Somehow I never read this as a kid and had always wondered if was any good. I finally picked this up on vacation in August (only £3, bless used bookstores) and it turns out that this is a classic and won the Newbery Medal for a reason. Often when you read a children’s/middle grade book, there’s a preachy tone or a sense they’re trying hard to impart a lesson, and that lack of authentic voice makes the book feel boring and irritating. Walk Two Moons is a great example of the opposite — Sharon Creech writes a real story here that deals with heavy topics in an honest way. Sal is thirteen and her mother just died a year ago. Her father moves them from the farm she’s lived on her whole life to an house in the city, which she hates. She wants to go home and she also hates that her father seems to be in love with a new woman, who Sal refuses to get to know. The book is done mainly as a narration to her grandparents as they drive her across the country to visit her mother’s grave for the first time.
As someone who also had a parent die suddenly, the emotional realism of this book really resonated with me. I could understand Sal’s anger and her confusion around what to feel and how to cope with her situation. The layered emotions of grief and the interaction of her father’s grief with her own were also really well done. Both of them are reaching out to each other and then striking out, then pulling away, then reaching out again. etc. It’s also a nice portrayal of friendship, young love, and the internal lives of children/teens. Very moving overall and recommended.
Warning for a pretty graphic miscarriage scene, death.