MMGM (1/19/2018): Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

I haven't had much time to read for the last few weeks, but I looked at the books I've been hoarding saving and found one which I remember finding unique. Therefore, I am reviewing Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech.




Here's the publisher's description:

In her own singularly beautiful style, Newbery Medal winner 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. This Harper Classic edition features new back matter, including a teacher’s guide with discussion questions and exclusive information about the author.

Thirteen-year-old Salamanca Tree Hiddle, proud of her country roots and the "Indian-ness in her blood," travels from Ohio to Idaho with her eccentric grandparents. Along the way, she tells them of the story of Phoebe Winterbottom, who received mysterious messages, who met a "potential lunatic," and whose mother disappeared.

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.

I have mixed feelings about this Newbery Medal-winning novel. Although the idea of a child with deceased family members may have been original back in 1994 when the book was published, it has become spectacularly overused in both MG and YA literature. There's nothing particularly offensive about the way this book portrays the situation (it actually captures the grief very well), but reading about all of the effects of grief that many people have already read about many times or even experienced gets exhausting quickly (and the death of a major character at the end of the book does not help). Also, there is something particularly poignant about the novel—I came out of it when I first read it for school in sixth grade with a feeling of inexplicable, unresolved sadness. However, Walk Two Moons has many good qualities. The way it alternates between Sal's present-day travels and the story she is telling keeps the novel interesting, and Creech puts in many interesting anecdotes about Sal's grandparents, family, and more that create a vivid backstory for the novel. Sal's story has many well-developed characters and an interesting aspect of mystery as well. Walk Two Moons is an imperfect novel, but many readers will enjoy it and recognize why it is the near-classic it is today.

Comments

  1. I have had this on my TBR list for a long, long time. I think I will try to get to it soon. Thanks for the post.

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  2. Yes, very accurate review. It has become a tiresome trope with the dead parent/dead dog angle. I think the authors were trying to portray everyday angst and sadness we feel. Now, sometimes,it just feels manipulative.

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  3. This is one of the few Newberry's I've not read. Your review convinced me that 2018 is the time to finally track this one down. Thanks for the push!

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  4. I have never read anything by Sharon Creech. Even though this may be not perfect, it sounds like a good one. Thanks for reminding us of it.

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  5. One of my favorite books! Turned me on to reading more by Sharon Creech.

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  6. I haven't read earlier books by Sharon Creech. It sounds interesting and perhaps she was doing something original in 1994. But, I love her current work!

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  7. Sharon Creech is one of my favorite MG authors. This book is one of my all time favorites. Sorry it did not resonate as much with you. I weep every time I read it which has been several times!

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