by Linda Sue Park
If the question you're asking is, "How do I get my kids to be thankful for what they have?", the answer is, "Have them read this book."
In A Long Walk to Water, Ms. Park weaves together the story of two children who are growing up in Sudan at two different times. One, Nya, spends eight hours each day doing nothing but collecting water for her family. The other, Salva, must run from his schoolhouse in the middle of the day to escape rebel fighting that has broken out. Separated from his family, and walking for months from one refugee camp to another, it seems like Salva's string of heartbreaks will never end. He is a Lost Boy, in every sense of the word, yet somehow finds an amazing strength of spirit that allows him to persevere.
Based on Salva's true story, this novel was written for children, and as such, it evokes the emotions of living in a war-torn country, without the horror that you find in books such as Left to Tell. There is sadness, but also hope.
Not only is this book clean in language and theme, but I also think it's important. I can almost guarantee that no matter what your circumstances are, your family has a much higher standard of living and convenience than the families in this book. It was a good reminder for me, and hopefully it will be for my kids, also.
BONUS! The book is also interesting and short :)
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