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A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story Hardcover – November 15, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
To say that Salva walks a long way is an understatement. It's hard to imagine walking for days, let alone a year and a half to find refuge. And the hardships he endures along the way seem impossible to overcome. Yet he manages to keep going, one day at a time. It's an amazing story put in terms that I think younger readers can understand. It is a little confusing at first, with the story going between Salva and Nya, a girl in another village but as the story continued, it made sense to me that they should be told in parallel. Knowing how the two stories would come together made me even more anxious to finish the book.
Not only does Linda Sue Park tell a beautiful, inspiring story, she also brings awareness to the conflict in a far away country and the need for clean water, something we take for granted here in the States. The notes at the end from Salva Dut and the author should definitely be read and teachers/parents could open up some important discussions.
This is definitely a book that will go in the school library where I work.
The chapters alternate between main characters Salva and Nye. Only at the end of the book is the connection between the two characters revealed, and it's the greatest pleasure of the book. Unfortunately, it doesn't rescue the book for me. For most of the book, the alternating chapters irritate because they are so disparate. Furthermore, the book covers some 20+ years of Salva's life in a span of 128 pages, most of which is spent walking. It's one of those books that we want children to love and some certainly will, but many will declare it boring. I couldn't help wondering if the book might be better told in flashback by Salva. With all that walking, Salva had plenty of time to think, yet there is no feeling in the thoughts. He misses his family. He worries the group will leave him behind. He wonders what will become of him. These are thoughts we need not be told--that much is obvious. I know this is Linda Sue Park's writing style, but it's not to my personal taste.
Based on what I know about the lost boys in Sudan, I braced myself to feel sick to my stomach while reading the book, but I never really did, except for one scene involving crocodiles (and soldiers).Read more ›
Does it help to know that, right now, there are places where the cost of a bucket of water is measured in human life?
In the 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 to fight or risk being killed to get your jug filled. It means filling that jug and carrying it back home, emptying it into a pail and setting out again. Over and over again, dusk until dawn. Venomous snakes and dangerous animals are so common, they barely rate notice. Children, being of less value than adults, are usually given the job. Since girls are not as valuable as boys, this is typically their task. In families of wealth, the boys attend school while the girls learn to become wives and homemakers...and water carriers.
In the dry season, or during a drought, things get trickier. Entire families spend their days trekking for water, and deadly battles over who got there first are much more frequent. At any time of year, drought or no drought, an added attraction would be run-ins with militia groups...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Awesome book! Gives young readers a different perspective on life outside their own culture. My 10 year old was blown away by it and recommends it to all her friends.Published 3 days ago by R2cmama
I enjoyed this book because I actually learned about a different culture. The characters seemed real enough and the story was really moving on many levels. Good book!Published 4 days ago by Kathy Monroe
My seventh grade students and I thoroughly enjoy this story, especially how the story in so neatly tied up at the end making a heartwarming connection between the two main... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
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Nice cool small big fall
I read this book with my 12-year-old grandson. He had decided that he was not going to like it, but it kept his interest all the way through.Published 5 days ago by Sharna Gibbons