By Sami Leder
All Pin Oak students and staff were required to read A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park over the summer. The book tells the story of Salva Dut, a young boy, who journeys through the African desert amidst the Sudanese Civil War, and Nya, a young girl in South Sudan who walks nearly eight hours every day to provide water for herself and her family. I personally loved the book, and like many other POMS students, could not put it down once I began reading it. The story was very compelling and entertaining, and I could not believe all the hardships and strife Salva, Nya, and their families had to face.
There were also many important messages and themes conveyed in the book. In advocacy, Pin Oak students and their teachers the lessons we can learn from A Long Walk to Water. Some lessons include the importance of time management and determination. I absorbed so many important messages from these stories. One thing we can learn is that instead of worrying, we should carry on with our lives and solve our problems later. For example, Salva was struggling terribly in the desert when he was worrying about his family, but he became a great leader when he focused on completing the quest one step at a time. He then reunited with his father.
Another lesson we can learn is that we can put aside our differences, bad history, and previous conflicts with someone and reconcile. For instance, Salva and Nya are members of rival tribes (the Dinka and the Nuer) and their tribes have always fought and battled with each other. But when Salva helps build a school, a market, a hospital, and a well full of clean drinking water in Nya’s village at the end of the story, the two ignore their cultural differences and become friends.
In conclusion, I believe A Long Walk to Water was an exquisite book and everyone should give it a read, regardless of age, genre preferences, reading level, gender, or any differences we have.