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A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story

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A Long Walk to Water begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about a girl in Sudan in 2008 and a boy in Sudan in 1985. The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is two hours’ walk from her home: she makes two trips to the pond every day. The boy, Salva, becomes one of the "lost boys" of Sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they se A Long Walk to Water begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about a girl in Sudan in 2008 and a boy in Sudan in 1985. The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is two hours’ walk from her home: she makes two trips to the pond every day. The boy, Salva, becomes one of the "lost boys" of Sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they search for their families and for a safe place to stay. Enduring every hardship from loneliness to attack by armed rebels to contact with killer lions and crocodiles, Salva is a survivor, and his story goes on to intersect with Nya’s in an astonishing and moving way.


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A Long Walk to Water begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about a girl in Sudan in 2008 and a boy in Sudan in 1985. The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is two hours’ walk from her home: she makes two trips to the pond every day. The boy, Salva, becomes one of the "lost boys" of Sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they se A Long Walk to Water begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about a girl in Sudan in 2008 and a boy in Sudan in 1985. The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is two hours’ walk from her home: she makes two trips to the pond every day. The boy, Salva, becomes one of the "lost boys" of Sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they search for their families and for a safe place to stay. Enduring every hardship from loneliness to attack by armed rebels to contact with killer lions and crocodiles, Salva is a survivor, and his story goes on to intersect with Nya’s in an astonishing and moving way.

30 review for A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mischenko

    A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park is based on the true story of Salva Dut, one of the Lost Boys from Sudan during the second Sudanese Civil War in 1985. The book also includes a separate narrative about a girl named Nya, which takes place in Sudan as well, but beginning in 2008. Throughout the book we learn about Nya and Salva’s circumstances and their struggles. Salva’s story is harrowing. It’s during a normal school day in 1985 that shots are heard–the war has arrived in his village–and he A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park is based on the true story of Salva Dut, one of the Lost Boys from Sudan during the second Sudanese Civil War in 1985. The book also includes a separate narrative about a girl named Nya, which takes place in Sudan as well, but beginning in 2008. Throughout the book we learn about Nya and Salva’s circumstances and their struggles. Salva’s story is harrowing. It’s during a normal school day in 1985 that shots are heard–the war has arrived in his village–and he’s forced to run into the bush for safety. “Go quickly, all of you,” the teacher said, his voice low and urgent. “Into the bush. Do you hear me? Not home. Don’t run home. They will be going into the villages. Stay away from villages–run into the bush.” He has no idea where he’s going; he only knows he must seek safety as far away from home as possible. Traveling with different groups of people, Salva is scared and surrounded by danger; there’s barely any food or water and he faces dangerous wild animals, the sweltering heat, and soldiers armed with guns. It’s hard to imagine the fear he must’ve felt being a child amongst strangers, separated from his family, and now in the wilderness. Years go by as he travels, settling into multiple refugee camps. Salva witnesses much death and wonders if he’ll ever find his family again. Nya’s story begins in 2008 as she and her family struggles to locate fresh water. Nya spends most of the day traveling back and forth in the scorching heat to a pond to fetch water for her family. Members of her family and others have actually been sick from drinking contaminated water. Life is challenging without access to clean water and rather than go to school like other children her age, Nya has to spend most of her days just fetching water without much time for anything else. One day, Nya learns that something good is finally coming to their village: a new water well. Honestly, I don’t remember hearing about Salva’s story before now. I ended up reading this book with my kids for their reading discussion group. We all loved the book, even though it’s frightening and even hard to read in a few parts. The book is written well, and what a page turner it is. The author did such a wonderful job weaving these two narratives together. We couldn’t put it down and kept asking ourselves: What’s going to happen to Salva? Is his family alive? How are these stories connected? Along with the two narratives, you also learn about the history of Sudan, the different tribes, a bit of culture, and their consistent struggle for clean water. It’s odd the things we humans take for granted. I honestly don’t think I’ll ever look at a glass of water the same again. By the end of the story I was in tears. This book is incredibly moving with a strong message for any age. It’s truly a book I recommend to everyone. “Stay calm when things are hard or not going right with you. You will get through it when you persevere instead of quitting. Quitting leads to much less happiness in life than perseverance and hope.” –Salva Dut I don’t want to spoil anything, but the extras at the end of the story had us doing research online afterward to learn more. If you’d like to learn more about the Water for South Sudan project, you can find it at: https://www.waterforsouthsudan.org You can also read this review @https://readrantrockandroll.com/2019/... Age Range: 10 – 12 years Grade Level: 5 – 7 Paperback: 128 pages Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (October 4, 2011) Language: English ISBN-10: 0547577311 ISBN-13: 978-0547577319

