A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park, based on true events, tells the dual story of Nya, living in southern Sudan in 2008 and traveling miles every day to bring home water for her family, and Salva, growing up in southern Sudan in the 1980s and, at 11, leaving his village and family to escape the civil war. The story is written simply and the dual narrative structure creates a gripping picture of life in a difficult country and the strengths and skills necessary for survival.

The story raises interesting philosophical questions about the nature of hope and perseverance, allegiance to family and community, and the relationship between a place and the individuals who inhabit it. It’s a beautifully told story and will be especially compelling to upper elementary school age students.

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