Sunday, August 09, 2015

Walk Two Moons

Walk Two Moons. Sharon Creech. 1994. HarperCollins. 280 pages. [Source: Bought]

Gramps says that I am a country girl at heart, and that is true. I have lived most of my thirteen years in Bybanks, Kentucky, which is not much more than a caboodle of houses roosting in a green spot alongside the Ohio River. 

Did I love Sharon Creech's Walk Two Moons? Yes and no. On the one hand, it's a book that I know I would have either--as a kid-- avoided at all costs (if anyone had dropped hints of how sad it was) OR found myself hating, bitterly regretting having picked it up in the first place. There was a time I thought all sad books should be labeled. So at least you were making an informed decision before you got swept up in the story and invested a part of yourself in it. On the other hand--as an adult--I couldn't help finding it a beautiful and compelling story.

Sal--the heroine--is on a road trip with her grandparents (Gram and Gramps). They are on their way to "see" Sal's mother. That's what readers are told, and, as an adult I connected the dots early on. (Sal's world is upset when her Dad moves them to a new town after learning that the mom wouldn't be coming back.) But much is left a mystery for the reader. I can't honestly say how I would have interpreted the text as a kid. It doesn't really matter. The trip is enlivened by Sal's storytelling. She is telling the story of her new friend, her classmate, her almost-neighbor: Phoebe. (Readers also hear of other friends--classmates--including a boy named Ben.) Phoebe's life is also becoming something of a mess. Though Sal is better at spotting the signs than Phoebe herself. The book alternates between focusing on the past--Sal's new life, her friendships, her memories, her emotions--and the present, the road trip. Both stories are compelling. Mainly through dialogue, the grandparents become fully fleshed characters that you can't help loving and admiring. The way they love Sal, and, cherish her. There is just something sweet about this family. And readers do get to know them better than any other adult in the novel. Unfortunately, I think that is why the book left me angry. Part of me angry anyway. THE ENDING. I did not see it coming. And it was beyond cruel to this reader. Was it realistic? Yes. Looking back were their signs that it was coming? Probably. But though I guessed one reason why the novel was one of those dreaded SAD books. I didn't the second. And the second HURT so much.

Walk Two Moons is the 1995 Newbery winner.

Have you read Walk Two Moons? What did you think? Like it? Love it? Hate it? Do you like sad books? Or do you avoid them when you can?

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

2 comments:

Susan Bailey 6:06 PM  

I can't help but get sucked into sad books but agreed they should come with a warning label. I feel the sadness lingers the whole week after finishing reading it! Take the fault in our stars... I never thought I'd stop crying... Or, we built a zoo
Another pass the tissue sort of read..
Can't say I deliberately avoid them but there not my fave and I blubber far too easily :/ . They should be shown due respect though as the good sad books pull both genuine empathy for others and sadness which is a powerful emotion to pull from a reader....
Others I'm afraid are a total waste of make up.. And mascara never realy comes off does it? Just smudges panda eyes... Some books are not worth that
Others

Susan Bailey 6:07 PM  

I can't help but get sucked into sad books but agreed they should come with a warning label. I feel the sadness lingers the whole week after finishing reading it! Take the fault in our stars... I never thought I'd stop crying... Or, we built a zoo
Another pass the tissue sort of read..
Can't say I deliberately avoid them but there not my fave and I blubber far too easily :/ . They should be shown due respect though as the good sad books pull both genuine empathy for others and sadness which is a powerful emotion to pull from a reader....
Others I'm afraid are a total waste of make up.. And mascara never realy comes off does it? Just smudges panda eyes... Some books are not worth that
Others

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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

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