  2. 4 out of 5

    Aj the Ravenous Reader

    “I need only to get through the rest of this day. This day and no other.” Where there is a child, there is always joy. I always thought this was true but the story told otherwise. This is a true to life story of Salva, an 11 year old boy who found little to almost no place in a world where people struggle to survive an almost endless series of conflicts during the Second Sudanese Civil War that started in 1983 . To adults caught in a tumultuous succession of life threatening obstacles, Salva “I need only to get through the rest of this day. This day and no other.” Where there is a child, there is always joy. I always thought this was true but the story told otherwise. This is a true to life story of Salva, an 11 year old boy who found little to almost no place in a world where people struggle to survive an almost endless series of conflicts during the Second Sudanese Civil War that started in 1983 . To adults caught in a tumultuous succession of life threatening obstacles, Salva is a burden, someone who will only slow them down, just another mouth to feed. *sniffs* It’s unbelievable where the young boy found all that courage and will to live. Of the many things I’ve learned from him, it is to cling to hope the wisest possible way that hit me the most. “He tried not to lose hope. At the same time, he tried not to hope too much.” Written in a lyrical narrative but easy and timeless style of language allowing the reader to feel more, the story completely seized my heart. The vivid, wistful recollections of the young boy’s perilous journey by foot from Sudan to Ethiopia then later to Kenya were plainly told, nothing very emotional. In fact, the writing style seems to be even a bit dismissive of tragic events as if in a life-sucks-but-hurry-up-and-move-on-now approach but it still brought me to puddles of tears. It’s an inspirational piece of literature that is definitely worth your time. Thank you to Shanna/Darina for bringing this book to my attention. I had no idea this ever existed before I stalked your profile and of course, I didn’t forget. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MY DEAR FRIEND! WISHING YOU A SPECIAL DAY, GOOD HEALTH, HAPPINESS AND MORE GREAT BOOKS TO READ! <3

  3. 4 out of 5

    Starjustin

    Taken from a true experience, an intertwining story of two children, at two different periods in time, living in two opposite tribes, and coming together to make a difference in their world. Both living in Sudan during times of war, despair, ravaging, starvation, death, lack of water and many more harrowing obstacles to face daily. This short novel has such a large story to tell. I received a recommendation from my daughter on this one after she took the time to read it with my grandkids. I am ve Taken from a true experience, an intertwining story of two children, at two different periods in time, living in two opposite tribes, and coming together to make a difference in their world. Both living in Sudan during times of war, despair, ravaging, starvation, death, lack of water and many more harrowing obstacles to face daily. This short novel has such a large story to tell. I received a recommendation from my daughter on this one after she took the time to read it with my grandkids. I am very pleased to have experienced it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Judith Weaver

    Quick read good for multiple ability levels.This book should be an easy inclusion into 7th grade Geography, 6th grade world history, or as an addition to a Holocaust unit. This is how I plan to use it with my 7th grade reading teacher. For younger readers, this book may encourage a class to adopt a project to help bring water to children their age in other places in the world. Book is told from two viewpoints. One is a girl walking each day to get the water her family needs which she carries home Quick read good for multiple ability levels.This book should be an easy inclusion into 7th grade Geography, 6th grade world history, or as an addition to a Holocaust unit. This is how I plan to use it with my 7th grade reading teacher. For younger readers, this book may encourage a class to adopt a project to help bring water to children their age in other places in the world. Book is told from two viewpoints. One is a girl walking each day to get the water her family needs which she carries home in plastic gallon jugs. The trip takes her all day and while not mentioned in the story, this could be a dangerous trip for her. The second viewpoint is from a boy in the 80's who is at school when his village is attacked. He runs into the woods and that is the last of his childhood of living with family or a village. He is in fact one of the Lost Boys. The two stories come together in an upbeat ending meant to inspire the reader to make a better world. Parks intended this book for children to read, so there is not the terror or violence that this book could contain. It does contain some difficult situations -- a boy carried off by a lion in the night, the burning of a village, etc. I would read this book before handing it to a student younger than 6th grade. One more comment, because the book ends with an addendum about an elementary school putting a well in the girl's village, students may want to initiate a project like the one in the book. Be careful if you do this with the kids, so that your money really goes to putting in a well, and not in some warlord's pocket. Rotary does projects like this -- and others of course -- and that might be the way to go.

  5. 4 out of 5

    BernLuvsBooks

    A Long Walk to Water was a poignant, touching story that will appeal to readers of all ages. While technically a middle grade novel, this is a story that everyone would benefit from reading. It's a quick read, told as two alternating stories - that of a young girl Nya in the Sudan in 2008 and a young man Salva in 1985. Both of their stories are compelling, emotional and inspirational. Nya must walk hours each day to a far away well to get water for her family. Salva's story is heart-wrenching. A Long Walk to Water was a poignant, touching story that will appeal to readers of all ages. While technically a middle grade novel, this is a story that everyone would benefit from reading. It's a quick read, told as two alternating stories - that of a young girl Nya in the Sudan in 2008 and a young man Salva in 1985. Both of their stories are compelling, emotional and inspirational. Nya must walk hours each day to a far away well to get water for her family. Salva's story is heart-wrenching. His village is attacked and he is separated from his family. Salva's journey is fraught with loss, tragedy, unwavering hope and courage. It was unimaginable to me to think about the horrors children face when they are displaced from their homes, separated from their families and in refugee camps. Salva's sheer will to survive was inspirational. I don't know how I'd cope in such a situation. I loved how these two seemingly unconnected stories intertwined in the end. What the book lacks in pages it makes up for in impact. It is impossible not to feel empathy for the characters within these pages and be moved by their stories. This is one book I highly recommend reading & discussing with all the important children in your life.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    There are some stories that need to be told regardless of how sad or horrifying they might be. The challenge becomes even harder when the stories are being told to children. How much should one include? What details are necessary and what can be left out without changing the story too much? And what about stories that involve extreme violence and severe suffering? How best to tell the story? These questions can be debated over and over again because there is no one right answer. No two authors w There are some stories that need to be told regardless of how sad or horrifying they might be. The challenge becomes even harder when the stories are being told to children. How much should one include? What details are necessary and what can be left out without changing the story too much? And what about stories that involve extreme violence and severe suffering? How best to tell the story? These questions can be debated over and over again because there is no one right answer. No two authors will present the same story in the same way. This book follows two main characters, Nya, a child living in Southern Sudan, who must spend every day walking to and from a pond bringing water to her family, and Salva, who twenty-three years earlier became a refugee when his village was attacked by soldiers from the north. The story about Salva is the longer of the two and follows the eleven-year-old as he runs from his school and must somehow cross hundreds of miles of desert, swamp, and forest to reach safety. After six years in the refugee camp, Salva faces terror once again as the Ethiopian soldiers force all the Sudanese refugees back into Sudan, killing hundreds in the process. But Salva finds the strength and hope to survive and becomes a leader among what has become known as the Lost Boys of the Sudan. These boys were orphans who struggled to survive on their own. Some of these boys were able to find a way to not only survive, but to help those left behind. Salva's story intersects with Nya's in an interesting way, showing that the efforts of one can have a far-reaching effect. While the book does explain some of the horrors that the Lost Children of the Sudan and the other refugees faced, it does not do so in a graphic way, and the story is not about despair or violence, it's about hope, which makes the book great to share with students who face their own challenges.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly Antill

