Walk Two Moons

by Sharon Creech

Hardcover, 1994



Local notes

Fic Cre



HarperCollins (1994), Edition: 1st, 280 pages


After her mother leaves home suddenly, thirteen-year-old Sal and her grandparents take a car trip retracing her mother's route. Along the way, Sal recounts the story of her friend Phoebe, whose mother also left.

Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

280 p.; 5.5 inches


0060233346 / 9780060233341



Media reviews

School Library Journal
A richly layered novel about real and metaphorical journeys.
2 more
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Deborah Stevenson (The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, January 1995 (Vol. 48, No. 5)) Salamanca-Sal-grew up in Kentucky, but she and her father moved to Ohio after her mother's death; she and her grandparents are currently taking a road trip to Idaho, where her mother is buried. As they travel, Sal relates to her grandparents the story of her friend Phoebe, whose unhappy mother left Phoebe's family; Sal finds that recounting Phoebe's story helps her understand the desertion of her own mother, who was later killed when the bus taking her away from her family crashed. Creech skillfully keeps these layers separate but makes their interrelationship clear, and the plot moves along amid all this contemplation with the aid of a mysterious note-leaver, a local "lunatic," an eccentric English teacher, and Sal's budding romance, not to mention Mount Rushmore, Old Faithful, and a poisonous snakebite along the road of Sal's trip with her grandparents. The style is smooth and imaginative but cheerfully plain-spoken ("I wanted to jump up and say, 'Phoebe's mother has disappeared and that is why Phoebe is acting like a complete donkey,' but I didn't"), and the folksiness of Sal's grandparents (Sal's grandfather calls Sal his "chickabiddy" and his wife "gooseberry") is warm and uncontrived. Readers who enjoyed Barbara Hall's Dixie Storms (BCCB 7/90) will appreciate this strong and tender novel about all kinds of gain and loss. R*--Highly recommended as a book of special distinction. (c) Copyright 1995, The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. 1994, HarperCollins, 280p, $15.89 and $16.00. Grades 7-12.
Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices
CCBC (Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices, 1994) Singular, vividly realized characters are at the heart of this moving, funny and astonishing novel. On a cross-country trip to Idaho to visit her mother, thirteen-year-old Sal fascinates and delights her grandparents with the story of mystery surrounding her best friend Phoebe Winterbottom, or Peeby as Gram and Gramps refer to her. But in telling Phoebe's story, Sal is also telling her grandparent's her own - how she is dealing with the changes in her life since her mother left their Kentucky home and she and her father moved to Ohio. The narrative moves back and forth between Sal on the road with her grandparents and Sal's story of Phoebe, but throughout, she privately reflects on her own memories of life back in Kentucky before her mother went away, when things seemed calm and whole. The journey west with her grandparents, who are colorful, quirky characters with boundless love, is healing for Sal as she comes to understand and accept why her mother went away. An added bonus for Wisconsin readers are the stops Sal and her grandparents make in downtown Madison and the Wisconsin Dells as they journey west. Winner, 1994 CCBC Newbery Award Discussion. CCBC categories: Fiction For Children; Fiction For Teenagers. 1994, HarperCollins, 280 pages, $15.89. Ages 10-14.

User reviews

LibraryThing member mtnmare
Walk Two Moons tells the story of 13-year-old Salamanca Tree Hiddle who is on a road trip with her grandparents and widdles away the time by telling them the story of Phoebe Winterbottom and other intricate, well-rounded characters. Thus, the story toggles back and forth between Sal's road trip adventures and the story of the imaginative and somewhat paranoid Phoebe. Phoebe and her grandparents are trying to get to Idaho by her mother's birthday and no reader I've know has ever figured out the true urgency in Sal's agenda until the very end. Walk Two Moons probably has the best, most surprising ending of any book I've read. Kuddos to Creech for creating an intricate plot, with quirky real characters who learn a lot about themselves and others along the way!… (more)
LibraryThing member pdxwoman
Walk Two Moons is a terrific book.

Salamanca Tree is a young girl traveling with her grandparents to Idaho, where Salamanca's mother had gone without returning. Along the journey, Salamanca tells the story of her friend Pheobe, who's difficulties parallel her own.

The outcome of the book was predictable and a surprise at the same time! I found myself thinking, "Of course!" without feeling as though I'd been led on a pointless pursuit.

Fantastic story telling, great character development, delightful love story, and some surprisingly thought-provoking dialogue.

Worth reading for adults as well as kids.

