A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park, based on true events, tells the dual story of Nya, living in southern Sudan in 2008 and traveling miles every day to bring home water for her family, and Salva, growing up in southern Sudan in the 1980s and, at 11, leaving his village and family to escape the civil war. The story is written simply and the dual narrative structure creates a gripping picture of life in a difficult country and the strengths and skills necessary for survival.
The story raises interesting philosophical questions about the nature of hope and perseverance, allegiance to family and community, and the relationship between a place and the individuals who inhabit it. It's a beautifully told story and will be especially compelling to upper elementary school age students.
Welcome to Wondering Aloud -- a blog about introducing philosophy to pre-college students. I'm the director of the University of Washington Center for Philosophy for Children, and I started this blog to create another way to communicate about doing philosophy with young people.
The blog includes posts about some of my philosophy classes with pre-college students, thoughts about doing philosophy with young people, and ideas for how to introduce philosophy in K-12 classrooms and with your own children! Also check out our website, http://www.philosophyforchildren.org/, for more resources and ideas.
My hope is that this blog will help further the online community of those interested in pre-college philosophy, and will illustrate the vitality and joy of talking about philosophy with young people.
Jana -- September 2008