Winter 2011 Kids' Next List
“Feel the heat, fear, and uncertainty as you walk with 11-year-old Salva, who, in 1985, is fleeing his homeland of Southern Sudan. Linda Sue Park has crafted a gripping story of a 'Lost Boy,' all the more remarkable because it is based on a true story. Intertwined with Salva's story is that of 11-year-old Nya, from a rival tribe in Southern Sudan. This 'long walk' will take readers into a troubled country, but a country still filled with hope due to people like Salva. This is a book for the reader who wants to look behind the headlines.”
— David Mallmann, Next Chapter Bookshop, Mequon, WI
Cherished by millions of readers, this #1 New York Times bestselling novel is a powerful tale of perseverance and hope. Newbery Medalist Linda Sue Park interweaves the stories of two Sudanese children who overcome mortal dangers to improve their lives and the lives of others.
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. Includes an afterword by author Linda Sue Park and the real-life Salva Dut, on whom the novel is based, and who went on to found Water for South Sudan.
About the Author
Linda Sue Park, Newbery Medal winner for A Single Shard and #1 New York Times bestseller for A Long Walk to Water, is the renowned author of many books for young readers, including picture books, poetry, and historical and contemporary fiction. Born in Illinois, Ms. Park has also lived in California, England, and Ireland. She now lives in western New York. Learn more at lindasuepark.com.
"There have been several books about the lost boys of Sudan for adults, teens, and even for elementary-school readers. But [this] spare, immediate account, based on a true story, adds a stirring contemporary dimension. Young readers will be stunned by the triumphant climax." — Booklist (starred review)
"[This] spare, hard-hitting novel delivers a memorable portrait of two children in Sudan. Tragic and harrowing." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Two narratives intersect in a quiet conclusion that is filled with hope." — School Library Journal (starred review)
"This powerful dual narrative packs suspense and introspection into Park's characteristic spare description; while there are lots of details offered to the reader, they come not in long, prosaic lines but in simple, detached observations. Both Salva's and Nya's stories are told with brutal, simple honesty, and they deliver remarkable perspective on the Sudanese conflict. The novel's brevity and factual basis makes the reality of life in Sudan very accessible, and readers will find both the story and the style extremely moving." — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
"Park simply yet convincingly depicts the chaos of war and an unforgiving landscape. A heartfelt account." — Kirkus Reviews
"Brilliant. A touching narrative about strife and survival on a scale most American readers will never see." — BookPage
"Riveting." — The Horn Book
"A fast, page-turning read. A great book for high school students and an important novel for young adults who enjoy learning about other world cultures." — Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)