This is a book talk for a 6th grade class.
Salva is sitting in school one day when an explosion rocks the classroom. Rather then telling the students not to panic, or evacuating quietly, the teacher tells the students to run, run as fast as they can, and be careful who they trust. It is 1985, and the boys do that, they run, and then walk, as fast as they can. Not sure who to trust or where they can find safety, they embark on a quest that takes them across the desert, to refugee camps in two different countries, facing violence and environmental dangers every step. Their quest lasts years, and many never make it. They are called the Lost Boys.
Nya is also 11, and in 2008 she also spends most of the day walking. Only her trips take her to the water hole to get water, four hours one way, four or more hours back. Hauling water for her whole family is her full time job. The same thing every day, except when the water dries up, and then it might be a longer walk. The dangers Nya faces are less dramatic, but if the water dries or is fouled her and her village all could die.
While this is fiction, it is based on a true story. In A Long Walk to Water, Linda Sue Park moves between the experiences of these two kids, a boy and a girl, in two different times in a country far away. The events that happen to the two are things that real kids just like you experienced and continue to experience. The country is Sudan. Does anyone here know anything about Sudan? Where is it? What is it like? If you don’t know, Sudan is the largest country in Africa. Like many countries around the world unrest and civil war has led to many people fleeing the country in the past century. As fighting dies down, challenges arise over access to education, food and water. To find out how a few brave people, just your age, struggle through violence, and now struggle to live their lives in a part of the world that is completely different from ours, read A Long Walk to Water. And if you want to learn more about the stories of kids living all around the world, come join our Summer Reading Program, One World, Many Stories.