and meaning for adult readers. I really, thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was suspenseful without being (too) contrived or corny. The characters were interesting and unique, yet believable, and the story was truly touching. I thought the author did an excellent job portraying the mindset of middle school-age children, especially in that they didn't all think and act the same, or have the same maturity level.
Also, I don't know if other older readers found the ending predictable, but I was genuinely surprised, and even got a little choked up. Overall, a great read for any age.
Profile Image for Katharine.
234 reviews1,533 followers
June 25, 2019
THIS BOOK. I'm still recovering, but I adored it. The ending is both sad and beautiful and totally perfect.

If you want to hear my complete thoughts, check out my episode on the SSR Podcast.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,730 reviews6,662 followers
December 29, 2015
I read this book along with my son for his required school reading. Sometimes reading along with a partner helps lessen the dread...sometimes it doesn't.

My son did not enjoy this book much at all and I can't really say it was a favorite of mine either. But, I stayed positive throughout the reading experience though because I think Walk Two Moons has some important messages to offer young readers. It addresses issues related to judging others, internalizing others' actions, coping with emotions, and not taking things for granted. Pretty perfect for the target audience!

My favorite quote:
“It seems to me that we can’t explain all the truly awful things in the world like war and murder and brain tumors, and we can’t fix these things, so we look at the frightening things that are closer to us and we magnify them until they burst open. Inside is something that we can manage, something that isn’t as awful as it had a first seemed. It is a relief to discover that although there might be axe murderers and kidnappers in the world, most people seem a lot like us: sometimes afraid and sometimes brave, sometimes cruel and sometimes kind.”
Profile Image for Max Maxwell.
57 reviews33 followers
April 15, 2009
I shan't dignify this flaming turd with a review save the following: this is the worst young adult book I have ever encountered, and I have encountered my share. The dialogue thinks it is being playful, and it is actually being wooden; the story thinks it is being original, and it is predictable. The characters are more annoying than endearing for their idiosyncrasies. If it wasn't for the fact that I get resale when I sell books back to the university bookstore, I'd've peed on it and burned it immediately after finishing it.—have I made my point yet? Avoid it.
Profile Image for Joanna Marple.
Author 1 book48 followers
September 7, 2012
Huzzah! Huzzah! Brilliant, unexpected twists and relationships with a beautifully sad ending!
Profile Image for saïd.
6,191 reviews726 followers
May 9, 2023
Sharon Creech is not an enrolled member of any tribe, although she (like many white Americans) claims to have some Native “blood” somewhere back in her family tree. She doesn’t know which tribe that would be, or how far back, of course. This book is written as if from the perspective of an insider—a girl whose mother’s family is Seneca—but written by an outsider. This isn’t necessarily an automatic failure, but it is a disclaimer; I wouldn’t personally call Creech a pretendian, but she’s certainly skirting the line.

In her 1995 Newbery Medal acceptance speech, Creech said:
My cousins maintain that one of our ancestors was an American Indian. As a child, I loved that notion, and often exaggerated it by telling people that I was a full-blooded Indian. I inhaled Indian myths [...]. I crept through the woods near our house, reenacting these myths, and wishing, wishing, for a pair of soft leather moccasins. (I admit—but without apology—that my view of American Indians was a romantic one.)
Fine, okay: lots of kids do stuff like that. When I was a kid I’d often pretend to be an ancient Greek hero, or a Spanish explorer, or an American president, and none of those make-believe games was necessarily harmful, in my opinion.

The main character is a girl named Salamanca, named such because her mother thought their family’s tribe was called Salamanca. (It was actually Seneca.) Sal’s mother, Sugar Pickford, is Seneca; it’s unclear what percentage Seneca she is (the blood quantum thing is complicated and controversial but, for better or for worse, is currently the metric by which most American tribes determine eligibility). Sal’s maternal grandparents don’t live on a reservation; her grandmother is presumably at least half Seneca, and her name is Gayfeather (gayfeather is a real plant, although it’s doubtable that it’s an actual Native name). Her “single act of defiance” was to name her daughter Chanhassen:
It’s an Indian name, meaning “tree sweet juice,” or—in other words—maple sugar. Only Grandmother Pickford ever called my mother by her Indian name, though. Everyone else called my mother Sugar.
Well, the name Chanhassen is a town in Minnesota, and the name of the town does reportedly come from the Dakota Sioux word chanhasen, from chan (“tree”) + haza (“tree with sap”). I guess Gayfeather’s “act of defiance” was giving her Seneca daughter a Sioux name?

