Walk Two Moons
|Walk Two Moons|
|Publication date||June 30, 1994|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover, Paperback)|
|Pages||288 pp (first edition, hardback)|
|LC Classification||PZ7.C8615 Wal 1994|
Walk Two Moons is a novel written by Sharon Creech, published by Scholastic in 1994 and winner of the 1995 Newbery Medal. The novel was originally intended as a follow-up to Creech's previous novel Absolutely Normal Chaos; however, the idea was changed after Creech began writing.
The novel is narrated by a 13-year-old girl, Salamanca Tree Hiddle (Sal). Sal's mother, Chanhassen (known as Sugar), has recently left Sal and her father for reasons that are initially unclear. Sal, an only child, has had a very close relationship with her mother and is devastated by her departure. After Sal's father realizes that Sugar will never return, he and Sal move from their beloved farm in Bybanks, Kentucky to Euclid, Ohio, where a woman with whom he has recently become involved, Mrs. Magaret Cadaver, helps him find a job. Sal's beloved Gram and Gramps take her on a cross-country car trip to Lewiston, Idaho to reach her mother in time for her birthday; Sal hopes to bring Sugar home with her. On the trip, Sal entertains her grandparents by telling them about a friend in Euclid, Phoebe Winterbottom, whose mother, after many manifestations of discontent with her life, has also left her family. Intertwined with Sal's narrative is the story of her growing friendship with several classmates and her tentative romance with one of these classmates, Ben Finney. Over the course of the book, as Sal and her grandparents travel west, and Sal continues telling Phoebe's story, parallels and differences between Sal's and Phoebe's lives become clear. Sal's grandmother dies of a stroke just after she has achieved one of her lifelong wishes, seeing Old Faithful in Yellowstone, right before they are due to arrive in Lewiston. Sal's grandfather, who has previously taught Sal how to drive, encourages Sal to complete the journey to Lewiston. There, she visits the site of a bus crash. We learn that Sal's mother has died in a horrific bus crash, whose only survivor was Mrs. Cadaver. At this point—the novel's denouement—the reader realizes that Sal has already been told of the accident and her mother's death; however, she has not been able to believe that her mother is truly dead until she sees the site of the crash and her mother's grave. Sal now accepts her loss. She and her grandfather return home, and Sal and her father return to rebuild their life on their farm in Bybanks, where Sal can once again gather strength from the nature that she loves. She maintains her friendships with Phoebe, Ben, and Mrs. Cadaver, who make plans to visit her on her farm.
The major themes in the story include grief, love, death, cultural identity, women's roles as mothers and wives, coming to terms with the loss of a loved one, and the development of new relationships. The process of describing Phoebe's story and the reasons that her mother left helps Sal better understand her own mother's journey.
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.
In 1995 Walk Two Moons won the Newbery Medal, the United Kingdom Reading Association Award, and the United Kingdom's Children's Book Award. In 1996, it received the WH Smith Mind-Boggling Book Award. In 1997, it also won the Literaturhaus Award, Austria, and the Young Adult Sequoyah Award, Oklahoma, USA .
- "1995 Newbery Medal and Honor Books". American Library Association. Retrieved 2010-10-17.
- "Walk Two Moons". Author's Website. Retrieved 2010-09-13.
- "The 1990s Newbery Medal Winners: Walk Two Moons: Major Themes". Cliffs Notes. Retrieved 2010-10-17.
- Segal, Marta (April/May 2002). [http://www.ala.org/ala/aboutala/offices/publishing/booklinks/resources/walktwomoons.cfm publisher = American Library Association "Stepping through Walk Two Moons"]. Book Links. Retrieved 2010-10-17.
- "Walk Two Moons". The Newbery Project. 2009-03-07. Retrieved 2010-10-17.
- "EBMA's Top 100 Authors: Sharon Creech". Educational Book & Media Association. Retrieved 2010-10-17.
- "Sharon Creech Interview Transcript". Retrieved 2011-04-27.
|Newbery Medal recipient
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