Friday, September 28, 2012

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

From amazon: Thirteen-year-old Salamanca Tree Hiddle's mother has disappeared. While tracing her steps on a car trip from Ohio to Idaho with her grandparents, Sal tells a story to pass the time about a friend named Phoebe Winterbottom whose mother vanished and who received secret messages after her disappearance. One of them read, "Don't judge a man  until you have walked two moons in his moccasins." Despite her father's warning that she is "fishing in the air," Salamanca hopes to bring her (mother) home. By drawing strength from her Native American ancestry, she is able to face the truth about her mother.

I love this sweet book packed with life lessons and powerful meaning. Creech does an excellent job interweaving Salamanca's story with the story she is telling about her friend Phoebe, in a warm, fun way.

As a mom, I related to both Sal’s and Phoebe’s mothers. Both were grappling to know how to deal with a new situation. I think we all have times in life when we realize life isn’t exactly what we dreamed it would be, or when we have to come to grips with a hard situation. Sometimes, we do this by withdrawing into ourselves, or doing something a little crazy. I admired these two women, who each embarked on a journey to try and find themselves. Not all of us can have an “Eat, Pray, Love” experience, but these two mothers each took a small trip to reconcile parts of themselves, not only for themselves, but for their families as well.

            Kids will relate to this book differently. But I think everyone can feel the strength that Sal develops. She learned a lot from her own journey: “On and on we go. We walk in everybody’s moccasins, and we have discovered some interesting things that way. One day I realized that our whole trip out to Lewiston had been a gift from Gram and Gramps to me. They were giving me a chance to walk in my mother’s moccasins—to see what she had seen, and feel what she might have felt on her trip.” Sal’s journey not only helped her understand her mother better, but reminded her of the love of family, and helped her discover how strong she really was.

Rating: 4
Age: 9+
Published: 5.1994
Award: 1995 Newbery Medal

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