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A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  74,762 ratings  ·  10,045 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published November 15th 2010 by Clarion Books
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Andrea It is my understanding that Nya is fictional, but represents the current day life of villagers in South Sudan. Check out YouTube interviews with Linda…moreIt is my understanding that Nya is fictional, but represents the current day life of villagers in South Sudan. Check out YouTube interviews with Linda Sue Park and Salva Dut. There is more revealed in these on line discussions.
Gay Lynn How about several picture books? Or just let different ones read different books.
* Beatrice's Goat which is emblematic for Heifer's International's w…more
How about several picture books? Or just let different ones read different books.
* Beatrice's Goat which is emblematic for Heifer's International's work would be wonderful. True Story. Parenthetically many other NGO's now give gifts similar to the effective Heifer model...
**I love the message of Fly, Eagle, Fly!By Christopher Gregorowski--kind of a fable with great illustrations. This South African tale might start discussion.
***Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters By John Steptoe is somewhat an African Cinderella story. It's in all school libraries, most would have read it already. Also beautifully illustrated.
****Galimoto" by Karen Williams may not be about an actual child but children in general in Malawi and many countries contriving their own toys. I've seen toys sold in markets in Africa and sold in Fair Trade stores which sell products to American with less going to the middle man. One in my town is Sojourns in Birmingham AL There are many. Not all have toys, but the stores are there. www dot worldcrafts dot org
*****Wangari's Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa –by Jeanette Winter is a true story of a poor farming lady who hated the deforestation of Kenya and brought change to her country. She won a Nobel Prize I believe for her work.
(I like MomToKippy's idea of Number 1 Detective Agency. They are a bit slow reading for me, but fun. Simple detective work and a little budding romance for a lady trying to decide if she's settling for the guy who cares for her. PBS showed BBC renditions of the books. The shows are at my library in the DVD section. )(less)

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Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Linda Sue Park`s A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story is a book based on the true story of the Lost Boys of Sudan and the endless struggle of the Sudanese people to find clean drinking water.

This well-written book is a must-read for all, particularly to those among us who don`t have to at all worry about finding clean water to drink.
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teen
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
Judith Weaver
Aug 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
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.
Scott Ferguson
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book inspired my daughter, who was battling cancer, to use her wish from the Make A Wish Foundation to have a well dug in Africa. After her passing, a Foundation was established in her name and to this day, continues digging new wells. Learn more at www.alyssasfund.com
Feb 05, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: africa
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
Jun 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
I found this very informative and sad. The things people have to deal with and that we should count all are blessings of being able to go to school; Come home to our families and have dinner at night.
Dave Schaafsma
I was looking for a kid book on the environment and knew children's book author Linda Sue Park had (in 2002) won an award for A Single Shard, and though I knew nothing about this book (rated more than 48K on Goodreads, yay!) I listened to it in a little over two hours. For a book this short it probably crams too much information for middle grades kids to easily digest, but they can do classroom (or home!) research on it, too.

There are two parallel stories, both of them based on extensive interv
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Dora 2023
Nov 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Roxanne Hsu Feldman
Oct 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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. ...more
Jan 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Simona D
Nov 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I wonder why Salva thinks that Micheal is going to leave him. It seems that over the years, his trust has grown less and less. I think this is because he's been left alone and deserted so many times in his life that he doesn't know who to trust and who to not. ...more
Jan 03, 2021 added it
Shelves: black-authors
i just randomly remembered reading this in 4th grade and loving it😂
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
(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
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing

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
Savannah Nunn
Jun 01, 2022 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book!! All the twists and turns and the challenges that Salva had to face was really sad but it got me on the edge of m seat a few times.
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 ...more
Jan 18, 2021 added it
Shelves: 2021
a long walk to water is a short novel based on a true story with alternating point of views between two characters from different tribes and time periods in sudan. i'm not going to rate this, but i really enjoyed the book. the stuff salva has done is incredibly inspiring and i wish to read more books like this.

what the author did at the very end of the book was amazing, she weaved in two storylines perfectly.

if you'd like, you can check out more book reviews on my blog.

→ not rated
Kells Next Read
Jan 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Gina Mogen
May 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow. I cannot wait to share Salva's story with my students. What a powerful story. Many tears were shed. ...more
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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 ...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

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