Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

long walkThis is a story in two voices. First we hear Nya’s voice as she is trudging in the broiling hot African sun to fetch water for her family. The water jug is light going the three hours to the water supply, but very heavy on the way back. Nya does this everyday, twice a day. Water in the Sudan is very hard to find and carry, but without it, no one could live. This isn’t taking place 100 years ago; this is happening in 2008. Next, we hear Salva’s voice. It is 1985 and he’s in school, and like most students, he is waiting for the end of the day so he can go home. Shots ring out, and the teacher tells everyone to run, run into the bush and don’t look back. Soldiers have come to kill the villagers, so Salva runs. He doesn’t know where he is going or if his family is alive, but he runs. Salva’s run takes him far, far from home for many years. In alternating chapters we hear Nya and Salva tell their stories, neither of them knowing that one day they will actually speak to each other, brought together by something we take for granted every day: water. Review by Loretta Eysie

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