When Salamanca convinces her grandparents to take her with them to Lewiston, Idaho, she never expected to pour out her heart about the real reason she has for going there. And she also didn’t expect to retell her friend Phoebe’s story and discover the similarities with Phoebe’s story and her own.
‘Don’t judge a man until you’ve walked two moons in his mocassins’, the mysterious message on Phoebe’s porch said. That was almost directly before Phoebe’s mother disappeared, and just before the lunatic appeared. Not to mention the strange Mrs. Cadaver, with wild red hair and a voice like dead leaves on the pavement, who Phoebe suspects is an axe-murderer and kidnapped her mother against her will.
I have said it before, and I’ll say it again: Sharon Creech’s writing is eccentric, and this book is perhaps the oddest out of all the other’s I have reviewed. You must begin the story with an open mind; the first time we listened to it on audio, and we just couldn’t get over some of the strange symbolisms.
For example: in the story, Sal loves trees because her mother loves trees. Why this is is never mentioned, but their behavior towards trees is a little weird. Again, you have to look past the actual behavior to see Sal’s reasoning.
I would not recommend the audio. The story is sweeter when you have time to think about it.
Was I the only one laughing at my own description? There was something endearingly Ramona-esque about Phoebe’s imagination. If I made it sound creepy, it was all in her head. And maybe yours, too.
One thing I never care for about Creech is all of her main characters from book to book are basically the same person, with a different set of circumstances. None of them are particularly original, but all the cute side stories along the way are what build up overall plot and character growth.
Ok, last thought: I also don’t like how Creech’s stories are always about girls, and how there is always a boy that they have a crush on. In this book, whenever Sal is around this boy the only thought she has is about kissing him. He doesn’t really help her grow in anyway. There is nothing I hate more than a useless romance.
Overall Rating: 4/5
Violence: 1/10 (other than Phoebe’s musings as to all the various murderers in the world)
Language: 2/10 (is old person swearing considered swearing? Gol’ dang, and the like)
Inappropriateness/Romance: 2/10 (above notes, and the over-enthusiastic English teacher makes the briefest reference to sex)
Audience: Ages 11 and up (why 11? I don’t know)