Linda Sue Park, Author-In-Residence

by Dianne White on November 1, 2010

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A LONG WALK TO WATER by Linda Sue Park is based on the true story of Salva Dut, who, as a child, was one of the Lost Boys of Sudan.

This is a story of war and loss, family and survival, hunger, thirst and, most of all, the amazing power of the human spirit to survive and bring hope to others.

Southern Sudan, 1985: As a young boy of eleven, each day for Salva meant daydreaming, going to school, and gazing through the classroom window to the road that would lead him home at the end of the day.

But those were the days before the war had come to Salva’s village. Before the explosions. Before his teacher said hurriedly, “Go quickly, all of you… Into the bush… Not home… Go! All of you, now!”

Southern Sudan, 2008. Years have passed, but for another child, a young girl named Nya, every day is a long walk of a different kind. This walk is not away from war, but to a pond, hours away, where she must fill a big plastic container with the water her family needs to survive.  For Nya, each walk to and from water is half a morning long. For Nya, every walk is: “Heat. Time. And thorns.”

By story’s end the dual narratives will intersect. After spending much of his childhood and young adult years in the refugee camps of Ethiopia and Kenya, Salva will be one of many boys chosen to leave the camp and come to America, where he will eventually establish Water for Sudan, Inc. a non-profit organization to bring water to families of Sudan.

While some of the details of A LONG WALK TO WATER have been fictionalized to allow the stories of Salva’s childhood to intersect with Nya’s, the main events of the story accurately portray Salva’s real-life experiences.

This story is one more mature readers will find powerfully, yet sensitively, introduces the topic of war, the resilience of the human spirit to overcome, and the power to make a difference in our world.

Read a Publisher’s Weekly interview with Linda Sue Park HERE.

Watch a video of Linda Sue Park discussing A LONG WALK TO WATER and meet Salva Dut HERE.

Find Valuable Links about Water for Sudan HERE.

Read Linda Sue’s Story HERE.

For more, visit Linda Sue’s website HERE.

Michelle Parker-Rock December 5, 2010 at 11:20 pm

Read more about Linda Sue Park in the authorized biography:
by Michelle Parker-Rock
Enslow Publishers, Inc. 2010

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