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)?