Walk Two Moons

Don’t judge a man until you’ve walked two moons in his moccasins

Sharon Creech, Walk Two Moons

One of the indelible images I have of my mother is her sobbing as she read The Polar Express sitting in my sister‘s living room many years ago. As I grow older, I am learning that I becoming more emotional. Perhaps it is because I have children now. Perhaps because my father passed. Perhaps for some other reason.

I first took note several years ago. One of the things teachers should never do is read a story cold. Surprises abound. The unexpected curse word. The truth about Santa Claus. Inappropriate topics. Being human, I learned that lesson from experience. It was December and I needed a read aloud book. A colleague of mine passed me a book and said it was really good. She was correct; it is an awesome book. I have read it every year since. What she failed to tell me is that it is a tear-jerker.

Thank You, Santa shares the correspondence between Samantha and Santa. The story takes place in Australia as do all of Margaret Wild’s stories. On that first read with my class, I had a devil of a time finishing. The end of the story was just so . . . I don’t know . . . wonderful. I dislike crap like that. 🙂 I really dislike it when I well up in front of my class.

A few years ago I was given a copy of Walk Two Moons during a workshop. It was recommended. Heck, it was a Newbury Medal winning book. I read it and recall enjoying it. I must be getting old as I had forgotten the ending. Well, kind of anyhow. I knew what happened, I just forgot the details.

I’ve been reading this story to my class this year. I forgot about the stillborn baby. I forgot a few times hell and sex were mentioned. No biggy, we’ve handled all this well thus far. We’re near the end and I was afraid that there was going to be a surprise I had forgotten. I completed the book again tonight.

Wow! What a fabulous book. Forget that it is a children’s story. This book is wonderfully written. The layers of stories makes this such a rich read. The hooks in this story are wonderful and having such a young audience, well, my students have fallen for all of them. Now that the endgame has begun my class is full of ahs and ohs. They’re so into this and they haven’t even sniffed the big twist.

As I finished tonight, Fritz was in my arms. I have not cried this much since my father died. Despite knowing the plot, the details seemed new.

Sal’s mother leaves home. Dad is sadden and packs Sal up and they move out of state. He and Mrs. Cadaver (yup, that’s her name) spend a lot of time together. Sal can’t stand it.

We learn about this during Sal’s trip from Ohio to Idaho. Her grandparents are driving her to visit Mom. It’s an enlightening journey. Sal spends the trip telling her grandparents about her friend Phoebe. Phoebe Winterbottom is a character. Interestingly, Phoebe’s mother leaves too. As Sal tells Phoebe’s tale, we learn about Sal. This 13-year-old girl has had a lot to learn.

There’s a lunatic, police, diaries, blackberry kisses, trees, love, hate, suspicion, mystery, and . . . well, you’ll just have to read this wonderful book to find out.

Also blogged on this date . . .

5 thoughts on “Walk Two Moons”

  1. im doing a review in my class and wat was the name of the town that Sal’s mom went to????? Not the Badlands….. the…..???????

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