On My Bookshelf: A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

February 10, 2020

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park is an amazing story of survival. The voices of the male and female protagonists, Salva and Nya, are equally strong and both young people possess determination and demonstrate physical endurance as they seek out a safe place to call home and access to clean water. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom application.
The basic plot from Amazon: 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 cover the African continent on foot as they search for their families and for a safe place to stay. Enduring every hardship from loneliness to attack by armed rebels to contact with killer lions and crocodiles, Salva is a survivor, and his story goes on to intersect with Nya’s in an astonishing and moving way.

Why I liked it: A Long Walk to Water is an amazing story of survival, but what I liked most is that the voices of the male and female protagonists are equally strong. Both young people possess determination and demonstrate physical endurance.

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park is an amazing story of survival. The voices of the male and female protagonists, Salva and Nya, are equally strong and both young people possess determination and demonstrate physical endurance as they seek out a safe place to call home and access to clean water. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom application.
Classroom application: A Long Walk to Water is appropriate for middle school and up. The book would be perfect to use as a read aloud because the chapters are short and many end with cliffhangers that will leave students wanting to hear more. Creating a timeline of the events in the book and mapping out Salva's trek would be activities to support struggling readers.

After reading, there are number of research opportunities or connections to be made to current events. Students could learn more about the continuing conflict in Sudan, the global water crisis, the Lost Boys of Sudan, immigration quotas in the United States and other countries, tribes in Sudan, access to education is other countries, and the ability of technology to change lives.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of A Long Walk to Water for yourself, you can find it on Amazon here.

Note: The Literary Maven is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park is an amazing story of survival. The voices of the male and female protagonists, Salva and Nya, are equally strong and both young people possess determination and demonstrate physical endurance as they seek out a safe place to call home and access to clean water. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom application.

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