    A Long Walk to Water is a beautiful story about persevering even under the worst of circumstances. Salva's story brought me to tears. A highly recommended read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    JamesC_E1

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. After reading this book, I felt like my heart was pierced by an arrow, right in the center, bulls-eye. The story was sad, but in the end, it was a happy ending. There was one part that I thought was most heartbreaking. If you read this book, you might remember. It was the part when Salva's uncle getting shot by the burglars, by his own gun in the desert. And the most irritating part is that they laughed... they laughed! They just killed someone! In the beginning, I thought it was inhuman. But af After reading this book, I felt like my heart was pierced by an arrow, right in the center, bulls-eye. The story was sad, but in the end, it was a happy ending. There was one part that I thought was most heartbreaking. If you read this book, you might remember. It was the part when Salva's uncle getting shot by the burglars, by his own gun in the desert. And the most irritating part is that they laughed... they laughed! They just killed someone! In the beginning, I thought it was inhuman. But after I got to know a little about the history and culture of Sudan, I learned that it was "normal". I became "heart-repaired" in the end because, in the beginning, all the way to the end, it was mostly sad and fist clenching stories. Nya's tiring life. Salva's life-threatening story. In the end, as you might know, the two meet, young Nya, and grown-up Salva. Nya gets to go to school, because of the well that Salva and his crew dug (I won't give more and specific details of the story because I am not a spoiler). I guess this can be a happy ending. Read this yourself, I really enjoyed it. I recommend this book to all people, except very sensitive and very easily impressed, very easily heart-struck, or very easily moved. This is because these type of people might start crying in the middle of this book! I can't connect to this story at all. I just can't. These type of "true" stories are just too rare, but in the end, it might be common to some people. I wish others can read this book so that they have a similar thinking as me, and actually try to help types of people such as Nya and Salva.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Krista the Krazy Kataloguer

    This novel is divided into two alternating narratives that come together in the end. In brown print is the story, set in 2008, of Nya, a young girl from Sudan who has to walk 8 hours round trip to fetch water every day, twice a day. In black print is the story of Salva, a young Sudanese boy whose village is attacked by the rebels in 1985 and who ends up fleeing across the desert to a refugee camp in Ethiopia. After witnessing many horrors, he and other "lost boys," homeless and orphaned, walk ba This novel is divided into two alternating narratives that come together in the end. In brown print is the story, set in 2008, of Nya, a young girl from Sudan who has to walk 8 hours round trip to fetch water every day, twice a day. In black print is the story of Salva, a young Sudanese boy whose village is attacked by the rebels in 1985 and who ends up fleeing across the desert to a refugee camp in Ethiopia. After witnessing many horrors, he and other "lost boys," homeless and orphaned, walk back across Sudan to refugee camps in Kenya. Salva's story takes place from 1985, when he is eleven, until his path crosses with Nya's in 2009. It is based on the true story of a man whom the author knows, the real Salva Dut, who eventually was flown to Rochester, New York, to begin his life anew. How does Salva come to meet Nya? Read and find out! Salva's story is both heartbreaking and heartwarming, as the reader laments that children should have to experience such terrible things and also marvels that a child could be so courageous. Highly recommended, especially combined with Mary Williams' Brothers in Hope: the Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan, Alice Mead's Year of No Rain, and Katherine Applegate's Home of the Brave.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Dora_C1

    Absolutely an astonishing story that I believe can inspire anyone at any age. When you've read about Nya and Salva's dilemmas in life, you really can't say your life is not good. Ask yourself this: Is it really miserable, or are you just not being grateful of what you have? What inspired me the most was the fact that Salva had kept hope and perseverance throughout this dangerous and terrible life. He was able to find a four leaf clover in forest. His uncle's strategy of solving problems and reac Absolutely an astonishing story that I believe can inspire anyone at any age. When you've read about Nya and Salva's dilemmas in life, you really can't say your life is not good. Ask yourself this: Is it really miserable, or are you just not being grateful of what you have? What inspired me the most was the fact that Salva had kept hope and perseverance throughout this dangerous and terrible life. He was able to find a four leaf clover in forest. His uncle's strategy of solving problems and reaching towards a goal is in his blood. This book is so inspirational that it is in my blood, too :)

