Walk Two Moons Summary: Chapters 5-8

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 continue their cross country trip, and Sal continues the story of her friend and the memories of her mother. This lesson will focus on the summary of Chapters 5 through 8 of ''Walk Two Moons.''


Salamanca Tree Hiddle, better known as Sal, is on a cross-country trip with Gram and Gramps, her father's parents, to see her Momma, Sugar Hiddle. On the way, to pass the time, Sal tells them the story of her best friend, Phoebe Winterbottom. However, what's really happening is that Sal is uncovering her own story as the miles pass.

Sal and her father moved from Bybanks, Kentucky, to Euclid, Ohio. Sal is not thrilled with their new home or town, and she's less than thrilled with Margaret Cadaver, who has been spending a lot of time with Sal's dad. Sal starts school and meets Phoebe Winterbottom, who lives next door to Margaret. Phoebe is convinced that Margaret Cadaver has done something 'really awful' to her husband.

Chapter Five: A Damsel in Distress

Gramps is tired of driving, so they take a break even though they are only three hours into their trip. Sal feels the need to hurry but remembers some of the ways her grandparents have attracted trouble in the past, including times they were arrested, and decides it's a good thing she is with them.

They see a woman with a broken-down car. Gramps decides to help, but instead he just pulls things out of her engine. The woman decides she'd be better off calling a mechanic, so Sal and her grandparents get back on the road.

Chapter Six: Blackberries

Sal returns to her story about Phoebe. Phoebe is about to explain the 'really awful' thing that she believes happened to Mr. Cadaver, but Phoebe's father comes home and they have a normal dinner together. Sal is reminded of her maternal grandparents because everyone is very polite and stiff.

Sal's disappointed with the food, though. There's no meat or butter, and everyone seems concerned about cholesterol. Phoebe's father makes road maps, and her mother stays home. Sal thinks Mrs. Winterbottom seems sad. Every time she tries to talk, her husband and daughters don't answer. Sal is left feeling uncomfortable. Mrs. Winterbottom announces she's going to return to work as a receptionist for a local company. No one responds, and Sal feels bad for Phoebe's mother.

After dinner, Phoebe walks Sal home and tells her what she thinks happened to Mr. Cadaver. She thinks Margaret killed him and chopped him up. Phoebe says he's buried in the backyard. Phoebe's seen Margaret chop down a tree and knows she's strong.

The blackberries at the bottom are for rabbits and the ones at the top are for birds.
The blackberries at the bottom are for rabbits and the ones at the top are for birds

Before bed, Sal mulls over what Phoebe's told her. She would like to believe it, as she's ready to believe anything bad about Margaret, but it just doesn't ring true. These thoughts lead Sal to think about her mother and father before Momma left. Momma would only pick berries on the middle of the bush. She told Sal the bottom was for rabbits and the top was for birds.

Sal remembers a time her father left a flower at her mom's plate when her mother was pregnant, a few years ago. So she tells Sal they will sneak up on her father and give him kisses in the field. They find him, and his back is to them, so they are about to sneak up on him. But he turns at the last second.

Sal's mother starts to cry and tells her dad that he is just 'too good.' Sal is very confused. The next morning, Sal's mother puts blueberries at Sal's father's plate and says that she is almost as good. Sal is even more confused. She should be happy, but she feels sad and betrayed.

Chapter Seven: Ill-Ah-No-Way

Sal and her grandparents make it to Illinois. They stop to wade in Lake Michigan and stay in a hotel in Chicago. Sal spends time that night thinking about her mother. They were very close, and Sal was confused when she left since she'd always based her reactions of life on her mom. When she saw a baby calf being born a few weeks later, Sal remembers being happy for the first time on her own. She knew then that her happiness didn't depend entirely on her mother.

When Sal sees a baby cow born, she knows that her happiness does not depend entirely on her mother
When Sal sees a baby cow born, she knows that her happiness doesn

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