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 is a 11-year-old boy separated from his family during a school shooting in South Sudan. He has to walk for days, with only to hope one day he will find his family again. Salva also struggled to find food to survive and they did not have much water for survival, along with trying not to get killed by gunmen. Salva lead the Lost Boys of Sudan, to a refugee camp from the Gilo River. Then once they had gotten to the camp 7 years later he went to America. He went with a family in Rochester, New York. Then many years later he started a volunteer group to build wells in Sudan, this was called Water for Sudan.


Nya is an eleven-year-old girl who walks 8 hours for water every single day . Her family home is located in a small village two 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 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 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. The well is very important to Nya's life; she no longer has to walk 8 hours a day to get water and she gets the opportunity to go to school. 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.