Audie Award Finalist, Children's Titles for Ages 8-12, 2014
In 1985 southern Sudan is ravaged by war. Rebels and government forces battle for control, with ordinary people…people like the boy, Salva Dut…caught in the middle. When Salva's village is attacked, he must embark on a harrowing journey that will propel him through horror and heartbreak, across a harsh desert, and into a strange new life.
Years later, in contemporary South Sudan, a girl named Nya must walk eight hours a day to fetch water. The walk is grueling, but there is unexpected hope. How these two stories intersect is told in this fascinating dual narrative, performed by David Baker and Cynthia Bishop, with the assistance of dialect coach James Achueil…who actually made the same journey across Africa when he was one of the "Lost Boys of the Sudan."
©2010 Linda Sue Park (P)2013 Full Cast Audio
Nice short story that I plan to share with a kid's book club this summer. In light of how many times I hear the words "I'm bored", "There is nothing good to do", "Can we go get something new? Our toys aren't fun anymore", my hopes are high that this story will shed a new light on all of the blessings we have. Maybe it can spark some appreciation for all the conveniences of life in the USA and empathy for others around the globe who don't even have ready access to life-sustaining clean water. This story has made me stop and be thankful for my life and, at least for now (sorry Amazon), quit wishing for things I don't have nor need.
The perseverance that young Salva exhibits will have more of am impact on my kids because it is a true story. We all fall victim to the "I can't because . . . " statements from time to time. It is so easy to become lazy due to the fact most of the things we don't feel like doing aren't life threatening, immediately at least. Death by crocodile, dehydration and starvation are great motivators. Even after the immediate threat to Salva's life due to his 'rescue' he kept pushing himself well beyond his comfort zone in order to help his fellow countrymen survive. What a way to role model a purpose filled life to today's youth. It would be great if there were children wanting to be Salva rather than LeBron or Beyonce.
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