A Long Walk to Water: based on a true story

Park, Linda Sue.  A Long Walk to Water: based on a true story. Clarion Books, 2010. This compelling story is told from two perspectives. One is the voice of Salva Dut, a former 'lost boy' who was orphaned and forced to flee because of the 1985-2005 Sudanese Civil War. The other voice is Nya, a character the author created to represent the children in a remote Sudanese village today. Nya's daily life consists of traveling back and forth, eight miles a day, to haul potable water for her family - a task that makes school an impossibility. Park's dual narrative exposes the danger, despair and death suffered by Salva and the other lost boys as well as the constant struggle of the Sudanese people, especially children, to obtain water. Ultimately, Salva's story and Nya's story intersect, and the ending is one of hope and peace for the people of Sudan. This book is a fascinating and realistic look for older readers at the problems facing children in third-world countries - made even richer by the knowledge that it is a true story. It is also a good read aloud for children age 7-10. Winner Book for Older Children, 2011.

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