Tuesday, April 26, 2011

1995 - Walk Two Moons

Walk Two Moons, by Sharon Creech, has been sitting on my shelf for quite a few months. If I had had any idea of what a marvelous book this was, I would have read it long ago!

This is, quite simply, one of the best novels for young readers that I have read. “Richly layered” begins to describe it. There are several stories going on at once here, and they weave gracefully between each other, building interest and intrigue.

What makes a book delicious for me is when the author keeps a close hand in revealing details, secrets, motivations. They are parceled out, each naturally in its own time, the characters becoming more rounded, their actions more meaningful as the story progresses.

Sal, the 13 year old protagonist has to leave the farm in Kentucky that she grew up in after her mother left. She’s dropped into a new situation in the town where they move, starting school, making friends. Everyone around her has interesting secrets, some for her to find out as she is able to bear to hear them, and some that are revealed in the stories she tells about them. There are some stories-within-stories, as Sal tells the tale of Phoebe, her new friend, to amuse and distract her grandparents during the drive out west they take to visit her mother.

Creech crafts what would be ordinary points in her book to become charming, memorable treats to the story. I loved the telling of how Sal got named and what it was supposed to mean.

I let this book set on the shelf for awhile because the title didn’t appeal to me. I thought it was a character’s “Indian name,” and that it might be more meaningful than entertaining, not what I was in the mood for. Instead, it refers to a saying, “Don’t judge a man until you’ve walked two moons in his moccasins,” a gentle theme of the book as Sal and those around her do learn to see things from other’s points of view.

I picked this book up at Goodwill for about a buck and a half I think.


Loreleigh said...

A teacher read this book to us in class, I lost interest because I missed some days and, hence, a good middle portion of the book, Regardless there are still some scenes that stuck with me... maybe I'll have to re-read it

Carolyn said...

Yes, you should!