|The author at home.|
The letter below is to Sharon Creech, writer of Walk Two Moons. The letter won first place in the Letters About Literature contest as an Oregon Level #1 entry. The contest was for students in grades 4-6.
Dear Ms. Sharon Creech,
I do not accept things. When I was small, I refused to accept that gravity would be able to keep me from flying. Why should I be doomed to walk when the birds have the luxury of ruling the sky? I did not accept that the world I was living in had preset rules that I was supposed to follow. Why must I not touch anything in a museum? Some things are meant to be experienced, and not sit behind glass for the rest of their existence.
Starting when I was five I found escape in fantasy books where if you work hard it is possible to embark on fantastic journeys full of adventure and excitement. I never wanted much to do with realistic fiction because if the author is going to go through all the trouble of creating a world for others to see, why not make it unique and intriguing?
When your book Walk Two Moons was recommended to me by my school librarian, I thought to myself: Here comes a stuffy, plain trip to the world I already know. Words cannot explain how wrong I was.
Just like me, Salamanca was in denial. She was denying the fact that her mother had left, the fact that her father had found someone new, and the fact that her life would never be the same. Similar thoughts were in my head when my father was diagnosed with cancer. Although I was young, I knew that he was in danger. I lay awake at night with my dad in the hospital wondering if I would get to see him again.
Even if he did survive, would our lives together ever be the same? Would Sal’s mother still love her and accept her even if they never saw each other again? I saw Sal’s behavior in myself -- the way that she felt about her life, the way she was able to see from other people’s point of view whenever they were feeling sad. She carried so much sadness that she was able to see when other people were feeling sad as well, but not when they were happy.
When my father was sick, happiness was like watching a bird fly away. I wished I could follow and leap into the sky, but alas I could not. Just like Phoebe Winterbottom, when her mother went missing, I was overwrought and pessimistic when I shouldn’t have been, but I was able to come back from it. Walk Two Moons taught me to be strong and live in the moment. Even though there are lots of bad things in the world, you have to focus on the good and happy things to have balance.
I have made it a priority in my life to be thankful for what I have. No matter how bad things seem, I shouldn’t get bent out of shape over the little things. My dad survived cancer! Against all odds I still have him, and I try as hard as I can to be appreciative of my life.
I understand that it is okay to be sad, and it’s okay to not be walking on sunshine every waking moment. Sadness is a fact of life and happiness would not exist without it. As I grow as a person I become more able to navigate the unbearable moments of sadness and appreciate the happy ones, when I soar like a bird in the sky -- this is what growing up is all about.
On an ending note, thank you Ms. Creech for what you have given me. I look forward to experiencing more of your work in the future.
I hope I get a chance to meet you in person.