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A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story by Linda Sue Park Review

Title: A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story

Author: Linda Sue Park

First published November 15, 2010

128 pages, Hardcover

ISBN: 9780547251271 (ISBN10: 0547251270)

Rating: 4.27


A Long Walk to Water takes readers on a journey through two different times in Sudan. Meet Nya, a young girl in 2008 who walks two hours each day to gather water for her family.

Then, there’s Salva, a boy in 1985 who becomes one of the “lost boys” of Sudan. Follow along as Salva endures unimaginable hardships, from attacks by armed rebels to dangerous encounters with lions and crocodiles.

Through all of this, Salva remains a survivor, searching for his family and a safe place to call home. His story eventually intersects with Nya’s in a way that will leave readers moved and inspired.

About the Author

Linda Sue Park is an accomplished Korean American author who specializes in writing children’s fiction. Her first book, Seesaw Girl, was published in 1999 and since then, she has penned six captivating children’s novels and five charming picture books for younger readers.

Park’s talent as a writer was recognized when she won the coveted 2002 Newbery Medal for her novel, A Single Shard. Her works are beloved by children and adults alike, and she continues to inspire and delight readers with her imaginative storytelling.

Editoral Review

Linda Sue Park’s A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story is a heart-wrenching and inspiring tale of survival and hope in war-torn Sudan. Park, a Newbery Medal-winning author, uses her exceptional storytelling skills to weave together the true stories of two young people living in different parts of Sudan, over a decade apart.

The novel follows the stories of Nya, a young girl from Southern Sudan who spends her days walking long distances to fetch water for her family, and Salva, a young boy from the Dinka tribe who is forced to flee his home when war breaks out. Salva’s journey takes him through deserts and forests, and he eventually finds refuge in a refugee camp in Ethiopia.

However, when war breaks out in Ethiopia, Salva is forced to flee again, this time to Kenya. Along the way, Salva faces incredible adversity and loss, but he never loses hope that he will one day be able to return to his family.

Park’s writing style is simple yet powerful, and she manages to convey the horrors of war and the struggles of everyday life with sensitivity and compassion. The two narratives are expertly woven together, with the reader never losing sight of the similarities between Nya and Salva’s experiences.

The themes of perseverance, resilience, and the importance of education shine through in every chapter.

A Long Walk to Water is not only a beautiful work of fiction but also a valuable historical document. The novel sheds light on the ongoing conflict in Sudan and the struggles faced by refugees around the world.

By telling the stories of Nya and Salva, Park humanizes the refugee experience and challenges readers to think critically about issues of displacement and migration.

In terms of weaknesses, some readers may find the pacing of the novel slow at times. Additionally, the ending may feel somewhat abrupt to some readers.

However, these minor flaws do not detract from the overall impact of the novel.

Overall, A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story is a must-read for anyone interested in the refugee experience, African history, or simply a well-crafted story of hope and survival. The novel is suitable for readers of all ages, and its important message is more relevant now than ever before.

The Washington Post gives A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story a score of 4/5, based on its exceptional writing, compelling characters, and important themes.

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