Saturday, April 21, 2012

Review: A Long Walk To Water

From Goodreads:  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. 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 Nya’s in an astonishing and moving way.

Whenever I read books like this, my heart just swells in gratitude for the plentiful, good life that I have.  I have never had to walk all day to fetch the water my family will depend on to live.  I have never had to run for my life or live in a refugee camp.  I have not been separated from my family nor have I come close to death by dehydration, starvation or animal attack.

This book will remind you how much you have.  This book will make you want to do more with what you have.

A Long Walk to Water is written with middle grade readers in mind.  While the story follows the life of Salva through the war in Sudan and touches on many heart wrenching and tragic events, it does not become bogged down with depressing details.  Hope prevails.  I loved the ending.

I'm going to have my kids read this book.  Not only is this a good introduction to the conflict in Africa, it has a powerful message.  As an adult, this was a fast read.  It only took me a little while to finish it.  I kind of wish this was an adult book, with a few more details and more like a biography or autobiography.   

Salva Dut is an amazing man doing amazing things.  In real life.  At the end of the book is a message from Salva.  He says, "To young people, I would like to say:  Stay calm when things are hard and not going right with you.  You will get through it when you persevere instead of quitting.  Quitting leads to much less happiness in life than perseverance and hope."

Take a minute or two to read this book.  You won't be sorry.  :)

And check out this website.  It tells all about Salva Dut and his efforts to change lives in Sudan with water.


  1. This book sounds great! I love reading stories about other countries. Right now I'm actually quite interested in Africa because my grandparents are doing some missionary work over there. I'll definitely look into reading this book!

  2. What a thought-provoking book! Yes, I completely agree with you that sometimes we took for granted the easy life the most of us lead, the comfort zone in which we live in. Books like this reminds us that lots of people in this world are not so lucky like us, so we should live our lives to the fullest and give thanks each day :)

    Oh, and great review :)

  3. It sounds intersting definetly going on my to read list :)

  4. A two hours walk to get water? That is so heart wrenching!

  5. While not a book I would normally read, it does sound pretty good. Thanks for the review.

  6. I think my daughter would be interested in this book. I will definitely be recommending it to her.

  7. I usually steer clear of this type of story, because I don't like the waterworks that usually come with it...but I might have to pick it up after reading this. Sounds like it would be worth it.

  8. Oh my God, I'm so glad I came across this review. I had no idea that this book existed, and now it's going to the top of my "to-read" list, because it sounds absolutely fantastic. Thank you for that poignant review, and for recommending books like these... they may be heart-wrenching, but they also bring awareness, both of ones own blessings, and of the misfortunes of others. Thank you very much!

    Name: Hira Hasnain
    Email: Enamoredsoul(at)gmail(dot)com

  9. Sounds like a great read! I adore books that take place in other countries, because I like to read about different cultures. Thanks for the awesome review!

  10. I've been meaning to read this book. Sounds amazing! Great review!


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