This historical novel based on a true story follows the lives of two children from Sudan. In alternating chapters the reader watches Salva, who in 1985 flees civil war to become one of the "Lost Boys" of Sudan, and Nya, who in 2009 spends 8 hours a day walking to and from a pond to get water for her family. Salva ends up spending a decade in various refugee camps and sees terrible war atrocities. Nya sees her little sister get sick from contaminated water during the dry season when the pond becomes muddy. Both of their stories come together in a wonderful and hopeful ending.
This was one of my favorite books I have read in a long time. This is interesting, because in some ways it was just as harsh as Wolf Hollow (which I hated). The difference is that in the end, all the children's efforts come to a positive fruition. Another reason I enjoyed it is that my son, who is working with a lot of refugees in Germany/Austria/Switzerland, has heard stories very much like the ones in the book. It is so good to get out of our secure middle-class America world and take a peak into another, very real, current, life experience from another culture. (121 p.)