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 has used this book as a platform to support Dut's program, Water for South Sudan.



Salva is an 11-year-old boy separated from his family during a school shooting in what is now South Sudan because of the Second Sudanese Civil War. He has to walk for days with only the hope that one day he will find his family again. Salva also struggles to find food and water to survive along with avoiding gunmen. Salva leads 1500 lost boys of Sudan to a refugee camp near the Gilo River. 7 years later, he arrives in America. He lives with a family in Rochester, New York. Many years later he finds his father and starts a volunteer group to build wells in Sudan called Water for South Sudan.


Nya is an 11-year-old girl who walks 8 hours to fetch water twice every single day. Her family home is far 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 so far and drink unsafe water. A school and a hospital is built in her village, and she goes to school. Soon after, a market is built as well. She then introduces herself to Salva at the end.[1]

Water for South Sudan[edit]

Water for South Sudan is a program created by Salva 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 villagers access to clean, safe drinking water, it also helps with education and economic development.[1]


  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.