Book Review: A Long Walk To Water by Linda Sue Park

Reviewed by Kiran Satti

A story that exemplifies how the power of determination combats fierce hopelessness, suitable for Upper KS2.

A Long Walk To Water is a dual narrative set in Sudan. The tributaries of a river can be viewed as a pertinent metaphor to describe the two narratives because towards the end of this insightful and profound story, the tributaries come together in an ox bow lake where water becomes plentiful, hope flourishes and different parts of the world, points in time and tribes come together. The practical and healing properties of water are celebrated in this story. The African landscape facilitates the direction of the story – a compass, especially for the main character Salwa; a compass of life directing him to his path to survival and renewal.


Throughout this mesmerising story, there are moments that will take your breath away. It is a very human story which asks you to feel, think and reflect deeply. As a reader, you invest in both characters, seeing situations through their eyes; powerful insights where you learn a lot about the spectrum of humanity.


A Long Walk To Water is a story for Upper Key Stage Two. It would work well as a class text which would facilitate deep thought and discussion, especially when looking at what it means to be a refugee, displacement, hope and making a difference.

The beauty of the human spirit shines through this story and the power it has to overcome adversity and bring hope to life.


A Long Walk To Water by Linda Sue Park is published 31st May 2018 by OneWorld Publications

Teacher/Writer Profile

Kiran Satti is a primary school practitioner, leading English. She is passionate about the value of English and Reading and how they can empower learners. Kiran is a Regional Leader for Womened, an organisation that promotes women’s rights and equal rights within the educational sector. She is also a member of the Teachers as Readers Open University groups #OURfP, developing engaged, reading communities fostered through research and sharing practice.