Synopses & Reviews
The New York Times bestseller 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 Nyas in an astonishing and moving way.
Newbery Medalist Park's (The Single Shard) spare hard hitting novel delivers a memorable portrait of two children in Sudan one an 11 year old Lost Boy Salva who fled in 1985 and later immigrated to the United States and 11 year old Nya who collects water for her village in 2008. Park employs well chosen details and a highly atmospheric setting to underscore both children's struggles to survive. Salva's journey is tragic and harrowing as he's driven by attacking soldiers and braves hunger shifting alliances among refugees and the losses of a friend to a lion attack and his uncle to violent marauders. "The days became a never ending walk" he reflects. Salva's narrative spans 23 years and highlights myriad hardships but not without hope as he withstands the deprivations of refugee camps leads 1200 boys to Kenya and eventually gains sanctuary in Rochester N.Y. where he still lives (he also contributes an afterword). Briefer entries about Nya preface chapters about Salva illustrating the daily realities and sacrifices of modern day life in Sudan. The eventual connection of Salva and Nya's stories offers the promise of redemption and healing. Ages 10–up. (Nov.) " Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
"Newbery Medalist Park's (The Single Shard) spare, hard-hitting novel delivers a memorable portrait of two children in Sudan--one an 11-year-old Lost Boy, Salva, who fled in 1985 and later immigrated to the United States, and 11-year-old Nya, who collects water for her village in 2008. Park employs well-chosen details and a highly atmospheric setting to underscore both children's struggles to survive. Salva's journey is tragic and harrowing, as he's driven by attacking soldiers and braves hunger, shifting alliances among refugees, and the losses of a friend to a lion attack and his uncle to violent marauders. 'The days became a never-ending walk,' he reflects. Salva's narrative spans 23 years and highlights myriad hardships but not without hope, as he withstands the deprivations of refugee camps, leads 1,200 boys to Kenya, and eventually gains sanctuary in Rochester, N.Y., where he still lives (he also contributes an afterword). Briefer entries about Nya preface chapters about Salva, illustrating the daily realities and sacrifices of modern-day life in Sudan. The eventual connection of Salva and Nya's stories offers the promise of redemption and healing. Ages 10 up. (Nov.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"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."—The Bulletin
"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."— Book Page
"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."—VOYA
A Junior Library Guild Selection
"Brutally beautiful, this is a story that both inspires and sounds an alarm, a story of courage and heart. Just like Musas ability to tap into water, it asks us to tap into our own humanity, even though it might be more deeply hidden than we can imagine."
—Kathi Appelt, Newbery Honor-winning author of The Underneath
"A thrilling, imaginative soul quencher. Crowders stunning debut is sure to become a modern classic."
—Rita Williams-Garcia, Newbery Honor-winning author of One Crazy Summer
"Spare, unflinching, and beautifully written, this novel walks the line between magic and reality."
— Franny Bilingsley, National Book Award finalist for Chime
"Thirst and heat are palpable as kids and dogs fight fatal dehydration. . . . A wrenching piece with a wisp of hope for the protagonists if not for the rest of their world."
"The writing, especially the descriptions of the drought conditions and extreme thirst, is excellent."
—School Library Journal
"The direct powerful prose in this first novel dramatizes the exciting contemporary survival story. . . . Fans of Gary Paulsen's Hatchet (1987) will want this."
"Taut yet descriptive, Crowder's writing dramatically captures the characters' desperation; the blistering heat and their acute hunger and thirst are entirely persuasive."
* "Crowder's spare storytelling and third-person narration provide young readers some safe distance for witnessing the tragic events, while well-chosen details and taut descriptions effectively convey the intensity of the situation."
—Bulletin, starred review
From a Newbery Medalist comes a mesmerizing novel based on a true story. "A Long Walk to Water" begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about a girl in Sudan in 2008 and a boy in Sudan in 1985.
From Newbery medalist Linda Sue Park, an emotional novel based on a true story. Nya goes to the pond to fetch water for her family. She walks eight hours every day. Salva walks away from his war-torn village. He is a “lost boy” refugee, destined to cover Africa on foot, searching for his family and safety. Two young people . . . two stories. One country: Sudan. This mesmerizing dual narrative follows two threads—one unfolding in 2008 and one in 1985—with one hopeful message: that even in a troubled country, determined survivors may find the future they are hoping for.
A mesmerizing debut middle-grade novel about a boy, a girl, and a dog struggling to survive in an African land after the water has run out.
In this haunting, lyrical novel told from three perspectives, Sarel has just witnessed the violent murder of her parents. But she is not completely alone on the drought-ridden land. Nandi is the leader of a pack of dogs who looks out for her pups and for skinny Sarel-girl. Nandi knows they are all in trouble, and she knows, too, that a boy is coming—an escaped prisoner with the water song inside him. A hard-hitting but ultimately hopeful survival story.
About the Author
Linda Sue Park is the author of Newbery Medal title A Single Shard as well as numerous other novels, picture books, and poetry. She lives in Rochester, NY, with her family, and has a friend who was one of Sudan's "lost boys." His story was the inspiration for this book.