Anyway, Chanhassen named her daughter Salamanca because she thought that was the name of her family’s tribe. It’s unclear when this book is set, presumably the 1990s, so before the internet made researching these kinds of things easy, but Creech could’ve avoided the mix-up by having Sal’s family’s tribe be Sioux, and then her mother could’ve named her Sue or something, since she might not have known how to spell Sioux. Or she could’ve picked a name that sounded more similar to Seneca. Sorry, I just couldn’t suspend my disbelief enough to believe that a woman would forget the name of her family’s tribe, but want to name her daughter after her heritage, and so she’d pick “Salamanca” as a half-remembered mondegreen of “Seneca”... even before widespread internet accessibility, that seems implausible. She didn’t even think to call Gayfeather and ask what the name of the tribe is? Was the name a last-minute decision, and she panicked? I just couldn’t make myself believe it.

But we do know that Chanhassen does eventually find out that the actual name was Seneca, because of this paragraph:
My mother had not liked the term Native Americans. She thought it sounded primitive and stiff. She said “My great-grandmother was a Seneca Indian, and I’m proud of it. She wasn’t a Seneca Native American. Indian sounds much more brave and elegant.”
That would be a fine opinion for a character to have, but it also feels a bit like Creech’s own opinion, especially given what Creech said: “I loved [the] notion [that I was part Indian]. I admit—but without apology—that my view of American Indians was a romantic one.” I don’t know if it's really appropriate for someone who’s not Native American to have an opinion on what the most “correct” (or, in this case, “brave and elegant”) terminology is—or at least if they have it, it probably shouldn’t be expressed in public. Certainly not to the Newbery judges.

Then there’s this paragraph, from Sal’s perspective:
That night we stayed in Injun Joe’s Peace Palace Motel. On a sign in the lobby, someone had crossed out “Injun” and written “Native American” so the whole sign read “Native American Joe’s Peace Palace Motel.” In our room, the “Injun Joe’s” embroidered on the towels had been changed with black marker to “Indian Joe’s.” I wished everybody would just make up their minds.
Sure, this is a fairly plausible thing for a thirteen-year-old to think, especially if she has complicated feelings about her family’s heritage. But Sal isn’t the one speaking, because she’s a fictional character: and, taking into consideration Creech’s own feelings about the apparent braveness and elegance of the word “Indian” compared to “Native American,” that last line—“I wished everybody would just make up their minds”—feels like it’s coming from Creech only. It also sounds uncomfortably similar to people who complain about “PC culture,” by which they mean there are so many genders and sexualities and whatnot these days, and can’t everybody just make up their minds, like we did “in the old days” when everyone and their mother was a Cherokee princess?

There are also issues with how Creech portrays actual Natives when Sal and her grandparents visit a place called Wisconsin Dells, where they see a bunch of people dancing. Apparently this scene was based on Creech’s own experience visiting the area and seeing a performance put on for tourists. Sal and her grandparents then visit Pipestone National Monument in Minnesota, where Sal asks one man if he’s a Native American. He says he’s “a person.” Sal asks if he’s a “Native American person.” He says, “No, I’m an American Indian person.” Sal says she is too—“in my blood.” Again, this is Creech speaking for these people: it is entirely possible that there are actual Natives who prefer the term American Indian (although in my experience most just want to be connected to their tribe...), but here Creech has created a Native character who has presumably grown up on a reservation, an enrolled tribal member, and who prefers the term American Indian to Native American. Again: this validates Creech’s view of the terminology question.

At a couple of points Sal mentions her mother’s love of Native stories. She recalls a couple of these stories, one of which is allegedly from the Blackfeet tribe, another allegedly from the Navajo. It’s never explained where Chanhassen learned those stories, if she was told them by her own (Seneca) family, or if she picked them up somewhere else. The incorporation of vague, generic “Indian” folklore—even the title is apparently from an aphorism commonly misattributed as a “Native American saying” (much like the inescapable “Chinese proverb” of Western culture)—is clearly meant to give off a general ambiance of “Indianness,” and it probably works for someone who doesn’t know anything about actual Native Americans, or who isn’t interested in doing any research. It certainly worked for the Newbery Medal judges.


