Angel Gelique's Reviews > A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park
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it was amazing
bookshelves: based-on-true-events, heartbreaking, real-life-horror, sad

This is a simple story that can be read in a single day. The scenes constantly switch from different time periods, telling the stories of the two main characters--a technique I generally don't enjoy--but it worked perfectly here.

In 1985, Salva is an eleven-year-old boy from Southern Sudan, sitting in a classroom. Suddenly, gunfire erupts outside. The teacher tells the boys to run, run into the bush. Salva wants to go home to his family, but everyone is scrambling away from men with guns. He runs and runs, hoping that somehow he'd find his family at some point. The journey to safety is long, arduous and fraught with many dangers.

“He felt as though he were standing on the edge of a giant hole—a hole filled with the black despair of nothingness.”

In 2008, Nya, an eleven-year-old girl who is also from Southern Sudan, makes a daily trek to a faraway pond, in the baking sun, to fetch brown muddy water for her family. It takes half the day to get there and the other half of the day to get back. When the rain stops and the pond dries up, her family must walk for three days to camp by a lake. It, too, is dried up, but they dig deep into the claybed for whatever muddy water they can get.

Salva's story is truly heartbreaking. He is one of the "lost boys," a name given to a group of more than twenty thousand young boys who were displaced and/or orphaned during the second Sudanese War. It's unfathomable to imagine the horrors those youngsters faced as they walked hundreds of miles in search of refugee camps.

I kept thinking about all the things we take for granted, like a simple glass of clean water and home security. Imagine being uprooted in a moment of sudden chaos. You have nothing but the clothes on your back and you wander, if you're lucky, with others, in hopes of finding shelter from the rebels and the lions. Food and water are scarce. You must cross the Nile River, with its turbulent current and vast population of crocodiles. Then you must cross the desert on shoes that offer no protection, or bare-footed. The mere thought is exhausting, really. And yet so many people had to embark on such perilous journeys, propelled by little more than the will to survive.

I loved how everything came together at the end and delivered such an inspirational message of hope and perseverance. I highly recommend this book. It reminded me of a movie I saw a couple years ago entitled, The Good Lie, which is an excellent movie.
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Reading Progress

June 3, 2016 – Started Reading
June 4, 2016 – Finished Reading
June 5, 2016 – Shelved
June 5, 2016 – Shelved as: based-on-true-events
June 5, 2016 – Shelved as: heartbreaking
June 5, 2016 – Shelved as: real-life-horror
June 5, 2016 – Shelved as: sad

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