Parents' Guide to

Nya's Long Walk: A Step at a Time

By Mandie Caroll, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

Touching tale explores perseverance, clean water access.

Nya's Long Walk: A Step at a Time Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 6+

Based on 1 parent review

age 6+

I wouldn't get it for my high-empathy granddaughter

Having been a child with excessive empathy, I am concerned that my sensitive granddaughter would feel distressed and helpless by this book. On the other hand, it has received excellent reviews in the press and was voted one of the best children's books of 2019. On the third hand, it is a public relations piece for a charity about which I know nothing. While in the Peace Corps, our son got cisterns built to help children in Guatemala get access to clean water, so it's an important problem, but I'd want to be sure my money went to a charity that isn't skimming money from the people we want to help. It's not as hopeful as I would like it to be. I would have preferred a more empowering story--for example about helping build a cistern. Or about the fun of learning about health--the Peace Corps members created a lot of fun activities to teach about brushing teeth, spreading germs, and so on.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This beautiful picture book has a compelling story and evocative illustrations. Bold colors and expressive faces reflect the bond the sisters share. Brian Pinkney's expansive, impressionistic paintings of the parched dessert landscape add tension to the slow progress Nya makes on the way home. The straightforward text matches the urgency of this story, and just a few pages in, readers will be rooting for Nya to make it home and for Akeer to recover from her illness. The ending surpasses “happy” to meaningful; it’s a satisfying conclusion that ties the fictional story into the real-life issues the book covers. Adults will have many avenues to extend conversation and learning after reading this book. The positive representations of the strength and self-sufficiency of the South Sudanese make Nya's Long Walk: A Step at a Time a welcome addition to any kid’s library.

Book Details

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