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A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  12,466 ratings  ·  2,143 reviews
The New York Times bestseller A Long Walk to Water begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about two eleven-year-olds in Sudan, a girl in 2008 and a boy 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 cov ...more
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published November 15th 2010 by Clarion Books (first published January 1st 2010)
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Leslie on the menu at the top, by "Explore", there is a drop down menu (an arrow button), Click on that, and go down to "Quotes" under fun.

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A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue ParkSmile by Raina TelgemeierBoys Without Names by Kashmira ShethThe Billionaire's Curse by Richard NewsomeTurtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm
Red Dot 2012: Older Readers: Long-list
1st out of 32 books — 30 voters
Out of My Mind by Sharon M. DraperMockingjay by Suzanne CollinsOne Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-GarciaCountdown by Deborah WilesMockingbird by Kathryn Erskine
Newbery 2011
25th out of 147 books — 514 voters

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Community Reviews

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Judith Weaver
Aug 02, 2011 Judith Weaver rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: grades 5 and up
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
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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
The book was about a boy named Salva, and a girl named Nya. They're both from Sudan, and have faced many struggles to survive. Salva especially had to go through some rough times in his life. I thought the book was great. I liked how it had two parts of the story. However, sometimes it wouldn't catch my attention. That's why I rated it four stars. Overall the book was amazing, and some parts were sad. I would recommend people to read this book.

The literature circles were okay. I liked how we al
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 ...more
After thinking about this book for two years, I changed my rating from three to four. It is a stand out book. I love this author and she told this story well. She tells it in two voices, every other chapter. One is a girl who spends most of her days walking to where water is found and carrying it back to her home. The other is the story of a boy who is displaced by war. **stop here for spoilers** The author interviewed this person and so this is a true story. I feel like it is almost a biography ...more
This story was really great, it was a story about young kid named Salva and his village were attacked by rebels and had to run away from the village. He had to survive a long and dangerous walk to Ethiopia were there was a refugee camps. When traveling he had to face lots of emotional problems and dnager along the way. Salva had hope that got him through everything. This book is great for readers I recommend for other people to read this book. I liked the story because it was a book that you jus ...more
Water. We have it in such abundance that we often take it for granted. In this story, told in two narratives, one set in 2008 and the other in 1985, we have Nya, who has to walk for eight hours every day, twice a day just to get water. Then there is Salva, who left his village in 1985 when fighting broke out amongst rebels and he left his village to hide. For many long years he wondered in groups or by himself, walked hundreds of miles, landing in different refugee camps and enduring many hardsh ...more
This is a fine story. The story is based on these two characters named Salva and Nya, and they are also both during different time periods. Salva's story is during 1990's and Nya's during 2008. Salva was just a little boy when there was a war going on and had to get separated with his family. He travels with others to go to a refugee camp in Ethiopia. Along the way he has stifles trying to survive. Nya on the other hand has to wake up everyday to fetch some water that isn't even clean for her fa ...more
i love the book so much that i made a book banner and won in the school and in sc!!!!!!
Barb Middleton
I asked a Sudanese boy, from a previous school I worked, if after graduation he planned to go back to Sudan. He said, "I don't know. You have many tribes in America and get along. You don't kill leader... even if you disagree." He was one of four "lost boys" that the school sponsored and this young man's story was one of resilience and courage. He lost an eye to an infection while walking across the desert and watched the bombing of his family's house - with them inside - leaving him an orphan. ...more
Erin R
A Long Walk to Water
This unique and profound story is centered on two characters: Nya, a girl living in South Sudan in 2008 and Salva, a Sudanese refugee during 1985 and on. Their stories parallel one another’s and yet the reader is given little insight into why until the very end. It is told back and forth, with a page or two devoted to Nya’s struggle to obtain dirty drinking water for her family, and Salva’s heart wrenching experience as a “Lost Boy” seeking survival during a war. The two stor
marcy marshall
Are you into books that you can lose yourself into? If you answered yes then a long walk to water is a perfect book for you, this is a very emotional book that is based on a true story.This book is a historical fiction by Linda Sue Parks.

***Spoil Alert***

This book is about two people lives who are both 11 years old.The story takes place in 2008 and 1984 and in Southern Sudan this is were our first character named Salvas problems begin because of a war that is going on Salva was separated from hi
Jun 08, 2014 Kristin added it
Shelves: multicultural
A. Text to World Connection- As I read about the refugee camps closing in Ethiopia and thought about Salva being forced out of the country, across the dangerous river I couldn't help but think of all the refugees currently living in refugee camps inside Thailand and plan to close those camps in the coming years. Where will the refugees go? Will they be forced to return to Myanmar (Burma) where they once feared for their lives?
B. Six Discussion Questions (Bloom's Revised Taxonomy)
1. Remembering
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
This review contains spoilers.

