A Long Walk to Water
(Image from The Beachwood Reporter)
Linda Sue Park
The New York Times bestseller 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 for 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.
Thank you, Goodreads, for solving almost all of my literary troubles.
I just finished this book this morning, and since I have to compare all YA books with younger-age characters to Diamond Willow, I must say that this is a Diamond Willow. You do not have to be an eleven-year-old to enjoy this book. But you can be. Or maybe not. Who cares? Despite having two protagonists that are eleven for almost all of the book (SPOILER ALERT: Salva actually isn't eleven for all of it, though), it was pretty non-age specific.
The writing style wasn't my usual kind of read, but it still did it's (amazing) job of pulling me into the life of the characters.
The pacing was flawless, and so were the characters. I just wish that we would have heard a little bit more from Nya. I feel like the little snippets about her at the beginning of the chapter could have been just a little longer.
Just saying, bring a box of tissues for reading. This book can and will make you cry. Sometimes, it's hard to realize that not everyone has running water and a computer to type reviews on while sipping tea. And the realization is hard. But knowing is better than any kind blissful ignorance. You can't try to help if you don't know.
And, ah, there were so many quotable lines in this book. In 112 pages, it had more memorable lines and moments than in most 400 page novels. Alas, I could not highlight anything because it's a library book.
Okay, I'm sorry that this review was so freakishly short. I mean, five paragraphs of actual review. Very, very short paragraphs, too. Frankly, since this book is based on the childhood of someone (Salva Dut), I feel kind of odd reviewing it. Like, I'm reviewing parts of someone's life. And it was impossible to tell which parts were fact and which were fiction except for Nya's parts. Or even if Salva's narrative was fiction at all.
Interesting fact: This is why I didn't review The Queen of Water by Laura Resau and Maria Virginia Farinango (my computer doesn't allow me-to my knowledge- to make the accent mark in Maria, so sorry for that). That was an awesome book, too. Why did I review this one, then? The world may never know.
Also, this is Dut's organization that builds wells in Sudan- http://www.waterforsouthsudan.org/
So you know. :3