I’m grateful for the following sources I read before and during writing this review:

★ AAA Native Arts Gallery. Walk a mile in his moccasins. AAA Native Arts (website). Accessed 2021.
★ Creech, Sharon. Newbery Medal acceptance speech (1995). ALA (website). Accessed 2021.
★ Grammarist. Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. Grammarist (website). Accessed 2021.
★ Lewis, Orrin and Laura Redish. Blackfeet story of Napi. Native American Languages (website). Accessed 2021.
★ Morales, Laurel. Changing Woman, Part One of Six (2018). Navajo story of Asdzáá Nádleehé (spelled Estsanatlehi by Creech). Changing Woman, eps. 1−6 (podcast). Fronteras Desk (website). Accessed 2021.
★ National Parks Foundation. Pipestone National Monument. National Parks (website). Accessed 2021.
★ Reese, Debbie. Thoughts on Sharon Creech’s “Walk Two Moons” (2010). American Indians in Children’s Literature (website). Accessed 2021.
★ Slapin, Beverly. Sharon Creech’s “Walk Two Moons” (2007). American Indians in Children’s Literature (website). Accessed 2021.
★ Strom, Karen M. Changing Woman [Asdzaa nádleehé]. Navajo story of Adsáá Nádleehé. Hanksville (website). Accessed 2021.
★ Upham, Warren. Minnesota Geographic Names, Their Origin, and Historic Significance (1920). Internet Archive (website). Accessed 2021.
April 22, 2020
“You can't keep the birds of sadness from flying over your head, but you can keep them from nesting in your hair.”

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I don't usually do the whole "hey, this book is like this other one" thing - I don't think it's interesting for people who want to read the review of a book to describe it by means of another one - however; this time I read two books in the course of a single month that were so similar, and gave so similar vibes, that I had to talk about it. The other book I am talking about is "The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise", which I read two weeks ago and adored. Of course, this book was published way before Coyote Sunrise, so technically is the latter who is similar to the former, but you get what I mean.

Both these books are about the journey of a little girl in search for a family, and have a strong road trip theme, plus deal with stories of adolescence, friendship and first loves. They share the same melancholic atmosphere and the setting, the same bittersweet story of growing up, and the pain and beauty of youth and loss. I can most certainly say, that if you loved one you will love the other too. This book is deep, heart wrenching, unexpected; the main character and her whole family are adorable; her friends and the secondary characters have realistic personalities, and it is, simply put, masterfully written. A real modern classic of children's literature. Absolutely recommended.
Profile Image for Chris.
331 reviews
December 18, 2012
I read Walk Two Moons as part of the "literature circle" for my 6th grade son's class. I went into the read cold, knowing only what was written on the back of the book and the fact that it was a Newberry winner.

The basic idea of the story is a teenage girl (Sal) is traveling cross country with her grandparents to try and find her mother. Along the trip they have a few mini-adventures and Sal spends most of the drive-time telling about recent events of her own life as related to a "crazy" friend she had named Phoebe. The title of the book comes from a supposed Indian saying "never judge a man until you've walked two moons in his moccasins." Once that phrase is put out there, it becomes more apparent what the author is doing in this book.

The story is very multi-layered. There's the historical story that Sal is telling about her recent past and her interactions with her friends and neighbors, but particularly with her father and the fact that her mom left them to go out west. That narrative thread in itself has multiple layers…the story of Phoebe and her crazy life and the story of Sal and her family and loss. Sal narrates each of these stories and seems unaware of just how parallel her story is to Phoebe's story. Meanwhile, Sal is traveling across the country with her grandparents and many of their interactions along the road area also very insightful into Sal's life story.

By having multiple story threads running concurrently, the story arc was able to twist and turn over itself in ways that were obvious while also being thoughtful and not feeling blatant or silly. Still, some of the plot points felt a little heavy handed at times, but generally ok.

I found myself going back and forth in terms of my level of enjoyment of this book. There were numerous scenes that pulled at either sad or happy emotions but a lot of the story was a confused sense of exploration. Sal was a fun and funny narrator and made the storytelling compelling but I had a hard time really liking her as a character. I think that was somewhat intentional as she is emotionally a little hardened and withdrawn as a result of recent events. This makes it hard to approach and relate to her, especially since I don't have directly relatable experience. At the same time, I could appreciate and sympathize with her plight and her desire to come to grips with her life.

I really liked the way this book played with self exploration through storytelling and narrative. Sal spent the entire book telling stories but what I enjoyed was the fact that she seemed to be learning about herself and uncovering bits of her subconscious without even realizing what she was doing. It wasn't until nearly the end of the book that she seems to come to a sense of awakening to her own emotions and the catharsis that comes in coming face to face with one's self.

