Walking for Water

Hardcover Jacket
978-1-5253-0249-7 | Jun 1, 2021 List Price:
USD $17.99, CAD $18.99

4-color 7 1/2 x 9 32 pages
Grades: 2 To 5 / Ages: 7 to 10

In this inspiring story of individual activism, a boy recognizes gender inequality when his sister must stop attending school — and decides to do something about it.

Victor is very close to his twin sister, Linesi. But now that they have turned eight years old, she no longer goes to school with him. Instead, Linesi, like the other older girls in their community, walks to the river to get water five times a day, to give their mother more time for farming. Victor knows this is the way it has always been. But he has begun learning about equality at school, and his teacher has asked the class to consider whether boys and girls are treated equally. Though he never thought about it before, Victor realizes they're not. And it's not fair to his sister. So Victor comes up with a plan to help.

Based on a true story of a Malawian boy, award-winning author Susan Hughes's inspiring book celebrates how one person can make a big difference in the lives of others. It's a perfect starting point for children to explore themes of gender inequality and unequal access to education, as well as the lack of clean water in some parts of the world. Nicole Miles's appealing artwork in this graphic novel / picture book hybrid format adds emotional context to the story. Also included are information about education and water availability in Malawi, resources and a glossary of Chichewa words. Part of the CitizenKid collection and featuring a growth mindset, this important book has links to social studies lessons on global communities and cultures, as well as to character education lessons on initiative, fairness and adaptability.


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Educational Resources


Women's roles


Lexile Level



gender inequality   girls   feminism   feminist   clean water   making a difference   inspiring true story   growth mindset   character education   Malawi   children’s rights   access to education

Reviews & Awards


“A lovely story with many uses.”
Kirkus Reviews, April 2021

“… an excellent example of allyship …”
Sherbrooke Record, April 2021

“… activism-encouraging …”
Publishers Weekly, May 2021

“… it definitely deserves a place in every Canadian library and classroom.”
CM Magazine, May 2021


2022 Silver Birch Express Award, Ontario Library Association, Nominee
2022 Skipping Stones Book Honor Awards, Skipping Stones, Joint Winner
2023 Delaware Diamonds Award, Diamond State Reading Association, Short-Listed