cover image Nya’s Long Walk: A Step at a Time

Nya’s Long Walk: A Step at a Time

Linda Sue Park, illus. by Brian Pinkney. Clarion, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-328-78133-8

Newbery Medalist Park takes a character from her 2010 novel, A Long Walk to Water, and tells her story in a new format. Nya, a South Sudanese girl, must fetch water for her family from a distant well. Coretta Scott King Award–winner Pinkney paints Nya steadying her can with one hand and reaching for her younger sister Akeer with the other. On the way home, Akeer collapses, ill, and Nya must carry both her sibling and their water “at least half a morning’s walk” back home. Pinkney follows their intense journey across broad spreads, tracing the scrabbly vegetation with loose lines and the sand with swirls of sepia and gold. When she finally makes it home, Nya discovers that her ordeal isn’t over, and she must accompany Mama and Akeer to a clinic a couple of days’ walk away. In the end, the earlier book’s real-life hero, Salva Dut, drills a well for Nya’s community, lessening the occurrence of waterborne disease. With compassion, the creators present younger readers with a portrait of a life in which determination is needed just to get enough clean water to drink, a reality for many villagers in South Sudan. Ages 4–7. [em](Sept.) [/em]