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    You should start by first knowing that the book is a children's book--otherwise the writing style will be off-putting. It is a heart-wrenching story of a boy (Salva) who is separated from his parents during the religious war between Arab-Africans and Africans in Sudan. He joins a group and they first try to make their way to Ethiopia where they are chased off by soldiers and forced to jump into a lake filled with crocodiles. He then spends a year and a half with a group headed for Kenya--then Am You should start by first knowing that the book is a children's book--otherwise the writing style will be off-putting. It is a heart-wrenching story of a boy (Salva) who is separated from his parents during the religious war between Arab-Africans and Africans in Sudan. He joins a group and they first try to make their way to Ethiopia where they are chased off by soldiers and forced to jump into a lake filled with crocodiles. He then spends a year and a half with a group headed for Kenya--then America. The book is about what happens on his many attempts to escape fighting in his village. Things get a bid muddled though, when you flash-forward to Nya, a young African girl who is later connected to Salva in a weird ending. Nya has a good story herself, but it interrupts the main story structure, and Salvo's character falls flat in the middle, leaving some parts of the story, like of his family for instance, with loose ends, while other parts seem unrealistic. This could be befuddling for inquisitive kids (like my niece who wanted to know: "but what happened to his mommy?"). Great book for a child who is just learning about the impact of atrocities that children their age face around the world. The story of a Salva is a moving one.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Roxanne Hsu Feldman

    This is a quiet book; it is also an explosive and extremely powerful book. For such a short book, it really packs a huge punch -- one that lingers in my mind and makes me want to know more, find out more, and help out if I can! It is a quiet book because Park reports and does not sensationalize. At times, in the beginning of Salva's journey, I felt a slight disconnect: I did not feel that his forced exile from his village or even the loss of his new friend are scenes that moved me emotionally. A This is a quiet book; it is also an explosive and extremely powerful book. For such a short book, it really packs a huge punch -- one that lingers in my mind and makes me want to know more, find out more, and help out if I can! It is a quiet book because Park reports and does not sensationalize. At times, in the beginning of Salva's journey, I felt a slight disconnect: I did not feel that his forced exile from his village or even the loss of his new friend are scenes that moved me emotionally. As I kept reading, my mind and my heart mingled: the words that are matter-of-facts also became matter-of-heart and matter-of-wisdom. The portion of the journey involving Salva's uncle, his guidance, and his death, is the center piece of the tale. I even feel that I've learned a precious lesson from his mantra of taking one step at a time, solving one problem at a time -- to conquer seemingly insurmountable obstacles or to achieve seemingly impossible goals. It is a powerful book because Park manages to tell a harrowing tale to a young audience that will surely stimulate empathy and activism.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Oliver_E1

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. After I read this book, I realized how sad or poor many other places in the world was. While I was at home, playing games or eating amazing food, there were people starving and dying. War. Death. Friends. There were many sad moments, but in the end, it was happy. It taught me many things, like how if you keep on trying you will succeed. Salva kept on trying, and eventually made it to both of the camps. He also kept on trying to raise money for Sudan after he got to America, and he eventually got After I read this book, I realized how sad or poor many other places in the world was. While I was at home, playing games or eating amazing food, there were people starving and dying. War. Death. Friends. There were many sad moments, but in the end, it was happy. It taught me many things, like how if you keep on trying you will succeed. Salva kept on trying, and eventually made it to both of the camps. He also kept on trying to raise money for Sudan after he got to America, and he eventually got to build the wells. It's really hard for me to connect to this book, as I can't connect to how much pain the people of Sudan was experiencing, but I can connect to how hard work will help you succeed. Everyone tells me this, my teachers, my parents, my friends. At first I didn't really believe it, but after I read this book I started to believe it a bit more.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    As a parent, I've spent a lot of time protecting my childrens' innocence about the world. We've been blessed beyond belief to live in a first world country, in a safe community, where our needs our met, where my kids have been able to be kids. Sure, they're aware of "the needy", we sponsor a child through World Vision, and they've learned about Haiti and Rwanda through some mission programs at our church. But they don't really know the details of the suffering. My older child has now reached an As a parent, I've spent a lot of time protecting my childrens' innocence about the world. We've been blessed beyond belief to live in a first world country, in a safe community, where our needs our met, where my kids have been able to be kids. Sure, they're aware of "the needy", we sponsor a child through World Vision, and they've learned about Haiti and Rwanda through some mission programs at our church. But they don't really know the details of the suffering. My older child has now reached an age where some of that protection needs to be turned to education. "A Long Walk to Water" is an excellent novel to do just that. "A Long Walk to Water" has two parallel story lines. The first, which starts in 1985, focuses on Salva, who becomes one of the Lost Boys of Sudan when his village is attacked in the middle of the school day and he must flee for safety -- a heartbreaking journey which takes years and spans countries and continents. The second story line starts in 2008 and focuses on Nya, a Sudanese girl whose sole activity in life is to walk miles to and from a watering hole each day to collect dirty water (the only available kind) for her family. The book is written for middle grade readers, so adults may find it lacking in depth and predictable. However, I think it hits the sweet spot for its intended audience. Middle grade readers will find suspense, action, and a sense of empathy for the characters in both of the story lines. My daughter was compelled to find out more about both the Lost Boys as well as access to clean water -- and I doubt she is alone. The book has given us an opportunity to discuss not only history and geography, but also better helps her understand the current Syrian refugee crisis. I highly recommend this for middle grade readers.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Donalyn

