Walk Two Moons Essay - Critical Context

Sharon Creech

Critical Context

Walk Two Moons won the 1995 Newbery Medal, presented annually by the American Library Association to the author of the most distinguished contribution to literature for children published in the United States during the preceding year. Until its publication, Sharon Creech, who lives most of the year in England and whose three preceding novels were published there, was unknown as a writer of American juvenile novels. Walk Two Moons, although not originally intended as a book for young readers, will appeal to children between the ages of ten and thirteen because of its realistic portrayal of the young protagonists, its touches of humor, and its warm descriptions of the places and events experienced by an unforgettable thirteen-year-old heroine, Salamanca Tree Hiddle.

Accepting death, coming-of-age, and relationships such as those between parents and adolescents, between grandparents and adolescents, and among adolescent peers are important themes in juvenile and young adult literature, particularly in award-winning novels. These themes are all present in Walk Two Moons. This novel provides an interesting contrast to the 1993 Newbery Medal-winning Missing May (1992), by Cynthia Rylant. Both deal with a similar theme: accepting the death of a loved one. While each novel depicts colorful characters and uses poetic and picturesque language, Creech has successfully woven a far more complex tale from the same basic story. With Walk Two Moons, Creech assumes an important role in the field of juvenile literature.