by Linda Sue Park
A lot of my students have been reading this book so I picked it up; it’s a quick read, short and sometimes sparse with little descriptive moments that I love. The book (based on a true story) follows 2 people in Southern Sudan. One, a boy, begins his story in 1985 as war breaks out in his village. The other starts in 2008 following a girl who must walk for hours to get water for her family from a muddy lake.
I thought this book was fantastic because it tells a story of a struggle that we in America do not really understand. We know that clean water and war is an issue, but it’s hard for us to imagine what the actual experiences are like. On top of that, this book addresses these issues in a way to make it appropriate for my 5th graders while having plenty of context for discussion for older readers as well.
This book is great to start a discussion or learning about worldwide issues- it would be extremely cool to read this book and then raise money to build a well to tie it all together.