    The long civil war in Sudan destroyed the country and devastated its people. Park alternates the stories of two Sudanese children, one a Lost Boy, forced to flee his village during an attack and seek refuge in Ethiopia, and a young girl who walks for miles each day to collect water for her family. A brief, powerful story explaining the Sudanese conflict to children and one boy's hope and courage.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Shelby

    I am speechless right now! There are no words to describe this book. It was amazing. It also had very good writing. I vould not put the book down. I can't believe that I finished a book within 2 days. That is how much I was into the book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ian_E1

    (A little spoiling) The book "A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story" was such a inspirational book that made me compare Salva's story, to mine. I have a family. I have education. I have other needs in life that Salva doesn't. It made me wonder how much things that I "want" rather than I "need". It made me wonder how much just one's help, can change someone's life. It made me wonder how not knowing things, can hurt. It made me realize how I'm too lazy to go from my room to the refrigerator t (A little spoiling) The book "A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story" was such a inspirational book that made me compare Salva's story, to mine. I have a family. I have education. I have other needs in life that Salva doesn't. It made me wonder how much things that I "want" rather than I "need". It made me wonder how much just one's help, can change someone's life. It made me wonder how not knowing things, can hurt. It made me realize how I'm too lazy to go from my room to the refrigerator to get water, while half way across the world in Sudan, a country next to Ethiopia that ended a civil war not too long ago, there is someone(Nya) walking hours just to get muddy water. Not only just to get water. Going to the nearest school and medic takes hours also. Just like Nya explains, water can be the key to life. It can bring happiness to families. Peacefulness. Education. Now talking about Salva and his family, he meets his father in 19 years! In nineteen years, someone can change so much to forget their son's face. I wonder when Salva met his mother and his brother. Now thinking about it, the war has also changed Salva in many ways. First and the most obvious, he was stronger after the words uncle told him. "Just one more step" "Just till the bushes over there". This and his friends death kept him going to his destination. Next, the war made Salva run away and not fight for the war. This made him go to america since he didn't fight. He also didn't get the scar on his forehead because he ran away from the war. Finally, the war shaped Salva to who he is today. Going to southern Sudan and helping people there. Even generous to face the Nuer and dig a well for them. Anyways, I recommend this book to anyone. From elementary to adults. Everyone should read this book.

  18. 4 out of 5

    ladydusk

    Own. This book was very moving and thought provoking. It was a relatively short and easy read from a technical standpoint. Park did a lovely job weaving Nya and Salva's stories together. Nya's more modern story was changed by Salva's earlier experiences. The lessons of one step in front of the other and simply reaching the next plateau were well revived, time and again. It was valuable exposure to the experiences of people in our world and the challenges so many face: war, lack of access to resou Own. This book was very moving and thought provoking. It was a relatively short and easy read from a technical standpoint. Park did a lovely job weaving Nya and Salva's stories together. Nya's more modern story was changed by Salva's earlier experiences. The lessons of one step in front of the other and simply reaching the next plateau were well revived, time and again. It was valuable exposure to the experiences of people in our world and the challenges so many face: war, lack of access to resources, refugees, government unrest, etc. Park packs a lot of ideas into a slim book written for children. Even though this book is probably aimed more at an upper elementary age group, I found it a worthwhile read for my Middle Grade homeschool students who have been, perhaps, a little more sheltered than others their age. It was a quick read for us and I could tell there was a lot of thinking going on. While it wasn't a *fun* read, it was an important one.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kells Next Read

    This was a quick read that pact a powerful punch. I highly reccomend it to all. Sometimes we all take for granted the things that come so easily for us. We instinctively feel it to be a basic right for all. ( Not all have access or enjoy the basic necessities of life ) I love how the author artiulates the two POV's and ultimately how they intersect at the end of the book.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nolann_E1

    This book has become my favorite book. It is so detailed and informational. I like how it talks about 2 different main characters. I like how Salva never gives up, he still had hope, Which made me have hope for him. COnnecting to Salva is hard for me, I have never been in that situation. I find so surprising that you don't really hear Nya complain about her water, but for me when I see a little dirt in my water I don't drink it. I find it amazing how these people in Sudan living like this, bad w This book has become my favorite book. It is so detailed and informational. I like how it talks about 2 different main characters. I like how Salva never gives up, he still had hope, Which made me have hope for him. COnnecting to Salva is hard for me, I have never been in that situation. I find so surprising that you don't really hear Nya complain about her water, but for me when I see a little dirt in my water I don't drink it. I find it amazing how these people in Sudan living like this, bad water not a lot of food. I never really thought too much about this problem. Each time I heard Salva talk about his parents I would keep telling myself, his family is alive, his family is alive, his family is alive. Salva got stronger from his uncle and his family, which gave me hope for his family. I am so glad that I was introduced to this book by Mr. Errico, reading with the class made the experience more fun. Also, I loved the class discussions because it made me think more deeply about the text, and made me ask more questions. I recommend this book to people who love personal stories, and if you would like to know about what happened in Sudan during that time.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Angela_C1

