A Long Walk to Water

Book review by Kate Pavao, Common Sense Media
A Long Walk to Water Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 11+

Touching take on Lost Boys of Sudan, based on true story.

Parents say

age 11+

Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 11+

Based on 26 reviews

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

A Lot or a Little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Stands out for and .

Community Reviews

age 15+

Just too much trauma.

I put that I think it's for 15 and up but it's my 11 year old that is reading this for a summer school assignment that the teacher's assigned. In my opinion, it would take a mature teen to understand the life lessons in this book. If this were on a movie or tv screen, it would be rated R. As stated in other reviews it's just so much violence. I am not against my child learning about these things. It's just if your going to give a kid summer reading, why not make it fun!? So much bad news in the world right now, let's make reading something to put a smile on the face of the the pre-teens. Especially those that might be depressed from these lock downs. I don't believe in shielding from every real life situations but gee. I keep telling my 11 year old that I hope there's a happy ending because this is just awful for these kids in this book. It does have educational value if you aren't overwhelmed by the pure trauma of it.

This title has:

Too much violence
age 12+

Great message, has some violence

I love the book. It’s a quick read and has a great message of preserving and not giving up even when things seem pretty hopeless. I would suggest that although some younger kids could handle the violent death of the friend, shooting of the uncle, death of strangers in the desert, army running thousands into the crocodile infested river and shooting them, I think most younger than 12 or 13 would struggle with those things.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence

Book Details

Our Editors Recommend

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

  • Cartoon picture of luggage and a map
    See all
  • Cartoon picture of the side profile of a boy
    Great Boy Role Models
    See all
  • Cartoon picture of a map and jug
    See all

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate