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Title of Book:  Walk Two Moons

Author:  Sharon Creech   

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Pages: 280

Ages: 8-12

Publisher: Scholastic,  Harper Collins (reprint)

Awards:  Newberry Medal 1995, ALA Notable Children's Book, Parents Choice Gold Award, NCTE Notable Children's Book,  

Why Did I Choose It?  It's another Newberry Medal 🙂   As for why I chose to read this one this particular time, besides that it's one that I hadn't read before, the title is catchy and I was intrigued by the quote on the front cover:  "Don't judge a man until you've walked two moons in his moccasins."  Couldn't we all learn from doing that?

A Bit From The Back Cover:  Thirteen-year-old Salamanca Tree Hiddle, known as Sal, is traveling from Ohio to Idaho with her grandparents, in search of her mother.  Along the way, she tells them the story of Phoebe Winterbottom, who received mysterious messages, met a "potential lunatic", and whose mother disappeared.  Beneath Phoebe's story is Sal's story and that of her mother, who left one day for Idaho and has not returned.  Sal has less than a week to get to Idaho in time for her mother's birthday and bring her back.  Despite her father's warning that she is fishing in the air, Sal knows this journey is the only chance she has for reuniting her family.

Review:  This book was so heartwarming. The author did an amazing job at interweaving one tale of humor and wit into another tale of bittersweet loss to blend into a book most worthy of the Newberry Award( I read later how those tales were actually thought of at two separate occasions and it was the stubbornness of the author not to let go of either story that inspired her to interweave the two together....check out the story on her website- sink link above).  I loved how the story was told on a car trip with her grandparents across the states...a reminder of a trip I made with my own 'grandparents' as a child.  The story is rich in it's ability to demonstrate empathy and a human's ability to derive comfort out of story telling, nature and memories.  I highly recommend that you get yourself a bowl of blackberries, sit under a tree and read this book...okay...not necessary for the blackberries and tree but believe me, it would really add to your experience 😉

Other Books By This Author: Love That Dog, Chasing Redbird,  Absolutely Normal Chaos, The Unfinished Angel, The Wanderer and others.

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Book Title:  Missing May

Author:  Cynthia Rylant

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Pages:  89

Ages: 8-12

Publisher:  Orchard Books/Scholastic

Awards: Newberry Medal 1993

Why Did I Choose It?  It's a Newberry Medal for one reason. Actually, this one doesn't help me reach my goals so much as I've already read it...but I like this one in particular as it deals with the loss of a loved one.  I haven't dealt with a recent loss but was feeling a bit melancholy remembering someone special and felt the need to reread this delightful book.

A Bit From The Back Cover:  Ever since May, Summer's aunt and good-as-a-mother for the past six years, died in the garden among her pole beans and carrots, life for Summer and her Uncle Ob has been as bleak as winter.  Ob doesn't want to create his beautiful whirligigs anymore, and he and Summer have slipped  into a sadness that they can't shake off.  They need May in whatever form they can have her - a message, a whisper, a sign that will tell them what to do next.  When that sign comes, Summer will discover that she and Ob can keep missing May but still go on with their lives.

Review:  I was delighted with Missing May quite a few years ago when I read it to my children and I am equally delighted this time. The characters are charming. The story is told from Summer's perspective and deals with her overwhelming emotions --distraught over the loss of her aunt who acted as a mother, worried over her Uncle Ob's ability to deal with his loss, and skeptic over the strange thoughts and behaviors of the neighbor boy -- in a rather insightful manner.  Sorrow and loss are experiences held by all of the characters throughout the book but the author has added just the right touch of humor and just a hint of mysticism to make it a pleasurable tale.  I would highly recommend this book for all children in the recommended age group, especially if they have experienced a similar loss.

Other Books By This Author: The Poppleton Series, Mr. Putter and Tabby series, When I Was Young In The Mountains, Henry and Mudge, The Islander and many many more!