    I think one of the important factors in the book is development. Development empowers entire Sudanese villages by giving the villagers more time for other pursuits, such as education. By installing a simple well in the middle of the village, for example, engineers save the villagers countless hours of walking—adding up to weeks or months, probably—every year. Following the same logic, this type of development empowers women: Nya, for instance, will be able to attend school alongside her male pee I think one of the important factors in the book is development. Development empowers entire Sudanese villages by giving the villagers more time for other pursuits, such as education. By installing a simple well in the middle of the village, for example, engineers save the villagers countless hours of walking—adding up to weeks or months, probably—every year. Following the same logic, this type of development empowers women: Nya, for instance, will be able to attend school alongside her male peers and learn how to read and write due to the time the new well saves her. No country can develop when half of its population is marginalized. The book also shows how development might ease cultural tensions in Sudan as a whole. Salva Dut, who initiates an influential project to build wells in Sudan, makes a point of designing wells for many different tribes, not just his own Dinka tribe. In this way, Salva makes sure that the different cultural and ethnic groups in South Sudan reap the rewards of development equally. Furthermore, the author suggests that many of the rivalries between tribes stem from disputes over access to water, meaning that providing clean water for the different tribes will make South Sudan more a more peaceful place for its inhabitants. I can make a text-to-world connection the South Sudanese refugee crisis and the situation Salva and Nya is in. Last week, I participated in SHASMUN VII as the delegate of South Africa. We had a variety of constructive and fruitful debates, including a debate on resolution of the South Sudanese refugee crisis. This debate further enhanced my learning on the background history and the current situation inn South Sudan. It also put me in the shoes of the UN that strived to build a better future for Nya and Salva. Furthermore, this experience relates to the political video we watched in class because the exact same thing happened in the conference. In the video, USA vetoed the resolution by the United Nations of aborting weapon transportation to South Sudan, which could possibly save thousands of lives. At the conference, Congo and Kenya submitted a clause on the s of weapon transportation, but the delegate of USA, pertaining to his country stance, vetoed it by striking the clause.

  22. 5 out of 5

    SJ_E1

    After I read this book, I could clearly understand the theme of the book. Which I believe that it was, if you have a goal in life, as long as you try you can always accomplish it and never lose hope. I believe that that was the theme of this book because the book continuously proves to us that that is the theme of the book. The first time we see this is when Salva starts his long walking journey to safety and freedom from violence in the beginning of the book. The next major scene that we see th After I read this book, I could clearly understand the theme of the book. Which I believe that it was, if you have a goal in life, as long as you try you can always accomplish it and never lose hope. I believe that that was the theme of this book because the book continuously proves to us that that is the theme of the book. The first time we see this is when Salva starts his long walking journey to safety and freedom from violence in the beginning of the book. The next major scene that we see this is when Salva is on his own and is leading thousands of other boys after the event in the Ethiopian refugee camps. In this scene, we first hear Salva continuously try to get to safety with the other thousands of children. We can see Salva really trying to achieve a goal. This is different compared to the past is that this time, Salva is choosing his choices instead of another adult choosing it for him like his uncle. The final time that we see Salva showing this is when he starts the project to help both Dinka and Nuer access water easily. Donations. Speeches. Volunteers. The book specifically states that Salva spent a lot of effort to achieve his goal. All of this took years to accomplish. Throughout the book we see the book telling us that all you need to do to acheive your goal is try.

  23. 5 out of 5

    DanielC_C1

    In every book, there is always one line that is the soul of the book. Remove that one line, and the book turns to rust. This book has one of the most amazing soul-of-the-books in all the books I've read. I believe that the soul in this book is the line "Just this one step-one step at a time." This message is not only repeated, but it is also meaningful. Chinese philosopher, Lao Zi, has once said that "a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step." These two pieces of text connect toge In every book, there is always one line that is the soul of the book. Remove that one line, and the book turns to rust. This book has one of the most amazing soul-of-the-books in all the books I've read. I believe that the soul in this book is the line "Just this one step-one step at a time." This message is not only repeated, but it is also meaningful. Chinese philosopher, Lao Zi, has once said that "a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step." These two pieces of text connect together. Have you ever felt something was too big to be done? If you look at the whole thing, you would be under a lot of stress and pressure. But, if you take it one piece at a time, you would find it easier. In the book, Salva's story literally revolved around this one line. When he was walking from South Sudan to Ethiopia, he was thinking of this sentence to encourage himself. When he was running to Kenya, he was taking his days one day at a time-just this one day. When he was digging wells for the Sudanese, he was thinking of what his uncle had taught him. This is a very meaningful book. Heavily recommended if you want an inspirational novel.

