A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story

Linda Sue Park

“It was the rainy season. Swollen by the rains, the Gilo’s current would be merciless. The Gilo was well known for something else, too. Crocodiles.”A long walk

Recently, I have been reading YA focusing diversity. It has been a heart-wrenching journey filled with happy and sad tears. While a popular read, I had never come across A Long Walk to Water until I was looking under “The Immigrant Experience” at my local bookstore. There it lay right next to The Distance Between Us and I Am Malala.

A Long Walk to Water is a story of two eleven-year-olds in Africa. A boy, Salva, in 1985 and a girl, Nya, in 2008 tell their stories in alternating sections, literally. Each chapter opens with a short piece from Nya and then continues with the main story focusing on Salva. And yes, their stories merge breathtakingly– I did not see it coming!

Salva’s village is attacked, he joins a group of people walking away from the danger. He faces hardships like the elements and wildlife while becoming one of the “lost boys” of Sudan. The boys search for safety and their families before finding a stable refugee camp. By luck or fate, Salva ends up in NYC.

Nya is a young girl who must walk hours to get water for her family, not once but twice a day. People in her village get sick regularly from the lack of clear water. She can’t understand why men are claiming to make clean water come from the ground in her village. How is that even possible? She wonders. The construction seems pointless to her as she walks for water.

I can’t tell you how it ends, but it is so worth reading to find out. I promise not a minute of your time will be wasted. I most defiantly recommend everyone to read A Long Walk to Water! Read it!

Do you plan to read A Long Walk To Water? Have you donated or been involved in fundraising for Water for South Sudan? Tell me about it!

If you are interested in donating or getting involved click here.

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