A Long Walk to Water

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First edition (publ. Clarion Books)

A Long Walk to Water is a short novel by Linda Sue Park.[1] It includes the true story of Salva Dut, a Sudanese Lost Boy, and the fictional story of Nya, a young village girl. Park is using this book as a platform to support Dut's program, Water For South Sudan.

Salva Dut[edit]

Now an America living in Rochester, New York, Salva was a young member of the war in Sudan who lived in a refugee camp for ten years. He finally traveled to America, where he is still studying for his bachelor's degree in International Business. Salva Dut was only 11 when he had to take the long and treacherous journey to Ethiopia, where he spent about six years living there. Then Salva was forced out by soldiers and swam across the Nile while being shot at and many died but those who survived where called the lost boys and from there he led the "Lost Boys of Sudan" to a refugee camp in Kenya. From there, only about 3000 boys were chosen to go to America, but Salva was one of them. He was relocated to Rochester where he was adopted by a man named Chris and his wife. There he lived, but later decided to go back home to Southern Sudan. There he finds his family, and then starts his non-profitable organization that changed his old home, called "Water for Southern Sudan".


Nya is an eleven year old girl who walks for water every single day. Her family home is located in a small village four hours away from the nearest pond, where she walks twice a day to support her parents and younger sister, Akeer. Throughout the story a well is built in her village, so she will not have to walk and drink dirty water, and she will go to school instead. A school is built in her village also, and soon after a market. [1]

Water for South Sudan[edit]

Water for South Sudan is a program created by Dut which drills wells for villages in South Sudan.[2] Previously, families had to trek for hours just to get contaminated water, leaving no time for children to go to school and often infecting villagers with diseases. Creating wells not only gives clean, safe drinking water, it helps with education and economic development. [1]

Endings and importance[edit]

A Long Walk to Water ends with Salva Dut meeting his father again. It also ends with Salva coming to Nya's village, and building a well in Nya's village right by her house. Nya and Salva meet at the end of this novel. Nya thanks Salva for bringing the water to her. This book teaches the importance of water and family.


  1. ^ a b c Park, Linda Sue (November 15, 2010). A Long Walk to Water. Clarion Books. ISBN 978-0-547-25127-1. 
  2. ^ "Water for South Sudan". Water for South Sudan, Inc. Retrieved 23 October 2011.