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Sharon Creech is an expert at making her stories relatable--for everyone, not just teenagers. If a teen read Walk Two Moons, they could easily connect the story and events with their present. If an adult read the story, they might reminisce about how their life used to be. For Idahoans, the story is particularly special because much of the setting can be easily visualized, or at least applied to that internal map of Idaho we all have. Idaho isn't a state that often gets much press in the way of movies or books, so it really feels special when it gets noticed.
The events in Phoebe’s and Sal’s stories might not necessarily correspond exactly to events in a reader's life, but the emotions, fears, hopes, and dreams are conveyed in a way that is universally recognizable. Those things are what readers will relate to. Everything is a big deal to teenagers, and things get completely blown out of proportion easily. Everything has to relate to them somehow, and life is at an awkward stage where they are still trying to figure out just who they really are.
When my mother left for Lewiston, Idaho, that April, my first thoughts were, "How could she do that? How could she leave me?"
The passage where Phoebe tells Sal she is brave, and Sal responds that she isn’t really brave at all, is admirable. This really shows the reader who Sal is, and it is reminiscent of all the kids who put on the stereotypical “tough guy” act at school. It reminds us that maybe they are just as scared and insecure as Sal is. The part of the book that went back to Sal and her grandparents was particularly enjoyable. She was so close with them, and they were as quirky as can be. In this way, they are similar to many people's grandparents. It is often easy to feel embarrassed of the ones we love because they say or do something silly. But at the same time, there is always an incredible amount of love present--the same as it was for Sal.
We’ve all tried believing something wasn’t true or real because we didn’t want it to be. This was the part of Sal's story that is the saddest. It would be wonderful if everything could be just as Sal wanted it to be, but of course it couldn’t. Many of us have been let down like this before, and to face that reality, or even remember it, can bring forth a storm of emotions.