This is a good, well written read and I definitely feel it deserved the Newberry (granted, I haven't read its competition). The narrative is smooth and flowing and really felt like a good portrayal of a 13 year old girl going through emotional upheaval. In spite of the various predictable elements, there are a number of surprises that can catch you off guard. Add to that the funny anecdotes and witty narrative and you have a good solid book.

3.5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Shell.
17 reviews2 followers
September 28, 2012
Recently I re-read this excellent book for the third time. It is a heartwarming story for young adults of all ages relating the journeys of intriguing characters (actual journeys as well as metaphorical journeys). The characters are caring and endearing as they interact with others while dealing with mistakes they make and losses they suffer.

The book contains so many delightful quotes such as:

"I prayed to trees. This was easier than praying directly to God. There was nearly always a tree nearby."

"Don't judge a man until you've walked two moons in his moccasins."

"We have to go on with things. We can't malinger."

"You can't keep the birds of sadness from flying over your head, but you can keep them from nesting in your hair."

WALK TWO MOONS is one of my all-time favorites.
Profile Image for Katie Ziegler (Life Between Words).
392 reviews957 followers
March 27, 2018
I loved it just as much as I remember loving it when I was 12. SO good. Quirky, poignant, hopeful, and warm. Filled with big hearted characters (Gramps and Gram are OTP), humor, and some serious heartbreak, too. It so beautifully portrays a young girl's journey growing up, growing wiser, and learning to accept the past and hope for the future. I absolutely loved it. Also, it's a roadtrip story - who doesn't love a roadtrip story?
Profile Image for Annie McMahon.
Author 1 book21 followers
October 10, 2012
What I didn't like:
The characters were not likable to me, especially Phoebe, the main character's friend, which I found very annoying. Even the main character was hard for me to relate with. All the adults in this book had major flaws and no strong moral values. The plot was slow, filled with unnecessary mystery, and didn't make sense to me at all (for example: a teen girl telling her story about her friend to her grandparents almost nonstop for a six-hour car ride, Grandpa letting his inexperienced granddaughter drive his truck on a dangerous mountain road, a teacher reading the students' journals in front of the class, ...). The ending disappointed me. I feel I've been cheated, led to believe one thing when the narrator knew all along it was something different. I found this book in the MG section of the library, but it had a YA feel to it, with heavy themes such as a mother leaving her family, death, betrayal, and the mention of Grandma running away with the milkman for three days because Grandpa was swearing too much. Um... Okay! Sorry, not for me.

One Positive Point:
The writing itself was good, and I felt like I was in the hands of an experienced writer.
Profile Image for Sarah Swann.
731 reviews988 followers
March 4, 2022
Oh, my heart. I loved this so much. You get thrown right into the car with these characters which was a bit jarring at first, but once I was used to how it was being told, I just loved it. The ending was fantastic. Great book!
Profile Image for Faith.
20 reviews2 followers
December 9, 2008
Salamanca's mother leaves her family and heads across the country in Idaho. Sal doesn't understand why her mother left her, and why she doesn't come back. Sal's father can't stand to live in the farm that reminds him of his wife, and so moves them into a suburban neighborhood a few states away. Sal and her new friends think there is something very sinister going on in this seemingly normal neighborhood. Soon after the move, Sal takes a road trip with her grandparents to visit her mother, and on the way tells them the story of her friend Phoebe, a young woman whose mother also left her family. The stories of Sal and Phoebe are intertwined in a creative way throughout this book, and students can learn a lot about plot, narrative structure, foreshadowing, and themes like love, friendship, and family. Heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time, this book is a great read and completely teachable in the classroom. It also has a cool cultural element since Sal's Native American heritage is explored through festivals, personal habits, and the story telling tradition.
Profile Image for Yusra  ✨.
249 reviews509 followers
February 25, 2018
when I read this grade 6-ish I was obsessed. don’t really remember much except that they used the word lunatic a lot, a girl is on a road trip with her grandparents and on the way they have an encounter with a snake
And I think there’s a woodpecker song thing that is still stuck in my head after all these years
Sharon Creech was my girlllll in elementary school honestly
Profile Image for Reese.
9 reviews
December 11, 2010
Walk Two Moons

What would it be like to follow In your mothers foot steps?