  24. 5 out of 5

    AngelaH_E2

    This book is amazing. I really like how it shows different examples of life in Southern Sudan. Salva and Nya's life were so different, yet they live in the same country and same culture, it's just the time period is different. Also, I was deeply touched by, especially, Salva's courage. His life is so different then ours, and our lives are better than his in many ways, yet, he never gave up, and at the end probably experienced and learned more than we ever will. I admire him for that. Another par This book is amazing. I really like how it shows different examples of life in Southern Sudan. Salva and Nya's life were so different, yet they live in the same country and same culture, it's just the time period is different. Also, I was deeply touched by, especially, Salva's courage. His life is so different then ours, and our lives are better than his in many ways, yet, he never gave up, and at the end probably experienced and learned more than we ever will. I admire him for that. Another part of the book that I really liked, was at the end, at how Nya didn't have to walk to the pond for water. Instead, she could go to school. I was really moved at this because of her enthusiasm and her wanting to learn. Because of this, she probably will understand the full meaning of going to school and getting an education, and how important it is for the future. That is why I really enjoyed reading this book, and if you haven't read it, I really recommend that you do.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    In this story, Salva and Nya are the main characters. Their both from Sudan, and faced many challenges. Salva's village was under attacked by the rebels, they had to run away from the village for safety. On this long hard journey to Ethiopia there are many things that happens to Salva both tragic and emotional. Salva is independent and learns how to control one situation at a time. Nya on the other hand, she walks every single day to go get water from the pond. The water is dirty, but that chang In this story, Salva and Nya are the main characters. Their both from Sudan, and faced many challenges. Salva's village was under attacked by the rebels, they had to run away from the village for safety. On this long hard journey to Ethiopia there are many things that happens to Salva both tragic and emotional. Salva is independent and learns how to control one situation at a time. Nya on the other hand, she walks every single day to go get water from the pond. The water is dirty, but that changes soon. I honestly loved this book, it was hard to put down. It was a quick read but I enjoyed it.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Maddie Smith

    In this book, the main character, Salva, has to be very persistent. If he didn't show this trait, then he might not even survive the situation he's in. He needs to keep walking, without stopping, and he doesn't even know where he is going. All he knows is that him and his group are trying to get away from the war, anywhere where it is not. If I were in Salva's situation, I don't think I would be able to survive. He has walked for 1 whole week without stopping, he hasn't eaten hardly anything, and In this book, the main character, Salva, has to be very persistent. If he didn't show this trait, then he might not even survive the situation he's in. He needs to keep walking, without stopping, and he doesn't even know where he is going. All he knows is that him and his group are trying to get away from the war, anywhere where it is not. If I were in Salva's situation, I don't think I would be able to survive. He has walked for 1 whole week without stopping, he hasn't eaten hardly anything, and he is feeling horrible about himself because half of the group that he is traveling with wishes that they hadn't taken him with them. I would feel embarrassed and scared that if I did something wrong, the group would just leave me behind in their tracks. The fact that he barely eats is horrible, but on top of that, he has to walk the whole day without eating, so he has no source of energy. And to make his situation even worse, he doesn't even know if his family is alive. They could be dead, alone, dying...he has no clue. But this takes him forward. He knows that if he gives up, then he will never see his family again, even if they are alive. So he keeps pushing. Pushing to survive, pushing to show that he is worthy, pushing to make sure that he doesn't get left behind like an object that somebody left buried in the sand.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Aanya_C1

    A long walk to water is a novel about two stories, Salva's, and Nya's. Nya is a girl who has to fetch water every single day, from a pond miles away from her village. Salva lives in a war-zone, and believes himself to be the only survivor when the rebels attacked his village. What I liked most about the book was the determination and hope of the main protagonist, Salva. He was an orphan, a twelve year old boy who had to walk thousands of miles to different refugee camps all over East Africa, but A long walk to water is a novel about two stories, Salva's, and Nya's. Nya is a girl who has to fetch water every single day, from a pond miles away from her village. Salva lives in a war-zone, and believes himself to be the only survivor when the rebels attacked his village. What I liked most about the book was the determination and hope of the main protagonist, Salva. He was an orphan, a twelve year old boy who had to walk thousands of miles to different refugee camps all over East Africa, but somehow he became one of the few people who survived. He just kept thinking "I just have to make it through this day, one step at a time". My biggest connection to Salva was the feeling that he was getting too much on his plate, and he couldn't eat through it all. I get that feeling sometimes when I have too much homework, or am just stressed for some reason. I do the same thing salva does, take a deep breath and think that I just have to get through this day. Regarding the writing, I thought It was very well written, but there were some long, unnecessary parts which I thought could be cut and make the book more fast paced with less build-up. Overall, an excellent read.

