The New York Times bestseller A Long Walk to Water by Newbery Medalist Linda Sue Park is based on the true story of Salva Dut, one of some 3,800 Sudanese “Lost Boys” airlifted to the United States beginning in the mid 1990s. Salva now lives in Rochester, New York and is the founder of an organization called Water for South Sudan.
Watch as Salva Dut and Linda Sue Park discuss his story:
Before leaving Africa, Salva’s life is one of harrowing tragedy. Separated from his family by war and forced to travel on foot through hundreds of miles of hostile territory, he survives starvation, animal attacks, and disease, and ultimately leads a group of about 150 boys to safety in Kenya. Relocated to upstate New York, Salva resourcefully learns English and continues on to college. Eventually he returns to his home region in southern Sudan to establish a foundation that installs deep-water wells in remote villages in dire need of clean water. This poignant story of Salva’s life is told side-by-side with the story of Nya, a young girl who lives today in one of those villages.
Download the A Long Walk to Water discussion guide:
A Long Walk to Water Discussion Guide by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Praise for A Long Walk to Water:
“128 pages doesn’t seem like enough to contain the astounding true story of Salva Dut, who must flee from his village in Southern Sudan in 1985 only to cross Africa in search of safety, and yet this slim novel packs incredible punch. Ms. Park is in top form here, and her sparse prose suits the dry landscape Salva travels. Every single bookseller at our store has read this and been blown away by this gem, and I have no doubt kids will be too.”—Sarah Todd, Children’s Book World, Haverford PA
* “Triumphant.”—Booklist, starred review
* “Tragic and harrowing.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
* “Filled with hope.”—School Library Journal, starred review
“Riveting.”—The Horn Book