5 Stars: Read it again! Recommend to anyone and everyone who enjoys a good book!
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LibraryThing member tjsjohanna
This novel explores family relationships and death and grief in such real ways, but without becoming overwhelming. Ms. Creech introduces characters that are funny but also real. Also, the story reveals its truth little by little, in much the same way that one learns to see things from someone else's perspective. It is sometimes hard to do, but as we keep looking at things, suddenly they begin to make sense.… (more)
LibraryThing member lauraejensen
This book brings us on a journey with Sal and her family from Ohio to Idaho. Sal's story within a story is told as she speaks of classmate Phoebe Winterbottom, who was also abandoned by her mother. This is a spiritual book, it takes on serious issues of abandonment, the grieving process, love and loss. A wonderful challenge, useful in the classroom to discuss Native American heritage, what it means to 'fish in the air', or what it means to 'walk to moons in another man's moccasins.'… (more)
LibraryThing member Omrythea
Thirteen year old Native American Sal spends a week traveling with her grandparents from Ohio to Idaho where she hopes to find and bring back her missing mother. Along the way, Sal tells the compelling story of Phoebe Winterbottom, whose own mother disappears one day leaving the family alone. Through these two stories, many parallels as well as many differences abound. Well-written and clever, this book will allow you to feel a wide range of emotions as you laugh and cry with Sal as she tries to reunite her family.
This book is odd and confusing, it is not my favorite at all. Sharon Creech writes some amazing things, but this one didn't do it for me...
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LibraryThing member bibliophile26
On a trip with her grandparents, a girl tells stories about her best friend and slowly unravels the mystery of what happened to her mother. I still like Ruby Holler best of Creech's works, but this was a great read.
LibraryThing member coriblake
Loved it! Loved it! Loved it! 'Walk Two Moons' tells two stories; the first, a hilarious story about Sal's friend Phoebe, Phoebe's family and the two girls' relationship. The second story is a heartwarming, humorous tale . In the second story, you join Sal and her grandparents as they travel cross-country so that Sal may be reunited with her missing mother. Middle School students will be able to relate to both characters; Sal's and Phoebe's, mostly due to the age of the characters and the events that take place throughout the story. 'Walk Two Moons' weaves together two tales that signify the importance of friends and family. I cried and laughed until my heart and ribs ached.… (more)
LibraryThing member RosesAreRed
This is one of the best books I have ever read. People often say books are "well-written" but the author of this has crafted a truly amazing story with several aspects that come together. I cried several times while reading this!
LibraryThing member juliette07
A journey with your grandparents, a missing mother, a best friend Phoebe and a lunatic or two are all ingredients in this story of love, growing up separation and loss. Grandparents add a lighter streak of comedy as Salamanca Tree Hiddle journeys from Ohio to Idaho. It is at times amusing, poignant and full of emotion as the young Sal strives to bring her Mum home.

As the young Sal learns more of herself the thought provoking nature of the tale becomes more apparent. It is a many layered story with the moral being never judge a man till you have walked two moons in his moccasins. Truly deserving of the 1995 Newbery award I would highly recommend this book.
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LibraryThing member nboria05
Sal is a young girl who again, I found very easy to relate to. While we don't know exactly what happened to her mother, we do know that she is not present, which is the case with so many students today. While she is learning to deal with her current life, we get to see her journey physically with her grandparents as she puts some closure to the loss of her mom.… (more)
LibraryThing member oh_monica
This book contained very heart touching story as I can remember. It was a bit hard for me to understand because the novel had deepness. I still have trouble relating the story with the title, which means I might have to read the book once more. However, it was a fabulous story of a thirteen-year-old girl who was off to find her mother with her grandparents.… (more)
LibraryThing member kmcgiverin05
Realistic fiction showing that this exact situation could happen to anyone today and everything in the story was believable. There were no far fetched characters or worlds to conquer, but this was a deeply interesting story. At first it is a little slow moving, but it picks up real fast with a great ending. I would say the plot peeked towards the end, when Sal's grandmother is dieing and the reader finds out that Sal's mother didn't just run away but she was killed in a car accident in Idaho and that is why they had the road trip. The ending was fantastic, all of the pieces of the story finally came together so not only did Sal get closer with her mom but so did the reader with the book. I would recommend this book to intermediate to middle school aged students.… (more)
LibraryThing member SaraH5
I really liked this book. I though that is was a very easy read and very enjoyable. This book is a very quick read.
LibraryThing member elslibrary
Walk Two Moons, by Sharon Creech is a realistic fiction. This was an interesting novel about a girl named Salamanca, from Bybanks, Kentucky. She and her father move to Ohio after her mother leaves them to go to Idaho on a trip. Sal struggles with the fact that her mother has left and has a difficult time accepting that she will never return.
Too slow, for younger kids.
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LibraryThing member ingahatch
A young 13-year-old girl named Salamanaca Tree Hiddle is retracing her lost mother's steps on a journey from Ohio to Idaho. The loving relationship between Sal and her grandparents helps her through her journey and helping her with her Native American heritage.

I feel these kinds of stories have great potential for students to learn about other cultures and the hardships they endure.

