A Long Walk To Water Book Cover

A Long Walk To Water

Genre: Novel, Fiction
Publishing Year: 2010
Reading time: Key takeways: Quotes:

What’s inside

A Long Walk to Water begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about two eleven-year-olds in Sudan, a girl in 2008 and a boy 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 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. Includes an afterword by author Linda Sue Park and the real-life Salva Dut, on whom the novel is based, and who went on to found Water for South Sudan.

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  Southern Sudan, 2008 Nya, an eleven-year-old girl, carries an empty container easily as she walks under the hot sun.    Southern Sudan, 1985 Salva, another eleven-year-old, daydreams during an Arabic class about going home. He's lucky to go to school, but sometimes he misses the carefree days of herding cattle with his brothers. A sudden fire disrupts the class, and the teacher tells everyone to run into the bush to escape the war that has reached their village. The war started two years earlier. Salva didn’t understand much about it, but he knows that rebels from the southern part of Sudan, where he and his family lived, have been fighting against the government, which was based in the north. Most of the people who lived in the north were Muslim, and the government wanted all of Sudan to become a Muslim country—a place where the beliefs of Islam were followed. But the people in the south are of different religions and didn’t want to be forced to practice Islam. They began fighting for independence from the north. The fight was scattered all around southern Sudan, and now the war has come to where Salva lives. Everyone runs—men, children, women carrying babies. The air, full of dust, gets kicked up by all those running feet. Some of the men shout and wave guns. Salva sees all this with one glance. Then he starts running, too. Running as hard as he could, into the bush. Away from home.  


  Southern Sudan, 2008. Nya takes a break from carrying a container and tries to remove a thorn from her foot. Southern Sudan, 1985 Salva witnesses a war-plane dropping bombs near his school. He joins a crowd fleeing the violence and finds temporary refuge with strangers from his village. Later, they encounter rebel soldiers, and Salva is separated from his family but narrowly avoids being mistaken for a man by a soldier.    The soldiers force the village men to carry supplies: guns and mortars, shells, radio equipment. Salva watches as one man protests that he did not want to go with the rebels. A soldier hits him in the face with the butt of a gun. The man falls to the ground, bleeding. Following that, no one dares object. The men shoulder the heavy equipment and leave the camp. Everyone else starts

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About the author

Linda Sue Park Image

Linda Sue Park, a Korean-American author, debuted at age 9 with a published haiku. Known for her diverse children’s novels, she gained acclaim with her 2002 Newbery Medal-winning book, A Single Shard. Notable works include A Long Walk to Water, When M...

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A Long Walk To Water Book Cover
Chapter List
  • CHAPTER 10
  • CHAPTER 11
  • CHAPTER 12
  • CHAPTER 13
  • CHAPTER 14
  • CHAPTER 15
  • CHAPTER 16
  • CHAPTER 17
  • CHAPTER 18
  • Based on a True Story
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In the summary of A Long Walk To Water book, there are 19 key lessons. These lessons include:

  1. CHAPTER 1
  2. CHAPTER 2
  3. CHAPTER 3
  4. CHAPTER 4
  5. CHAPTER 5
  6. CHAPTER 6
  7. CHAPTER 7
  8. CHAPTER 8
  9. CHAPTER 9
  10. CHAPTER 10
  11. CHAPTER 11
  12. CHAPTER 12
  13. CHAPTER 13
  14. CHAPTER 14
  15. CHAPTER 15
  16. CHAPTER 16
  17. CHAPTER 17
  18. CHAPTER 18
  19. Based on a True Story

A Long Walk To Water by Linda Sue Park was published in 2010.

Once you've completed A Long Walk To Water book, We suggest reading out The Haunting of Hill House as a great follow-up read.

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