book review, Books, Summer Reading Book Adventures

Honoring Author Linda Sue Park-A Long Walk for Water

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Welcome to the second week of Book Jumper Summer Reading Series! This is my way of inspiring parents who are looking for creative ways to keep their kids reading this summer!

The Book-Jumper Summer Reading Series

Our summer reading program will be a combination of some really neat things. All of our protagonists are girls or women and most of our showcased authors are women as well. I will be offering up a combination of themed weeks, great novels, booklist giveaways, and blog post recaps so be sure and stop by to discover more wonderful ways have A Bookjumper Summer while Exploring Our World and Beyond!

This week I want to focus on the wonderful works of author Linda Sue Park.

Linda Sue Parker

Linda Sue is an American author of teen fiction. Park published her first novel, Seesaw Girl, in 1999. She has written six children’s novels and five picture books. Park’s work achieved prominence when she received the prestigious 2002 Newbery Medal for her novel A Single Shard. She has written the ninth book in the 39 Clues series, Storm Warning, published on 25 May 2010. Linda Sue Park was born in Urbana, Illinois on March 25, 1960, and grew up outside Chicago. The daughter of Korean immigrants, she has been writing poems and stories since she was four years old, and her favorite thing to do as a child was read.

One of Linda’s amazing books that I have grown to love is A Long Walk to Water: based on a true story
and published by Clarion Books, November 15, 201

A Long Walk to Water

A Long Walk to Water is based on the true story of Salva, one of some 3,800 Sudanese “Lost Boys” airlifted to the United States beginning in the mid 1990s.

Before leaving Africa, Salva’s life is one of harrowing tragedy. Separated from his family by war and forced to travel on foot through hundreds of miles of hostile territory, he survives starvation, animal attacks, and disease, and ultimately leads a group of about 150 boys to safety in Kenya. Relocated to upstate New York, Salva resourcefully learns English and continues on to college. Eventually he returns to his home region in southern Sudan to establish a foundation that installs deep-water wells in remote villages in dire need of clean water. This poignant story of Salva’s life is told side-by-side with the story of Nya, a young girl who lives today in one of those villages.

Both Salva and Nya are from Southern Sudan, but they are separated by time and enemy tribes.

Salva, a son of an important leader in the Nuir tribe, is separated from his family during the revolution during the 1980s. For months, he and others separated from their family and their homes by the rebels travel by foot across Sudan in at attempt to reach the refugee camps in Ethiopia. But as one can assume, the road was not easy. Days or weeks without food or water, the threat of being left behind, the danger of lions and other vicious wild animals, an unforgiving river, and the biggest threat of all—days in the desert. Salva experienced loss during this journey, but he also experienced love and learned so much about life. He spent years in an Ethiopian refugee camp, but when the Ethiopian government begins to collapse, where are the refugees to go? Will Salva ever see his family again? Is a better, safer life even a possibility?

Nya is the niece of her tribe’s leader. She walks several miles twice a day to gather water for her family from the only water source around—a dirty pond. Every day she walks back and forth, an easy journey to and a difficult, heavy journey fro. One day a man and his team appear in their village claiming that they can make water come out of the ground that has been dry since the beginning of her people. Is this man magic? Does he even speak the truth? Or are Nya’s beloved people just being tricked with false hope?

The stories of these two Sudanese children are beautiful and wonderfully intertwined. The story of Salva is a true story about a man who survived Sudan and has made a wonderful life in America. However, his story and his life bring attention to a major issue in Sudan since the 1980s: water. Water is either an extremely far walk from a tribe or the water is dirty and carries the threat of disease—or both. People die every day from poor quality of the water, and tribes that do not live near developed areas are sometimes too far away from the medical help that their people need.

Recently, Salva’s organization, Water for South Sudan has been drilling wells in Sudanese communities, giving fresh, healthy drinking water to these tribes and developing their lands. To learn more about Salva’s organization and to learn how to help, please visit

A long walk to water


Somthing To Do-Lessons and Resources from A Long walk To Walk:

H20 For Life: H2O for Life educates, engages and inspires youth to learn, take action and become global citizens.  We provide students with a unique and valuable learning experience through service-learning opportunities focused on the global water crisis. H2O for Life provides a service-learning opportunity for schools, youth groups, and faith-based organizations to raise awareness about the water crisis while taking action to provide funds for water, sanitation and hygiene education for a partner school in a developing country.

H20 for Life

In 2007, Patty Hall received a cry for help from a small village in Kenya that was desperate to build a water project. Could she help? She introduced the idea to her school, Highview Middle School in New Brighton MN, to see if they could help raise funds for the project. Staff and students embraced the challenge with open arms. Students learned about the global water crisis and created action plans. Read more about Patty and H20 For Life’s mission HERE.

Support for South Sudan Refugees: As the international community prepares to mark World Refugee Day next month (June 20th), refugees themselves confront the daunting challenges of daily life in encampments.
One such temporary home to at least 8,000 refugees is Lasu, in South Sudan, which the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) helps to support. Read more HERE.

Support South Sudan

According to, every 20 seconds a child dies from a water-related disease. Surveys from 45 developing countries show that women and children bear the primary responsibility for water collection in the majority of households. This is time not spent working at an income-generating job, caring for family members, or attending school. Learn more HERE.

I found this wonderful water infographic at Kid World Citizen.

Water conservation


I was given a copy of this book for this for review. The opinions expressed are purely my own.


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