A Long Walk To Water by Linda Sue Park
In each chapter there are two time periods and two storylines because we are following both the true story of Salva Dut, a Sudanese Lost Boy, who was airlifted to the United States in the 1990’s and the fictional story of Nya, a young village girl of today. The author, Linda Sue Park, has used this book as a platform to support Dut’s program, Water for South Sudan.
Separated from his family by war in Sudan, Salva traveled by foot hundreds of miles to safety in Kenya. Along with thousands of other boys – he survived starvation, attacks and disease to eventually relocate in New York. He learned English, went to college and was successful enough to be able to return to his country to install deep-water wells in remote villages.
The story is presented in both words and art with great empathy for refugees. Perhaps this is partly because the author is the daughter of Korean immigrants and the illustrator, Jim Averbeck, was an engineer who joined the Peace Corps and worked on water projects in Cameroon, West Africa. When you know something about people and see the struggles and obstacles they must overcome, you grasp the enormity of their accomplishments. Could we all be so brave and strong when faced with similar situations?
Our nation was built upon a history of immigration – and each new group has added something new and wonderful to the tapestry that is the United States. Incorporating diversity is exactly what has made our nation great! Many wise leaders have spoken more eloquently on the subject.
“Ultimately, America’s answer to the intolerant man is diversity.”— Robert Kennedy
“It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.”— Maya Angelou
“I urge you to celebrate the extraordinary courage and contributions of refugees past and present.” – Kofi Annan, UN Secretary-General
“We need to help students and parents cherish and preserve the ethnic and cultural diversity that nourishes and strengthens this community – and this nation.”— Cesar Chavez
“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”— Martin Luther King, Jr.
Books About Refugees and Immigrants
Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan
American Street by Ibi Aanu Zoboi
Uprising by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez
Something In Between By Melissa De La Cruz
Away by Amy Bloom
Here I Am by Kim Patti
My Antonia by Willa Cather
Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate
How to Read the Air by Dinaw Mengestu