Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Long Walk to Water

Nya walks eight hours every day to bring water to her family. The trip to the watering hole isn't as bad as the trip back to the village, when the water weights the jugs.

Salva is in school when the shooting and bombing explode. His teacher tells the students to run. Salva's running turns to days and weeks and months of walking. He becomes one of the Lost Boys, walking to escape war.

Linda Sue Park weaves together the lives of Nya and Salva in her book A Long Walk to Water. Linda met Salva through his nonprofit organization, Water for Sudan. Her book is based on his life story.

A Long Walk to Water is an exceptional book for kids to read because it presents life in another culture. The story is at times frightening, but not overly done for young readers. They will be introduced to the country of Sudan, the reality of civil war and refugee camps, and the current day needs of people in other places. Through the characters of Nya and Salva, they will view perseverance and service for others. Perhaps, too, they will gain an appreciation for the water so abundantly available to Westerners through taps in our homes and schools.

A Long Walk to Water was published in 2010 by Clarion Books.  It is recommended for kids in grades 5 - 8, but also is appropriate for 4th graders who are advanced readers.

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