In Walk Two Moons, by Sharon Creech, Salamonca Tree Hiddle lives with her dad in Bybanks, Kentucky. Soon they move to Euclid, Ohio because her dads girlfriend offered him a job there, and there home reminded them to much of Sal’s mom who left them a little while back. Soon after, Sal’s grandparents take her on a road trip to all the places her mother has sent postcards from since she left. During the trip Sal tells her grandparents stories, about her friends and family back home. In the end she makes a shocking discovery.

In Walk Two Moons, forgiveness is a hard and long process, because Sal has to go on a road trip with her grandparents, she has to get along with her dads girlfriend, and she has to admit her mom is gone for real.

Forgiveness for Sal started with the road trip to all the places her mom wrote her from. At the Grand Canyon you could see that she wasn’t ready yet by the way she felt about pregnant people, because when she was little her mom had a miscarriage. When her grandma was bit by a water mocassin it opened her eyes to how short life could be, because shortly after her grandmother passed away, and when she found the abandoned bus her mother died on in the forest she realized there was no one left in this world to be mad at anymore, because the only person she was mad at was her mom and Margaret, and her dads new girlfriend who was with her mom on the bus when it crashed.

It’s hard for Sal to make up with her dads girlfriend because she does not wan’t her to replace her mom. She still thought that her mom didn’t leave them for real, and wasn’t gone from the world.
Forgiveness is hard for Sal because she has to give up the fact that her mom is gone. Most of the book she’s living in a fantasy world where her mom is still alive. She seems to think that her dads girlfriend will get replaced any day when her mom returns for them.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for JohnnyBear.
169 reviews11 followers
January 30, 2022
Strong 8 out of 10

Walk Two Moons is a book about a girl named Sal who is determined to find her mother. Sal's grandparents are driving her to Idaho to try to get some answers about where Sal's mother might be. While on this road trip, Sal tells her grandparents a story about her friend, Phoebe. Phoebe's mother also went missing, and she starts acting crazy and starts making outlandish theories about where her mom might be. This book is about half Sal and half Phoebe.

Walk Two Moons Cover

There is a lot of drama to this book, and a lot of mystery, especially since you're trying to find out where both mothers went. There are some hilarious moments, where Phoebe accuses people of burying her mom's dead body in their yard. But overall, I really enjoyed the book. There was some great character writing, and the mystery elements were really captivating, especially for a middle-grade novel. Very enjoyable, definitely could recommend getting this one for someone in the demographic.

Two Moons
Profile Image for Brittany S..
1,498 reviews697 followers
August 6, 2015
Initial Impressions (re-read) 5/17/14: OMG legit ugly cried at the end. That was so special to re-read. I can't remember at what age I originally read this but it was sooo amazing to read something I read as an eleven year old or twelve year old and still have it resonate so much at 27. Although maybe even more so BECAUSE I had a childhood connection to it. But so amazing. For sure still one of my all time favorites.

Full review originally posted on The Book Addict's Guide: Re-reads don't always go well, especially when I'm hand-selecting books that gave me the feels even back when I was a pre-teen, so when I chose to re-read WALK TWO MOONS after 10+ years, of course I was a little nervous. This was one book I read as a kid and immediately fell in love with. It's something that I kept recommending even as an adult, but obviously tastes change over the years and I wondered if this book still held its weight and significance in my life even as an adult so when the mood struck me one day to finally start my re-read, I knew it was time.

Thankfully, I had nothing to fear. I've actually only read one other book from Sharon Creech since my initial read of WALK TWO MOONS back in the day and it was beautiful but not phenomenal so I was a bit scared to re-read, wondering if the book would have lost its magic. The minute I started reading, I was reliving a piece of my childhood. The book brought me right back to where I had hoped it would.

Once again, I fell in love with Sal's story. I think I connected with it in a whole different way, better understanding why her mother left and how the things in her life really affected her mental state. It's even more heartbreaking reading it all over again -- not only because I already knew the outcome, but because I just was better able to comprehend exactly how complicated Sal's mother's life was and how you don't really understand things like that to their fullest extent when you're only twelve. Sal knew that something was going on with her mother, but it was hard for her to see exactly how deep that ran, especially when her parents were trying to protect her and hide it from her.

