Review: A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

Review: A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story

Linda Sue Park

Publication Date: November 15, 2010

Started Reading: September 24, 2017 Finished Reading: September 24, 2017

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.  –Goodreads


A Long Walk to Water is historical fiction with a lot of nonfiction information. It is based on a true story, but has a fictional side story as well. This book takes place in the Sudan with two characters, one in 2008 and one in 1985.

Overall Review

I had seen this book pop up on Instagram and in my several Facebook groups as a very powerful and important story. I listened the audio version and am really glad I did. It was done well and I think I got more out of it by listening. I liked the two perspectives across different generations. I also liked the true story behind this book and am curious to learn more about the Sudan. I gave this book five stars and highly recommend this book.


I learned that you have to keep going. You cannot give up, no matter how much you want to.  One of my favorite quotes represents the theme very well:

Recommended Reading Age

I recommend this book to readers ages 10 and up. It is a shorter novel and I think would be good for younger readers to follow. Older readers would enjoy this book as a way to glimpse a part of history in a part of the world they may be unfamiliar with and it would lead them to researching more about the Sudan and the “lost boys.”

I am a middle school teacher who loves to read. I am part of the ARC-sharing group LitReviewCrew and a creator for the YouTube Channel Legit KidLit.

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