In 1985, the civil war being fought between the northern, Muslim government in the north of Sudan and the non-Muslim south came to the village where eleven-year-old Salva Dut was at school. With the sound of gunfire in their ears, the entire village and the school children who come from the surrounding villages all ran into the forest, fleeing the violence but with nowhere to go. Salva is alone - all of his family members are at his village which is in the direction
Lisa Lou
5+++++ stars
Oh where to begin, this story deeply touched me. One of the more moving books I have read in a long time. An amazing story of survival, perseverance, and hope. Not only did I learn a lot but this book really put things in perspective and made me think twice about my "first world" problems. I believe this book should be required reading in schools. The story also sparked my interest to read more about the Lost Boys of Sudan. Overall, this was a fascinating, quick, easy read that I wou
Really inspiring book . It shows the harsh truth of millions of people in the world, portrayed by short stories that talk about this worldwide problem. I think everybody should read this book.
Do you like actually take the time to read a historical fiction book, that you think is about 900 years older? Well here's a good book that I hope is not that old hehe. The book is called A Long Walk To Water. I actually enjoyed this book, it gave me hope for the both of the characters and it taught me multiple lessons. ***Spoiler Alert*** I was happy for One of the characters Salva because he found two of his family members. But you'll find out later on in the story. I'm going to show you both ...more
Annie Oosterwyk
Everyone should read this!
This book has been the highly successful one school/one book read for both of my middle schools.
Told in alternating chapters, past and present, nonfiction and fiction, this is the story of war and poverty in Sudan.
Grim to begin with, the story follows Samba as he runs from the civil war that has invaded his village and becomes a refugee. He escapes to Ethiopia, then must move on to Kenya (while taking charge of hundreds of young boys) and finally makes his way to the
Kelsey Preston
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is a KBA 2011 nominee for middle grades. Based on the true story of Salvo Dut, who at age 10 was forced from his home and family during the civil war in Sudan. For years, Salvo survived homelessness and extreme hardship, wandering throughout Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya, living in refugee camps. At age 22, he has the great fortune of being selected as one of only a few young men in his refugee camp to move to American and live with an adoptive family. Salvo graduates from college and embarks ...more
O.K. - I have read this story, or stories similar to it, many times - "God Grew Tired of Us," "A Long Way Gone," "What Is the What," to name a few. So, in that sense, this didn't do much for me. However, for the late elementary or middle school student who has not read this story, this is certainly a worthy read.

"A Long Walk to Water" is based on the true story of Salva Dut, one of the "Lost Boys of Sudan" who in 1985 was one of the hundred of thousands who became victims of the civil war in Sud
Zion Martin-hayes
Long Walk To Water book report
Zion Martin- third g
The author of the book a long walk to water is Linda Sue Park. She wrote books such as 39 clues, seesaw girl, when my name was Keoko, project mulberry, the third gift, yum yuck. So much more. In 2002 she won the Newberry award for her book a single shepherd, in 2003 she won an ALA notable children’s book for when my name was Keoko, 2000 seesaw girl was the bestselling children book. More awards probably too many. The illustrator is Kayley Le
The two stories that begin on the first page of the book seem at first to have little to do with one another, other than the fact that one takes place in Southern Sudan in 2008 and one takes place in the same area in 1985. But as the stories unfold, readers start to realize what the connection is. Nya's story describes her constant, daily trip to bring water to her family. Over and over, day after day, she walks to the water source and then returns with the water. In Salva's story, there is also ...more
Nina Gill
I have never been to South Sudan, but Linda Sue Park made me imagine what it was like in her novel A Long Walk to Water. I could understand how hard it could be to be raised in South Sudan while having a lack of water. It would be difficult for anyone to survive in such hot weather. The people of South Sudan deal with many challenges because of the hot dry weather. They also have to go a far distance to get water from the well each day.
The main characters in this novel are Salva and Nya. Salva
Nya walks barefoot amid thorns, heat, and dust to the pond to fetch water for her family, four hours each way, twice a day. She spends half a day walking to bring two containers of mud-stained water to her village in southern Sudan.

23 years earlier, Salva flees his village in southern Sudan on foot when armed men raid his village. Knowing that the soldiers (on either side) would force young boys to take up arms, Salva's teacher ushers Salva and his classmates away from the village and into the b
In Sudan, water is more precious than gold. You can't eat gold, and without water, you can't eat. It's a dry country at best, but when droughts come, lasting months or years, crops fail, cattle die, and people starve. Water, when available, isn't always clean, so at the best of times, cholera and dysentery are are common. The simple act of getting that water is beyond imagining. It means walking miles to the nearest source, hoping that rival groups don't arrive at the same time so you won't have ...more
I just finished reading this book with Payten, my 10 year-old daughter. Such a good book to read with your kids to help them understand how fortunate they are. The story is about a boy named Salva who grew up in southern Sudan in the 80's/90's and endured unimaginable hardships throughout his life. Driven from his home by war, separated from his family, nowhere to go but to refugee camps in far away countries and no way to get there but on foot. And this all happened to him during my lifetime... ...more
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Linda Sue Park is a Korean American author of children's fiction. Park published her first novel, Seesaw Girl, in 1999. To date, she has written six children’s novels and five picture books for younger readers. Park’s work achieved prominence when she received the prestigious 2002 Newbery Medal for her novel A Single Shard.

More about Linda Sue Park...
Storm Warning (The 39 Clues, #9) A Single Shard Trust No One (The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers, #5) When My Name Was Keoko Project Mulberry

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“One step at a time, one day at a time, just today, just this day to get through.” 13 likes
“He was floating with his head down, blood streaming from a bullet hole in the back of his neck.” 2 likes
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