The writing and story telling still felt as magical as when I first read it. I have to admit, I was a bit like Sal with my tendencies to hurry and rush because I was so excited to complete the re-read. I had actually forgotten the big plot points that are revealed in the end so it was exciting that the book was still new to me in that way as well. I cried ugly tears at the very end of this book. I knew how it ended and I had to prepare myself for it but it was a whole other ballgame when I came upon an incident I had forgotten about and I was SO shocked by it. I literally had to go upstairs and pull myself together. I wonder if it just brought so many feelings back from my childhood as well, and that's why I felt everything in this book so strongly!

Re-read or not, I know that I can recommend this book to anyone now and feel confident that my feelings are still as they once were. I'm still in love with this book and it was so wonderful to reconnect with that point in my childhood again! It really was like coming home.
Profile Image for Karina.
823 reviews
September 22, 2021
"I don't know what came over me. Ever since my mother left us that April day, I suspected that everyone was going to leave, one by one." (PG. 57)

"Everyone is just walking along concerned with his own problems, his own life, his own worries. And we're all expecting other people to tune into our own agenda. 'Look at my worry. Worry with me. Step into my life. Care about my problems. Care about me.'" Gram sighed. (PG. 68)

I really enjoyed this novel with its quirky character names (Phoebe Winterbottom, Salamanca Tree Hiddle, Mrs. Cadaver) and the characters themselves. The story is being told by Salamanca, which we will just call Sal, on a road trip with her grandparents to Idaho from Ohio to find the mother that never returned home.

Such a funny and sweet story filled with a child's sadness about the truth of her beliefs being mixed in with her imagination. We all grieve differently and maybe grow up before our time but this is appropriate for ages 10 and up.
Profile Image for Willow Anne.
413 reviews84 followers
May 1, 2021
What a beautiful book. It truly did not disappoint. The stories just drew you in and wrapped you up, and I don't know if that makes sense, but that's what this book felt like. This book is why I love middle grade novels so much.

There were so many stories going on at once, and yet I was able to feel invested in all of them. For every character in the story, we got to see little pieces of their lives and see the parts of the struggles that each of them were going through. This demonstrated perfectly how we all go through different things, and each of us are facing our own difficulties. Something that stood out to me in this was how some people in the story could become so caught up in their own troubles that they didn't notice what those around them were going through. This can so easily happen in real life as well, and, as we saw in this book, by becoming too wrapped up in your own problems, you can actually make others feel that they don't matter, and that's never something that we'd want to do. By just taking a little time to listen to others, and to genuinely care about them, we can really make a difference in their lives, helping them to see that they matter, that their struggles are valid, that they're important to us.

There were so many beautiful messages interwoven throughout this story, and all of the stories were so touching. It was truly moving to see Sal slowly begin to understand and accept the situation surrounding her mother's departure. This book made me cry, but I really loved it, and it was just such a beautiful and heartfelt story.
Profile Image for Miss Ravi.
Author 1 book992 followers
September 30, 2020
انگار قرار بوده انتهای رمان اتفاق‌ها همه تلخ باشند. برای همین آن یک ستاره را کم کرده‌ام. شاید به این همه مرگ نیاز نبود. برای این‌که بپذیریم با وجود درهم پیچیدگی روابط‌مان با دیگران، مسئول تمام اتفاقات پیرامون‌مان نیستیم، لازم نبود باز هم کسی بمیرد. اما باقی داستان جوری پیش می‌رفت که حس می‌کردم این بهترین شیوه برای روایت داستان است که نویسنده انتخاب کرده. فلاش‌بک‌های متعدد و بازگشت به گذشته و تعریف کردن خاطره‌ها با این‌که زمان حال را نسبتاً کم‌حجم می‌کند و زمان گذشته را حجیم اما حس می‌کنی که چطور هر خاطره می‌تواند مثل یک چرخ‌دنده‌ی کوچک داستان را به جلو براند. این اولین رمان نوجوانی بود که حس کردم همه‌چیزش کاملاً مثل رمان بزرگسال است به‌جز داستان و نویسنده به این دلیل که دارد برای نوجوان‌ها می‌نویسد هیچ عنصری را در داستان ساده‌سازی نکرده. پیام داستان اما سرراست است. نویسنده حتی مستقیم‌گویی می‌کند و در انتها هم نتیجه‌گیری. این‌جا احتمالاً همان‌جایی است که میان رمان نوجوان و بزرگسال تمایز قائل شده. محتوا و مضمون رمان ساده‌ است و من هم کتاب را برای این‌که یاد بگیرم قضاوت کردن کار بدی است، دوست ندارم. خیلی عجیب است که من هیچوقت رمان نمی‌خوانم که ازشان درس زندگی بگیرم. اما توجه آدم‌هایی هم‌سن راوی احتمالاً به این موضوع بیش‌تر جلب می‌شود. این‌که پیامدهای قضاوت کردن چی است؟ و وقتی قضاوت می‌کنیم چطور نقاطی از زندگی را نادیده می‌گیریم که مهم‌اند. خیلی دوست داشتم نوجوانی سراغ داشتم تا کتاب را بهش هدیه بدهم.
Profile Image for Lisa Brown.
2,353 reviews10 followers
January 29, 2016
Thirteen-year-old Salamanca Tree Hiddle is driving across the country to Lewiston, Idaho with her grandparents on a journey to find her mother, who left the past year. As they journey, she tells her grandparents the story of her friend, Phoebe, who she met when her father made them move away from their farm after her mother left. Phoebe's story is a sad and mysterious one, and as Salamanca weaves her tale, the gaps are filled in on her own story, and about her mother.

