Talking with Kids about Water

water-no attrib req.

World Water Day returns this week, along with the first day of spring. Renewal, rebirth, hope. Today’s children know all about safe tap water, bottled drinking water wherever they turn, a shower or bath whenever they want, trips to the beach, lawn sprinklers, and swimming pools. How familiar are they, however, with places in the world where clean drinking water is not a given? What do they know about activists who fight to keep our waters safe? Check out the following amazing books that can help to get the conversation started!

From BookPage in 2010:

“Few children can imagine walking eight hours a day or digging by hand deep into the mud, just to find water for their family. But the backbreaking work under the hot African sun is just a typical day for 11-year-old Nya, growing up in Sudan circa 2008. She rarely complains; it would do no good.

Salva, also 11, is from a prominent, upper-class Sudanese family. As the Second Sudanese Civil War erupts in the mid-1980s, Salva is forced to run as bombs hit his village. Fleeing quickly and leaving his family behind, he joins up with bands of strangers—all headed out of their war-torn homeland to Ethiopia.

Difficult as it may be, both Nya and Salva come to accept their own long walks to water—each peppered with challenges and each tied to family and survival. Nya’s sister becomes very ill; Salva loses several loved ones. But Newbery Award winner Linda Sue Park’s brilliant dual narrative provides a soulful insight into both journeys.

Both Salva and Nya are urged on by their individual reserves of hope—for a better tomorrow, a better future—but neither really knows what lies beyond. The book’s denouement, however, intertwines their stories in a soul-satisfying and optimistic way.

A Long Walk to Water is based on Salva Dut’s true story of perseverance amid adversity. But beyond that, it’s a touching narrative about strife and survival on a scale most American readers will never see.”

Watch an interview with Salva and the author, Linda Sue Park

Recommended by AICL (American Indians in Children’s Literature) in 2018:

“The ‘about’ page tells us that the author, Aslan Tudor, was eight and nine years old during the period depicted in the book, and a citizen of the Lipan Apache Tribe of Texas. Information provided is his first-hand account of time spent at the camps when he was there in 2016.

Told from the point of view of a child, Young Water Protectors is a rare kind of story of a unique period of activism with Native people from so many nations standing together to fight a company exploiting people and hurting earth’s resources.

There’s a lot to think about, packed into this slim book. Tudor touches on the school at the camp, and what he learned there but he also notes that activity at some of the construction sites wasn’t safe. It was safer for kids to stay in camp. For readers who want more information about that, adults can fill in the gaps according to what they know about the reader.”  (Photographs by Kelly Tudor)

What can we each do to spread the word and help ensure safe water for all? Write, read, listen, draw, share, march, donate, protest, and be good examples!

This week is also the return of my own birthday, and I wrote this blog post toward fulfilling a  personal goal for the year. Water is truly life.               ~Becky

 

26 thoughts on “Talking with Kids about Water

  1. I lived in San Diego during the last 3 years of a 6-year drought. The amount of water that was wasted by construction sites leaving the water running for days was outrageous. On Catalina Island, it got so bad that restaurants had to serve bottled water (upon request) because the reservoirs could not supply water for tourists.. Businesses and homes were penalized if they used more than 80% (if I recall accurately) of their normal usage. Most of them began using the one laundromat in Avalon as a way to cut down on personal usage. This did not help the laundromat owner who’s business usage rose dramatically. For most people, even a drought this dire was nothing compared to what the children in the book had to deal with. We do have it lucky in the US overall when it comes to a safe supply of water. Excellent post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is really good, Becky. What a relevant and poignant post. And, how meaningful for children to be educated on how other people live—-and the empathy and connection that builds. Thank you.

    And, happy birthday!! Mine is April 4th, we’re close by.
    Have a wonderful celebration. 🙂
    Debbie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome! I’m happy to see that you liked this, Debbie. And thank you for the birthday wishes, too! I’ll be spending time with my writing critique group friends in the afternoon and with some of my family in the evening. I hope that you have a great birthday, as well!

      Like

Leave a Reply to ForgivingConnects Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s