I would have students visit a Native American museum and then draw some pictures about what they thought was the most interesting.
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LibraryThing member michellehef
The book walk two moons is about a girl that is Indian and her journey with her grandparent to were her mom went. The girl is riding in the car with her grandma and grandpa and she is telling them stories about her friends who that she meet when she moved to this new town and went to school with. The girls friend has were her mom goes off one day and just leaves a not for the girl and all there family. The friend says that her mom must have gotten taking by someone. The keep getting these messages on there doorstep too. So when they get to the state that they are trying to make it to the grandma gets really sick and they have to put her in the hospital. The grandpa lets the girl that is 13 go the rest of the way by herself to were her mom is. When the girl is almost there she stops and she finds were her mom ended up dieing in a bus crash from this guy that tells her about this bus crash. She comes to find out that her mother died and was bared in that town.

This was a very moving book for me. I like that they let you keep thinking that the mother might still be alive but you just do not know for sure. The book was very good to see how the girl dealt with her grandma getting sick on the trip.

This book would be good to read to older student and have them tell about a road trip they might have went on with there family. It would also be good to show kids that have lot a parent in an accident that they can move on with there life.
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LibraryThing member Mluke04
This is an example of realistic fiction because the events and the characters in the book could have existed. This book uses real issues and problems faced by children today.
Sal is an example of a dynamic character because the reader witnesses her change in perspective that the book progresses. As she is telling the story of Phoebe, she is able to make connections with her own life and begins to realize why her mother had to leave. Sal grows visibly as the story goes on.
Media: N/A
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LibraryThing member jgillin
This is one of my all time favorite children's books; no matter how many times I read it, I always cry!
LibraryThing member chiabia
One of the best novels for middle school-age children. I taught this to seventh graders as a student teacher and they all loved it! Walk Two Moons is a story about a Native American girl named Salamanca (Sal) coping with the loss of her mother. The plot switches back and forth between a cross-country road trip with Sal's grandparents and life in a new town with new friends and adventures. Readers can easily relate to Sal's real-life problems and experiences. Even as an adult, I can see the novel's appeal.… (more)
LibraryThing member DianaHarger
Salamanca, a thirteeen year old girl, is the main character in this story about a young girl trying to bring her mom back after she died in a bus accident. Salamanca travels with her grandparents to find her mom. The setting takes place between Ohio and Idaho. She realizes in the end that this is impossible and that her mom isn't coming back.
This story is a true human experience. Almost anyone can relate to this theme of having to deal with someone close leaving their life. This would be a good book for older age students.
I would have my students keep a journal as they read this story. As another extension idea I would have them draw a picture to represent the overall theme of this book.
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LibraryThing member kalonzo
In the story Salamanca Tree Hiddle’s mom left her and her dad with no warning so they moved from their farm because it was too many memories for her dad to move on without her. Sal’s grandparents take her to visit her mom in Idaho, along the way she tells them about her new friends. They are Native American and don’t like to be called Indian.

I really enjoyed this book but find it hard to explain. I encourage all children to read this book, it keep me wondering what had happened to her mom. I also kept reading to find out what had happened to Phoebe's mom.

This book would give the class a chance to study the Native American culture. We would talk about the ways the Native Americans lived and how their culture seems different.
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LibraryThing member TamiStev
One of my all time favorites to read to my 5th graders. The characters are colorful and come alive. All young people can identify with some or many of the characters in this book. Many lifeskills can be addressed in this book to be used as a teaching tool.
LibraryThing member debnance
I read this book for the first time when I was doing my training to become a librarian. It was a breathtaking book, full of mysteries and small plots that all come together for a fantastic ending. The story is that of Sal who is traveling with her quirky grandparents across the US, taking the same path as that of Sal’s mother. Sal is on her way to find her mother who left home a year ago and has not returned. During the trip, Sal tells her grandparents the story of her friend, Phoebe, who received mysterious messages, met a “lunatic,” and, like Sal, had a mother who disappeared. The story is thoughtful as well as plotful. I loved this book.… (more)
LibraryThing member pencil_nerd
Ok, I'll be straight out honest with you; normally I really dislike realistic fiction. To me it's usually so boring and the same old story, meant strictly for assigned reading. This was assigned but I LOVE this book! And I'll be honest again, I'm not a huge fan of Sharon Creech. I have a friend and whenever we see this book we sigh and say that book was SO good.... I can't even put my finger on what makes it so good-- it just is! So just read it because the characters are absolutely lovely and the plot is enchanting.… (more)
LibraryThing member VanessaKi1
After her mom dies, Sal takes a journey with her grandparents to her mothers final resting place. Along the way she learns stuff about her mom and befriends a girl named phoebe. She also learns about Phoebe's story and together are able to relate to each other. She gets caught up in the drama of Phoebe's life all the while making self discoveries about her relationships. In the end her and her father go home and begin to rebuild there lives without her mother and be a family still.… (more)

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