Literature / Walk Two Moons

Walk Two Moons is a Newbery Medal-winning young adult novel by Sharon Creech. It tells the story of Sal, an adolescent Native American girl who goes on a journey to find her mother. Along the way, she tells her grandparents the story of her friend Phoebe and her relationship with her own mother.


Examples of tropes present in the novel:

  • Accidental Misnaming: Gram and Gramps always refer to Phoebe as "Peeby".
  • Affectionate Nickname: Gramps calls Gram his "gooseberry".
  • Arc Words: "Don't judge a man until you've walked two moons in his moccasins."
    • Also, all the other mysterious notes contain aphorisms that get repeated throughout the novel.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: From Phoebe's report on Pandora: "Inside the box were all the evils of the world, such as hatred, envy, plagues, sickness, and cholesterol."
  • "Awesome McCool" Name: Sal's full name is Salamanca Tree Hiddle.
  • The Boo Radley: Mrs Cadaver.
  • Catch-Phrase: Gramps says "This ain't our marriage bed, but it will do" every night before bed.
    • Gram's "Huzza, huzza!"
  • Death by Newbery Medal: Gram. Also, Sal's mom actually dies before the beginning of the novel, but we don't find out until the end.
  • Driving Question: Why did Sal's mother go away, and where is she now?
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Mrs. Cadaver, despite her...interesting surname, is most definitely a good hearted person, as the ending chapters confirm.
  • Family Theme Naming: The Finneys. Parents Sally and Sam, daughters Maggie and Mary Lou, and older sons Dennis and Dougie. The exception is Tommy, and possibly cousin Ben, who is living with the family during Walk Two Moons because apparently, the Finneys are always hosting some random relative.
  • Fish out of Water: Sal, after she and her father move to suburbia. She adapts relatively well, but she's considered a bit of a weirdo.
  • Framing Device: Pheobe's story is being told by Sal to her grandparent's. Zigzagged in that she also breaks the fourth wall to narrate directly to the reader.
  • Hero of Another Story: Mary Lou Finney, Sal and Phoebe's friend from school, is the protagonist of Absolutely Normal Chaos, which was written before this book but published in the U.S. afterward.
  • In Medias Res / How We Got Here
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The boy who confronts Gram, Gramps and Sal about the "private property" they were wading in. It's implied he was going to steal from them and threatens Gramps, but after Gram gets bit by a snake he helps them get her to the hospital and in the end doesn't try to extort them, admitting to Sal before leaving the waiting room that "it wasn't really private property."
    Sal: I figured as much.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Mike turns out to be Mrs Winterbottom's son. We also find out that Mr Birkway and Mrs Cadaver are brother and sister.
  • Maybe Ever After: For most of the book, Sal assumes that Mrs Cadaver is her father's new love interest. Although Margaret assures her that they're just friends, she doesn't completely shoot down the idea they might one day become more than that.
  • The Nicknamer: Ben.
  • One Degree of Separation: Phoebe's teacher just happens to be the brother of her next door neighbour, and the cop she talks to is her half-brother's adopted father.
  • Overly Long Name: Averted. Sal's middle name, Tree, was chosen by her mother, because trees are "a thing of such beauty to [her] that she made it part of my name." She goes on to say that she originally wanted to use her favorite tree, and name her daughter Salamanca Sugar Maple Tree Hiddle, but "that was too much, even for her."
  • The Reveal: Throughout the story, we're left wondering what happened to Sal's mother,Only to learn she tragically died in a bus crash, and the reason her father is so attached to Margret is because she was there trying to save Sal's mother, but was unable to do so.
  • Unfortunate Name: Mrs Cadaver. The Winterbottoms. Lampshaed by Pheobe and Ben, respectively. The former is also the main reason Pheobe believes her to be evil.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Literature/WalkTwoMoons