A Long Walk to Water
Book Author: Linda Sue Park
Summary reviewed by:
Bachelor of Arts (BA), University Of California, Santa Barbara 2019
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A Long Walk to Water: Summary
The book "A Long Walk to Water" is a Breathtaking Tale of Survival Beyond Belief!
Set in the harsh landscape of war-ridden Sudan, this dual narrative story strikes a chord deep within the soul. It primarily revolves around two 11-year-olds: Salva Dut, a Lost Boy from Southern Sudan who embarks on an arduous odyssey to escape civil war in 1985, and Nya, a resilient girl who, in 2008, endures a daily trek to fetch water for her family. In the face of insurmountable odds, Salva's journey is one of relentless determination.
Parallelly, Nya's persistence symbolizes the everyday struggle faced by countless girls in rural Africa. Their separate paths intertwine, forming a narrative tapestry that profoundly illuminates their world, echoing with the depths of human spirit and endurance. Linda Sue Park masterfully traverses this terrain, painting a poignant, moving image of a distant land where survival is a feat itself.
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A Long Walk to Water
Date Published: November 15, 2010
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A Long Walk to Water: Genres
A Long Walk to Water: Main Characters
Salva Dut: A brave and resilient boy who evolves into a determined leader, valuing courage, perseverance, and altruism. For example, he overcomes fears of wildlife and enemy soldiers during his journey as a refugee.
Nya: A hardworking and persistent girl who represents hope and endurance, highlighting the harsh reality faced by many girls in rural Africa. Her daily, perilous walks to fetch water for her family exemplify these traits.
A Long Walk to Water: Themes
Perseverance: Through the characters’ difficult journeys, Park emphasizes the power of resilience. Salva’s epic walk across Africa demonstrates this, as does Nya’s daily quest for water.
Survival: The book highlights the struggle for survival amidst harsh conditions, particularly through the lens of Salva’s escape from war and Nya’s daily water procurement.
Humanitarianism: The theme of service to others is strongly portrayed, especially through Salva’s decision to found Water for South Sudan, indicating how individual actions can lead to communal betterment.
Hope: Despite the overwhelming odds, the characters never lose hope. This is evident in Salva’s belief in a better future and Nya’s optimism that her situation will improve. Culture and Tradition: Park subtly explores the Sudanic culture and traditional way of life, bringing authenticity to the narrative and adding depth to the characters’ identities.