Nya's Long Walk: A Step At a Time

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In this picture book companion to the bestseller A Long Walk to Water, a young South Sudanese girl goes on a journey that requires determination, persistence, and compassion.

Young Nya takes little sister Akeer along on the two-hour walk to fetch water for the family. But Akeer becomes too ill to walk, and Nya faces the impossible: her sister and the full water vessel together are too heavy to carry. As she struggles, she discovers that if she manages to take one step, then another, she can reach home and Mama's care. Bold, impressionistic paintings by Caldecott and Coretta Scott King Homor winner Brian Pinkney evoke the dry, barren landscape and the tenderness between the two sisters.An afterword discusses the process of providing  clean water in South Sudan, reducing waterborne illness.--from the publisher

32 pages                  978-1328781338                 Ages 4-7

Keywords:  Sudan, journey, determination, water, natural resources, multicultural, persistence, compassion, Social Studies Curriculum, diversity, diverse books, African, understanding others, empathy, 4 year old, 5 year old, 6 year old, 7 year old, 8 year old, overcoming adversity, emotional intelligence, self determination, believing in yourself, risk, acceptance, Character Building Curriculum

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If you wanted a drink of water right now, what would you do?  Walk to the kitchen sink or maybe the water fountain out in the hallway in your school?

For the people who live in the South Sudan it's a little bit different.  To get water they have to walk a long distance to a water hole carrying a jerry can.  They fill up the can and then they have to carry the heavy water plus the can back home where everyone needs it.

On this day two sisters have been sent to get the water from the water hole.  Older sister Nya is starting to lose her patience with her younger sister Akeer.  Akeer is getting slower and slower and Nya wants to walk faster so they can get to the water hole and get home.

Nya makes up clapping games and tries to take Akeer's mind off how tired she feels.  The two girls get to the water hole, fill up the can and then turn toward home.  As they walk, Nya begins to realize that Akeer is sick.  She's too sick to walk.  It's going to be up to Nya to get her sister home.  She'll have to carry Akeer and she'll have to carry the water.

How do you do something that hard?  How do you find the strength and the determination inside yourself to be able to rise to the moment?

This is a beautiful story that can open the eyes of children who have clean, fresh drinking water in their home with the turn of a faucet.  It can help them stand in the shoes of children in other countries who don't have water and faucets.

This is a companion to Linda Sue Park's A Long Walk to Water.

Recommended by:  Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com

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