James’ letter Essay #3 A Long Walk To Water



Letter Essay 3

I currently just finished the novel, A Long Walk To Water. This book was 128, a quick read but was worth every page. Written by Linda Sue Park a successful author writing many books such as A Single Shard and The 39 Clues, Storm Warning. “I’ve been writing ever since I can remember” Park says. Being a New York Times bestseller she really knows what she is doing. The main reason why I read this book is because I read it more than a year ago and sort of forgot what it was all about, not entirely of course but I wanted to re-jog my memory. This book was a nonfiction book and my general thoughts about it are very high because of how much of a great job Linda Sue Park did explaining Salva’s courageous acts.

In Southern Sudan life does not come easy starting the book off with a action packed scene. For us it is hard to imagine life in poverty stricken nations like Sudan considering we get water and food without a problem. Salva who is in the Dinka tribe is your average village member. When the school heard gun fire close by it sent Salva running; without his family, without food, without water. He headed to the bush (A forest like place) which would be good for him to hide. He met up with a group of people and found a friend, Marial. Finding Marial was a spark for Salva to forget somewhat about this horrible mess. Still food and water a problem Salva and marial find a honeycomb and eat that which barely satisfies their hunger. When things finally start going in the right direction Salva finds his uncle Jewiir. But, things are never good for Salva, just like that his new friend, one of the only kids his age dies. Marial was only eleven and died for this tragic event. Salva’s feet now hurt more than ever and uncle Jewiir, being the leader he is helps him out by saying “See that rock, just get to that rock.” He repeated this with many other objects on their journey to Ethiopia. The rest is for you to read!

I was satisfied with how the author brought out how Salva was feeling through him talking to himself in his mind. This really gave me a idea of what he was feeling. I didn’t understand why the author started each chapter with a excerpt of another story about a little girl named Nya. Although these short passages were why the title was “A Long Walk to Water”, it confuses me why it was important to put it in. I liked how the author explained the setting like when Salva was at the barn Linda Sue Park painted a picture in my mind of how it looked old and run down.

The passage that I choose shows the power of dialogue and what it can do to bring out a character’s traits.

“As the bird roaster, Salva could hardly keep his eyes off of it. There would only be enough for a bite or two for each person, but he could hardly wait.

Then he heard loud voices. Along with the rest of the group, he turned around and saw six men coming toward them. As the men approached, he could see that they were armed with guns and machetes.

The men began shouting.

“Sit down!”

“Hands on your heads!”

“All of you Now!”

Everyone in the group sat down at once. Salva was afraid of the weapons, and he could see that the others were, too.

This passage shows how very frightening and terrible things just would not let up for Salva and his group and this is also revealing that he can stay strong through things just like that. I think this is an effective technique to use in writing to show characters strengths and weaknesses. Doing this the reader can then understand the people in the book more. If I had to rate this book out of ten in would be a nine and a half because of the greatness and courageous acts the characters made. This was a very good nonfiction read and I have yet to read any other nonfiction book (besides Unbroken and American Sniper) that was better than this.


James Porter


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5 thoughts on “James’ letter Essay #3 A Long Walk To Water

  1. I really liked the way you explained the book, I have read the book and you gave a lot of key info, that is hard to find sometimes.

  2. I liked the way you included all the books that she wrote and the titles of her previous books. I liked the way you wrote some quotes and included information about the book.

  3. Dear James,
    I liked the way you began your Letter Essay, using a quote from the author herself. Your introduction made me want to read the rest of your Letter essay. Next time you should elaborate more on your sentence starters. Overall you did a very good job.

  4. dear james, i really enjoyed reading your letter essay. i have read the book and even you have made some points that havent come to me even after reading the book and you have made me realize how good the book really is, im considering reading it again
    from yours truely sincerely from Mr christian hIDEn

  5. Dear James,
    I liked the way you included titles of novels the author has written in the past. I have read the book before and I thought you wrote it suspensefully. Although you could have improved your essay by elaborating more on the summary, I thought it was still a well written essay.

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