Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Review: A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

Rating = 5

This brilliant novel is based on a true story about Salva, one of the almost 4,000 Sudanese "lost boys", many of whom were flown to the United States in the mid 1990's. The story is told in alternating points of view: Salva's story about becoming one of the "lost boys" and Nya's story, a young girl who lives in the same area during the present time. Park's imagery is so vivid you can imagine living in Sudan; needing to bring water to your family day after day, some of it contaminated. Her depiction of the realities of living with constant war and the unimaginable sacrifices made by these young boys who travelled thousands of miles on foot to reach safety is heartbreaking.

This is one of the most succinct depictions of life in Africa during the last few decades. The story is suitable for 5th through 7th graders, but should be read by teens and adults as well. It is certain to foster a better understanding of a culture with which many are unfamiliar.
(E-book via netgalley)

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