Walk Two Moons Summary: Chapters 21-24

Instructor: Dori Starnes

Dori has taught college and high school English courses, and has Masters degrees in both literature and education.

Sal and her grandparents draw ever closer to Idaho, and guilt and worry consume her. Sal is terrified about what they will find when the reach Idaho. This lesson will focus on the summary of Chapters 21 through 24 of ''Walk Two Moons''.


Salamanca Tree Hiddle, known as Sal, is on a cross-country road trip with her grandparents. They are heading from Sal's home in Ohio to see Sal's Momma in Idaho. Sal's mother left Sal and her father to find herself. As they get closer, Sal's trepidation about the end of the trip grows. To pass the time and to ease her own mind, Sal tells her grandparents the story of her friend Phoebe Winterbottom. But as Sal tells Phoebe's story, she is really uncovering her own.

After some strange events, which included notes left on the doorstep and a visit from a mysterious stranger that Phoebe calls a 'lunatic', Phoebe's mother has left her family for a few days. Between Phoebe's conviction that her mother has been kidnapped (even though she left a note), Sal's father's relationship with Margaret Cadaver, who Sal doesn't like, and Sal's own budding romance with a classmate named Ben Finney, Sal is feeling conflicted, and she misses her mother more than ever.

Chapter 21: Souls

Sal continues telling Phoebe's story. At school, Phoebe is sad and jumpy. She tries hard to act normally, but Sal can tell she is not herself. In English, the always-unpredictable Mr. Birkway has a new activity for his class. He tells the class they have fifteen seconds to draw their souls. When they are done, they all examine the pictures. Everyone's picture has a circular shape with a design in the middle. All but two of the drawings are different. Two drawings have a circle with a maple leaf drawn in the middle. Those identical drawings belong to Sal…and Ben Finney.

Chapter 22: Evidence

Sal continues telling Phoebe's story to her grandparents. Sal agrees to sleep over at Phoebe's house, even though they have school the next day, because Phoebe feels so sad and alone, which Sal understands. The next morning, there is chaos in the house, which is obviously because Mrs. Winterbottom is missing. When they get to school, Phoebe makes up strange stories about where her mother is. When Sal tries to comfort Phoebe, Phoebe gets aggravated and defensive. The other students ask about Mrs. Winterbottom, but Sal tells them to mind their own business.

After school, Phoebe decides to search for clues that prove her mother has been kidnapped. All Phoebe finds is a bunch of meals in the freezer with directions on how to cook them. Mr. Winterbottom tells Phoebe that this means her mother has not been kidnapped, but Phoebe isn't convinced.

Sal walks home that evening and sees her dad at Margaret Cadaver's house. They invite Sal in for dessert, but Sal refuses. So Sal's dad leaves without dessert and walks home with Sal. Sal tells her father that maybe Momma was forced to go to Idaho, or that maybe they should have stopped her. But Sal's father disagrees and tells Sal he had to let her go. Sal and her father sit on the porch and watch the sun set. Both of them are very sad.

The Badlands in South Dakota
The Badlands in South Dakota

Chapter 23: The Badlands

Sal, Gram, and Gramps reach the Badlands of South Dakota. We find out that Momma went to visit a cousin in Idaho. Gram is feeling poorly, so Gramps gets a blanket for her. He spreads it out and she sits down. Sal notices as pregnant woman, which makes her remember what happened when her mother was pregnant.

Sal was playing in a tree and fell out, breaking her leg and becoming unconscious. Momma was eight months pregnant, but she carried Sal home and brought her to the hospital. Later that night, Momma went into labor. But it was too early and the doctor got there too late. Sal's little sister died and Momma kept bleeding and had to have a hysterectomy to save her life. Sal feels like her sister's death and her Momma's surgery was her fault, though her dad tells her it had nothing to do with her.

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