Today is the first Tween the Weekends post, hosted by the Emblazon website here.
“Tween the Weekends is a monthly feature hosted on Emblazon. This is an opportunity for writers and readers to promote tween literature, that age bracket squashed between middle grade and young adult. You can review a great tween book, post about writing for kids, connect with others who love the genre, support and encourage one another, relate news, share links, or just about anything else tween related.”
Walk Two Moons – Winner of the 1995 Newbery Medal is one of those rare stories that nuzzles its way into your soul as you fall in love with its quirky, realistic characters, each with their own unique stories that unfold as 13-year-old Salamanca Tree Hiddle reflects on her relationship with each of them.
The age level is listed for 8 and up, but there are mature themes throughout, so I would recommend ages 10 and up. The Book Description on Amazon starts with a quote from a conversation between Salamanca (Sal) and Gram.
“How about a story? Spin us a yarn.”
Instantly, Phoebe Winterbottom came to mind. “I could tell you an extensively strange story,” I warned.
“Oh, good!” Gram said. “Delicious!”
And that is how I happened to tell them about Phoebe, her disappearing mother, and the lunatic.
As Sal entertains her grandparents with Phoebe’s outrageous story, her own story begins to unfold–the story of a thirteen-year-old girl whose only wish is to be reunited with her missing mother.
In her own award-winning style, Sharon Creech intricately weaves together two tales, one funny, one bittersweet, to create a heartwarming, compelling, and utterly moving story of love, loss, and the complexity of human emotion.
Review by BBH McChiller (Lynn Kelley and Kathryn Sant):
Sal is a farm girl at heart, but she has to move with her father from the family farm in Kentucky to a city in Ohio after her mother unexpectedly took a trip one day and never returned. Sal doesn’t adjust well at her new school, and the heartbreak of her mother’s absence leaves Sal dreaming of life before her mother’s departure.
Emotions run high as Gram and Gramps Hiddle take Sal on a cross-country drive, following the same route Sal’s mother took before she ended up in Lewiston, Idaho. Sal has her heart set on arriving in time for her mother’s birthday.
Gram asks Sal to tell a story to help pass the time, so Sal tells the story of her quirky friend Phoebe Winterbottom, whose mother also left one day. Mysterious notes are found on Phoebe’s doorstep, and she not only believes a lunatic is on the loose, but also that her mother has been murdered. Phoebe enlists Sal’s help in solving the mystery of her missing mother.
While telling the story of Phoebe’s mother, Sal reflects on her own mother’s life and how tragedy changed their lives. Telling Phoebe’s tale helps Sal gain insight into possible reasons why her own mother left.
Walk Two Moons deals with sensitive, mature life issues. It’s an endearing, funny, and compelling coming-of-age story. There were clues as to the twist at the end, but I still didn’t see it coming. Huzza, huzza! This is a story you’re not likely to forget and will probably want to read again. It’s a book that will engage readers for generations to come.
What’s your favorite tween book (ages 11 to 14)?
Be sure to hop over to the Emblazon site for the main Tween the Weekends post and links to visit the other participants’ blogs.
I live the TWEEN world as a seventh grade teacher… I remember reading Walk Two Moons as a student teacher in 1999. Good book, though I don’t think most TWEENS think about a book as much as we adults do. The best ‘book thinking’ is when it is read as a class and discussed, read aloud and discussed along the way, or read in mini-book groups.. but some of that just kills reading for kids. There are so many good books out there about growing up and dealing with life and more are published every year. I can think of many, but I’ll recommend three: Lois Lowry’s The Giver, Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt (and Trouble, also), and Wonder by R.J. Palaccio. All good reads for different reasons – but good ‘thinking books.’ Thanks for giving me a nudge to think about school and the return to a normal schedule. I hope you are enjoying your summer!
Clay, Thanks so much for recommending those tween books. I haven’t read any of them yet, but The Giver, is one that I’ve wanted to read for a few years now. Yes, as a 7th grade teacher, you certainly live the Tween life. I’d love to be in your classroom when you’re discussing a book with your students. It would be great to hear their thoughts and comments.