Heartbreaking and sad, and yet filled with hope and closure, this story is a beautiful one to introduce loss and other hard things ("The Birds of Sadness") to children. I loved it, and I especially loved all the characters, from her grandparents, to her quirky friends.

I read this for the first time in 2001, but I just reread it because it is one of my son's Battle of the Books books, and I loved revisiting the story.
Profile Image for Donna.
3,903 reviews21 followers
November 20, 2017
This is a children's book. While I enjoyed the story and thought it was well written for the age group intended, I'm not entirely sure kids would like this story. It is sad, which is all fine, but it addresses some adult issues that many kids wouldn't relate to.

My older children read this in elementary school, and it didn't grab them....maybe because they were boys, or maybe it was just over their heads..... I'm not exactly sure. But still 4 stars for me, as an adult.
Profile Image for Hillary.
48 reviews3 followers
April 1, 2008
This was a delightful read with even more delightful characters. The story line was engaging, the characters were perfectly flawed, and the ending offered closure without confusion or making up your mind for you. It was a quick read, completely worthy of the Newberry Medal and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good summer read.
Profile Image for Lorelei.
459 reviews68 followers
January 26, 2011
A truly excellent book. Unfortunately we were reading it aloud to youngest son and weren't prepared for the somewhat surprize ending which was very hard on him. Probably not for the youngest readers. Otherwise the story is well written, well paced, we were instantly drawn in to it, extremely likeable characters (except maybe the English teacher). It ends well, just was hard as I said.
Profile Image for Laura.
325 reviews
April 21, 2012
I used to joke with my mom (also an avid reader) about Newbery Medal winner books. They may be written at a kid/young-adult reading level and they may have teen main characters, but they are not books that kids like. They tend to be more philosophical than the average teenager. Growing up, I don't think there was ever a Newbery book that I liked or related to.

This book fits smack in the center of that Newbery stereotype. As a teen, I would have hated this book. To philosophical with not enough of the normal teen drama I was living and accustomed to. However, reading this book as an adult, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Every once in a while, you find an author that is truly gifted with word choice and the art of story-telling. In this book, there are three stories being told at the same time:

1) Salamanca (what a great name) traveling across the United States with her grandparents, following the path her missing mother took when she left
2) Salamanca's own memories of her mother and the events that took place before her leaving
3) Salamanca telling the story of her friend Phoebe and Phoebe's family and the lunatic.

The author weaves these three stories together so perfectly, switching between the stories in a way that is smooth and easy to follow. In some parts of the book, she switched between stories every few paragraphs, but the train of thought of Salamanca was so fluid and well-written, the switching was effortless. I think this is a rare gift in an author.

The story is about loss and forgiveness, but the way the story is told, it came across as soothing. Instead of feeling sad, I somehow felt more at peace with myself and the world at the end of the book.

Not a book I would ever recommend to a teenager or anyone who likes action or drama. Instead, this is a book for readers who like to ponder the world and how their life fits in with the bigger world picture.

4.5 stars.
Profile Image for Rachel | All the RAD Reads.
995 reviews1,082 followers
December 1, 2020
“You can’t keep the birds of sadness from flying over your head, but you can keep them from nesting in your hair.” 🖤 This was a re-read of a childhood favorite for #aradreadingchallenge, and I strangely remembered SO much of it! It’s a sweet and deep and poignant story of family and navigating preteen-hood and trying to make meaning of hard things in life.
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