Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

My 7th graders just finished reading this book in language arts class. I had recommended it to the teacher but never actually read it myself. Finally the book came back to the library and I read it almost in one sitting. It is a moving book based on a true story that in another author's hands could have been a little too preachy. But Linda Sue Park isn't just any author and she wove together two narratives to make one complete story about Sudan. Nya, a girl in 2008 watches a new well being built in her village, and Salva, a terrified refugee boy in 1985 walks and walks to try to find a save haven in the most horrific of worlds. Salva eventually comes to Rochester, New York where he studies and works and becomes determined to help the people of his homeland. I am proud that our 7th graders loved this book. I'm sure they couldn't read this book without learning a great deal about the Sudan and without also having a lot of empathy for these characters whose lives are so different from theirs. I recommend this to all middle schoolers everywhere—especially those who want to learn more about the world.

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