I read Walk Two Moons long ago and need to read it again. I remember enjoying the story, but details are gone. I will concur with Gary’s above choices. Especially Gary D. Schmidt, one of my favorite authors. And I’ll add to that The Witch of Blackbird Pond, one of my all-time favorites, by Elizabeth George Speare, and the Chronicles of Pyrdain, an award-winning five book series by Lloyd Alexander I discovered just last year. Wish I’d known about them as a kid, but better late than never.
Michelle, it had been years since I’d read Walk Two Moons, but it’s a book that I loved so much, it’s stayed with me, although many of the details were forgotten. I loved reading it again. I’ve read The Witch of Blackbird Pond, and that’s one that I’d like to read again. Thanks for the recomendation of Chronicles of Pyrdain. I hadn’t hear of it. Yep, better late than never, for sure!
Great post Lynn! I’ll put this book on my TBR Pile. 🙂
Lisa, thanks so much for stopping in. Hope you enjoy Walk Two Moons as much as I did!
I’m not familiar with this book but I know Creech was one of my younger daughter’s favorite authors in that 11 and 12 year range. She especially liked the poetry and lyrical aspects of her writing. Great post and thanks for sharing!
Alan, So nice to see you here! I love Creech’s style, and I need to read her other books. Your daughter has good taste! 🙂
There are such amazing books available now for tweens. When my kids were little it was so hard to find stuff they liked to read. I can’t wait until my grand babies are old enough to start sharing books with and reading to! 🙂
Pauline – Same with my kids, too. There are so many more choices for kids nowadays. Like you, I’m looking forward to sharing my favorite reads with the grandkids. Right now they’re at the picture book/baby stage. They’ll be reading on their own soon enough, though!
I don’t think I know of any tween book. Or kid’s book beyond yours, Lynn.
Alex – Wow, that’s a surprise. I would have guessed you had some favorites to share with us. We’ll have to find some good sci-fi tween reads for you!
I thought that book was amazing too! It’s so sad how so many of those award winning books include dead parents. 😛
One of my fav tween book is by Gary Schmidt, but not the ones already mentioned. It’s “Okay For Now.”
Teresa – You’re right. So many award-winning books deal with orphaned kids. And usually if it’s a dog story, there’s a good chance that dog might die in the end. Helps kids learn to deal with death.
You’re the third commenter to mention Gary Schmidt. I don’t think I’ve read any of his books, but I’m going to have to read some now that he’s been so highly recommended here. Thank you!
One that sticks with me is Love, Aubrey. 🙂 I’m putting Walk Two Moons on my tbr list!
Coleen – I haven’t read Love, Aubrey. Thanks for recommending it. Hope you enjoy Walk Two Moons when you get to it!
My fave tween story of all time is ‘Fifteen’ by Beverly Cleary. It sounds dweebish but I saved it until I did turn 15, and then I read it for the first time. 🙂
Yvette – Dweebish is good. I like Beverly Cleary’s books, but I haven’t read “Fifteen.” Thanks for the recommendation!
I’m playing catch up, Lynn! This books sounds beautiful….I’m going to have to put my thinking cap on for tween literature I read growing up – was there a category for that then? Pretty sure I was reading Enid Blyton and probably even Jane Austen and the Bronte Sisters by then. I re-read Jane Eyre several times, so that must have been a favourite…
Hi Alarna! Playing catch up, how well I know that routine! Yes, this is an awesome read. I think you’d like it. No, there wasn’t a tween category back then. You were quite a reader as a youngster! Thanks for stopping by. It’s always nice to see you!
Lynn, fantastic books recommended here and in your comments. My TBR list is yards long. Not only did I drop by to read about Two Moons, I wanted to let you know I’ve nominated you for the Sunshine Blog award. Please visit http://lynettemburrows.com/walking-on-sunshine/ for more information. And have a day ‘walking on sunshine!
Aw, thanks so much for nominating me for the Sunshine Blog award, Lynette! A day “walking on sunshine,” I love it! Right back atcha. Thanks for stopping by!