Walk Two Moons

by Sharon Creech


Salamanca Tree Hiddle goes on an Adventurous ride to Lewiston, Idaho, to find and bring back her mother. The girl, from Bybanks, Kentucky , is taken to Euclid, Ohio, and meets her new best friend, Phoebe Winterbottom. During the long road trip, Sal tells Phoebe's queer tale, and, in turn, finds out about herself.


Foreshadowing:Throughout the novel, the Author foreshadows and gives numerous clues to the unexpected ending of three of the characters.

Mike is Mrs. Winterbottom's Son

Mike Bickle is a 17-or-so young man who, When he first meets the two girls, he acts nervous and Phoebe immediately assumes that he is an escaped lunatic. It is finally proven that "the lunatic" is Mrs. Winterbottom's son.

"'Is this 49 Grey Street?' the young man said.

'Yes,' Phoebe said.

'So the Winterbottoms live here?'

After Phoebe admitted that yes, it was the Winterbottom residence, she said, 'Excuse me a moment, please.' and closed the door. 'Sal, do you detect any signs of lunacy? There doesn't appear to be any place he could be hiding a gun. His jeans are really tight. Maybe he has a knife tucked into his socks.'

Phoebe really could be dramatic. 'He isn't wearing any socks,' I said. Phoebe opened the door again.

The young man said, 'I want to see Mrs. Winterbottom. Is she here or what?'

'Yes,' Phoebe lied."

And later:

"Phoebe and I returned to the door. He was still standing there with his hands in his pockets staring mournfully at Phoebe's house. 'That's strange,' Phoebe said to him, 'I thought she was here, but she must have gone out. There's a whole lot of other people, though. Scads and scads of people, but no Mrs. Winterbottom."

'Is she your mother?' he asked.

'Yes,' Phoebe said. 'Would you like me to leave a message?'

The little pink circles on his cheeks became even pinker. 'No!' he said. 'No. I don't think so. No.'" (pg. 430)

Sal and Phoebe were at home alone when the stranger knocks at the door. Phoebe instantly thinks he is crazy and acts very oddly. He does seem very nervous. He wants to see Mrs. Winterbottom, and will not tell them why. This is the first hint that there is something unknown in between him and Mrs. Winterbottom.

"Students were milling around on the lawn. I looked for an empty bench on which we might sit. On the far side of the lawn I saw the backs of two people, a young man and an older woman. They were holding hands. She turned to him and kissed his cheek.

'Phoebe--' On the bench was Phoebe's mother, and she was kissing the lunatic." (pg. 235)

Sal and Phoebe finally begin to wonder what the connection is between Mike and Mrs. Winterbottom. They have gone to Mike Bickle's school after Mrs. Winterbottom had been "taken", and found him on a bench with Mrs. Winterbottom. This naturally made them suspicious, as they thought he liked Mrs. Winterbottom. This is resolved later.

Sal's Mother Died in a Bus Accident

Salamanca's mother was dead in the beginning of the book, but the author leads you on, letting you believe that she is alive. She exquisitely crafts it so that, until the end, you never know what actually happened.

"'Mrs. Cadaver is my sister.'

'Your sister?' Phoebe said.

'And her husband is dead.'

'I thought so,' Phoebe said.

'But she didn't murder him,' Mr. Birkway said. 'Her husband died when a drunk driver rammed into his car. My mother--Mrs. Partridge--was also in the car with Mrs. Cadaver. She didn't die, as you know, but she lost her sight.'"

And later:

"At home that night, all I could think about was Mrs. Cadaver. I could see her in her white uniform, working in the emergency room. I could see an ambulance pulling up with its blue lights flashing, and her walking briskly to the swinging doors, with her wild hair all over her face. I could see the stretchers being wheeled in, and I could see Mrs. Cadaver looking down at them. I could feel her heart thumping like mad as she realized it was her own husband and her own mother lying there. I imagined Mrs. Cadaver touching her husband's face." (pg. 220)

Mr. Birkway has told the two girls that Mrs. Cadaver did not murder her own husband. Instead, he died in a car accident. This points to the fact that Sugar (Sal's mom) died that same way. A lot of all of the different families' actions kind of mirror each other (i.e. Both Sal's and Phoebe's mothers disappeared).

"At the end of the path, I could see something shiny and metallic reflecting the moonlight. It was the one thing I had been looking for.

'A bus went off the road here--a year or more ago,' he said. 'Skidded right there, coming out of that last turn, and went sliding into this here overlook and on through the railing and rolled over and over into those trees. A helluva thing. When I came home tonight, rescuers were still hacking their way through the brush to get to it. Only one person survived, ya know?'

I knew." (pg. 262)

A man is explaining what happened to the bus that killed Sal's mother to Sal. Only one person survived. Sharon Creech leads the reader on through to the end. They still think the lone survivor was Sugar. In fact, it was Mrs. Cadaver, but it doesn't seem that way at all.

Gram's Death

The author made Sal's Grandmother die at the end of the book. She does describe her failing health in great detail, dropping hints throughout the book.

"Gram said, 'Oh!' and flailed at the water. She reached down, pulled up a snake, and gave Gramps a puzzled look. 'It's a water moccasin, isn't it?' The snake slithered and wriggled, straining towards the water. 'I do believe it has had a snack out of my leg.' She stared hard at Gramps.

The boy stood on the bank holding Gramps's wallet. Gramps scooped up Gram and carried her out of the water. 'Would you mind dropping that thing,' he said to Gram, who was still clutching the snake. To me he said, 'Get on out of there, chickabiddy.'" (pg. 95)

This is the first sign that Gram's health is failing. She gets bitten by a snake, and they take her to a hospital. She recovers afterward, but the damage had been done. She never acted the same again, and was always very, very tired.

"We had to get out of Wyoming and through Montana. Gramps was already up, but Gram was lying on the bed, staring at the ceiling. 'Did you ever go to sleep?' I asked.

'No,' she said, 'I didn't feel like sleeping. I can sleep later.' She climbed out of bed. 'Let's go see Old Faithful. I've waited my whole entire life to see Old Faithful.'" (pg. 222)

This is a pointer to Gram's failing health. She won't sleep, which is bad for anyone. That might be one cause of her downfall. Also, she says, 'I've waited my whole entire life to see Old Faithful.' The word life might give a clue. She has waited, and, now her bucket list is done, she can rest in peace.


Sharon Creech manipulates the book to show what will happen in the future of three characters, yet still isn't predictable at all. These clues help build an element of surprise for the book. These final conclusions are highly important to the main characters.

Sharon Creech

Sharon Creech is the Newbery-Medal winning author of Walk Two Moons, and the Newbery Honor winning author of The Wanderer. Her other works include Bloomability, Absolutely Normal Chaos, Chasing Redbird, Pleasing the Ghost, Love That Dog, and Ruby Holler.