Sunday, May 13, 2012
Middle Grade Reader: Walk Two Moons (Sharon Creech)
Creech is a master story teller. There are three main storylines in Walk Two Moons that are intertwined. Sal is the main protagonist and narrator. As she is traveling across the country with her grandparents (storyline #1), she reveals her life before this journey (storyline #2) and tells her grandparents the story of her friend Phoebe (storyline #3).
The physical journey Sal takes with her grandparents follows the path her mother took from Bybanks, KY to Lewiston, ID. Through the trip, Sal shares memories of her mother and her life with her parents living on a farm in Kentucky. Sal is determined to bring her mother back, but as she gets closer and closer, she is afraid to face what is to come. During the road trip, the quirky and fun-loving characters of Gram and Gramps just steal your heart. Their love and devotion to one another is endearing. To help pass the time during the trip, Sal tells about her move to Euclid, Ohio after her mother leaves for Idaho and the story of her friend Phoebe who lives in a rigid and sterile home. Phoebe’s mother is clearly unappreciated by her family. One day, she leaves a note and disappears (similar to what Sal’s mother did). To add more intrigue, there is a mysterious young man who they see periodically (called the “lunatic), envelopes with handwritten messages from an unknown source show up on Phoebe’s porch, and a flamed-haired neighbor named Mrs. Cadaver who is seen as a "threat" by both girls. Another significant relationship in Euclid is with Ben, a boy in her class. With him, Sal experiences young love and her first kiss. This relationship is innocent and sweet.
What makes this novel so amazing is that each of the storylines compliments the others, adding depth and complexity. In the end, all of them come together in such a beautiful, compelling manner. Sal reflects: “Lately, I’ve been wondering if there might be something hidden behind the fireplace, because just as the fireplace was behind the plaster wall and my mother’s story was behind Phoebe’s, I think there was a third story behind Phoebe’s and my mother’s, and that was about Gram and Gramps.”
Walk Two Moons is absolutely Marvelous Middle Grade fiction! Each of the four times I have read it (over the past 15 years), I got choked up to the point of an all out catharsis. Few stories have had such an impact on me. It is a MUST READ! Check out this novel and Sharon Creech’s other great works. I recommend this book for anyone ages 9 and up.