  28. 5 out of 5

    JakeR

    This story was one of hope and of survival. It kept surprising me how they still remained human, how they have not yet become monsters of war. How people kill but still remain sanity, follow their cultures. In the title, the word "water" seemed to have morphed into another meaning as I reached the end of the book. The word "water", is hope. It is life. Nya or Salva, both set out on a journey to a destination that seems impossible to reach. It is like walking under grey clouds, thundering bullets This story was one of hope and of survival. It kept surprising me how they still remained human, how they have not yet become monsters of war. How people kill but still remain sanity, follow their cultures. In the title, the word "water" seemed to have morphed into another meaning as I reached the end of the book. The word "water", is hope. It is life. Nya or Salva, both set out on a journey to a destination that seems impossible to reach. It is like walking under grey clouds, thundering bullets, crocodiles leaping out of puddles, enemies from all sides. They have a hope of stepping out of the war zone and get a normal life, and this is also just part of who they are. Moral values and cultural pride. They are never wiped out, just forgot in midst of rash decisions. They learnt to imagine the sun behind the clouds, to imagine the water is right there if you only go there step by step. The words of Salva's uncle was constantly repeated in the book. Which points out another important theme in this book: constant strive for a better future. There is never an end to a strive for a better future, for you and others. This is perhaps the healthy kind of greed. The greed of short term satisfactions. The satisfaction you crave for reaching small parts of your goal towards the final one, which in our mind we always know we will never reach. But we live with this absurdity of hope. The hope to live one more day, to taste one more drop of the water that soothes our hearts, to taste one more drop of hope which makes you wanting for more. Refusing to die. It's this kind of hope that kept Salva alive and do more with his life when he actually left the battlefield. Also, it's interesting how Salva's life is connected to Nya's, isn't it? This cycle of kindness, the ones who can learn to have hope can not only live a better life himself, but also provide better lives for others. Then, others will go onto helping others... The circle of life, the circle of hope. The unity of lives moral values are what makes up our beautiful society. To sum it up, Salva and Nya's stories was ones of hope and survival. They have the hope of them surviving, so they would not go into the lunacy of all or nothing. They remained human for the hope of a better future. Of one day, stepping out and bathed in sunshine. Although what kept them going was not the vision of the future, but how to find holes in that grey sky, how to appreciate the things they have, and it is the realisation of there is beauty that they wanted to search for more. Create more beauty in this world. Beautiful book. One that told a timeless tale of hope. I felt like I also understood more about more life and how to live mine. How to appreciate the life that I live in now and how to constantly strive for the beautiful tomorrow. This book is simply inspiring, simply no better word to describe this brilliant book:)

  29. 5 out of 5

    Angel Gelique

    This is a simple story that can be read in a single day. The scenes constantly switch from different time periods, telling the stories of the two main characters--a technique I generally don't enjoy--but it worked perfectly here. In 1985, Salva is an eleven-year-old boy from Southern Sudan, sitting in a classroom. Suddenly, gunfire erupts outside. The teacher tells the boys to run, run into the bush. Salva wants to go home to his family, but everyone is scrambling away from men with guns. He run This is a simple story that can be read in a single day. The scenes constantly switch from different time periods, telling the stories of the two main characters--a technique I generally don't enjoy--but it worked perfectly here. In 1985, Salva is an eleven-year-old boy from Southern Sudan, sitting in a classroom. Suddenly, gunfire erupts outside. The teacher tells the boys to run, run into the bush. Salva wants to go home to his family, but everyone is scrambling away from men with guns. He runs and runs, hoping that somehow he'd find his family at some point. The journey to safety is long, arduous and fraught with many dangers. “He felt as though he were standing on the edge of a giant hole—a hole filled with the black despair of nothingness.” In 2008, Nya, an eleven-year-old girl who is also from Southern Sudan, makes a daily trek to a faraway pond, in the baking sun, to fetch brown muddy water for her family. It takes half the day to get there and the other half of the day to get back. When the rain stops and the pond dries up, her family must walk for three days to camp by a lake. It, too, is dried up, but they dig deep into the claybed for whatever muddy water they can get. Salva's story is truly heartbreaking. He is one of the "lost boys," a name given to a group of more than twenty thousand young boys who were displaced and/or orphaned during the second Sudanese War. It's unfathomable to imagine the horrors those youngsters faced as they walked hundreds of miles in search of refugee camps. I kept thinking about all the things we take for granted, like a simple glass of clean water and home security. Imagine being uprooted in a moment of sudden chaos. You have nothing but the clothes on your back and you wander, if you're lucky, with others, in hopes of finding shelter from the rebels and the lions. Food and water are scarce. You must cross the Nile River, with its turbulent current and vast population of crocodiles. Then you must cross the desert on shoes that offer no protection, or bare-footed. The mere thought is exhausting, really. And yet so many people had to embark on such perilous journeys, propelled by little more than the will to survive. I loved how everything came together at the end and delivered such an inspirational message of hope and perseverance. I highly recommend this book. It reminded me of a movie I saw a couple years ago entitled, The Good Lie, which is an excellent movie.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Oscar

    "The lion could easily ----It sought out a prey that was small and motionless: Marial, sleeping" (Sue 41) Ms. Linda Park Sue is not an Alexander Dumas, nor does she write extremely remarkable books, but she still touched me with this historical fiction novel. As I think about the first quote, I always link it to society today. Corporations are profiling poor communities or cops racially profiling minorities or the food production industry with animal abuse. These people in power of the consumer a "The lion could easily ----It sought out a prey that was small and motionless: Marial, sleeping" (Sue 41) Ms. Linda Park Sue is not an Alexander Dumas, nor does she write extremely remarkable books, but she still touched me with this historical fiction novel. As I think about the first quote, I always link it to society today. Corporations are profiling poor communities or cops racially profiling minorities or the food production industry with animal abuse. These people in power of the consumer and citizens are the lions hunting Marial. African Americans and Latinos accused of illegal drug use and dead pigs used as food for sows and piglets, and contaminated waterways because of feces created by the animals. We must stand up to these unjust actions and fight for what is right. To stop and expose wrongdoings of people. So overall, this book helped me look a the world from a different angle, for the better or worse.

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