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Who is the Lunatic in Walk Two Moons?

Instructor: Debra Patuto

Debra has taught at elementary levels and has an M.ed with certification in elementary education and special education

In the story 'Walk Two Moons', an unexpected visitor knocks on the Winterbottoms' front door one afternoon. The mysterious boy is looking for Mrs. Winterbottom. Let's take a look at who the 'lunatic' really is and why he wants to find Mrs. Winterbottom.

The Story Behind 'The Lunatic'

One day a boy shows up at the Winterbottoms' front door. Phoebe Winterbottom and her friend Sal cautiously answer the door to see what he wanted. He was looking for Mrs. Winterbottom, but she wasn't home. He left without leaving his name, or even a message. This mysterious boy and his unexplained visit gets Phoebe's imagination spinning out of control! She names the mysterious boy 'the lunatic' (which is a word for an insane person).

Mrs. Winterbottom happens to be going through a difficult time in her life, and she's been feeling unappreciated. Phoebe finds her mother crying one day and tells her about 'the lunatic' who came to the door. Mrs. Winterbottom asks Phoebe to not tell her father about the boy.

With no explanation, Mrs. Winterbottom leaves the family for some time. Phoebe believes that her mother has been kidnapped by this mysterious boy. Her wild imagination even leads her to go the police station to report a murder. While at the police station, she finds a picture on Sergeant Bickle's desk. 'The lunatic' is in Sergeant Bickle's family picture!

Phoebe, using a pretend name, calls Sergeant Bickle at his home to learn where she might find this mysterious boy. During the brief conversation, she finds out his name is Mike and he goes to college. She even gets his address. Phoebe takes a bus ride to the college to find Mike. She is shocked to find her mother sitting on a bench, holding hands and even kissing him on the cheek. Phoebe couldn't believe that she had just caught her mother kissing 'the lunatic'!

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