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Wednesday, October 25, 2017
A Forest, a Flood, and an Unlikely Star: Rwendigo Tales (New Growth Press, September 2017)
Follow along with thirteen-year-old Kusiima in the third book of J.A. Myhre’s The Rwendigo Tales.
Just thirteen years old, Kusiima has no time for school, sports, or hanging out with the other boys in his African village. With no father or mother to take care of him, he works long hours to support his grandmother and sickly baby sister. Then one day, Kusiima’s life suddenly changes when he travels into a nearby protected forest. In the forest, Kusiima is presented with many choices, all with uncertain outcomes. Should he go along with illegal logging? Help to save an endangered baby gorilla? Follow a donkey to who knows where?
With each choice, Kusiima has to make yet another decision about what is right in front of him. As he does, he meets a mysterious doctor who holds the key to his past and his future. In the end, Kusiima is faced with the hardest choice of all. Can he forgive a great wrong and heal a broken relationship?
Readers of all ages won’t want to put down this exciting book that addresses current realities like AIDS, malnutrition, and environmental destruction, all set in a richly detailed African adventure story. Following along as Kusiima makes his decisions, readers will find themselves considering their own choices and growing in empathy for others. This action-packed tale of a boy, his sister, and an orphaned gorilla is also a clear call to give up bitterness and forgive deep hurts, restoring broken lives and relationships.
J. A. Myhre serves as a doctor with Serge in East Africa where she has worked for over two decades. She is passionate about health care for the poor, training local doctors and nurses, promoting childhood nutrition and development, and being the hands of Jesus in the hardest places. She is married to her best friend and colleague Scott, and together they have raised four children for whom many of her stories were written as Christmas presents.
If you are looking for a great book for your preteen or older, I recommend that you grab this book as soon as you can. It is adventurous and filled with a story that keeps you engaged till the end. The author can really hold an audience with her words that make you feel part of the story. I loved the description of the forest and the area in Africa. I felt like I was right there as the rain poured so hard you could barely hear yourself breathe.
The main character of the book is thirteen year old Kusiima. He is determined and I loved his devotion to his grandmother and sister. He has had a hard life since his mother passed away. With his baby sister so ill, he tries so hard to find work and buy medicine for her. My heart ached for his sister barely clinging to life. The poverty in the area he lived with his grandmother was so hard to grasp. I wanted to take Kusiima and his family to a safe place so they could eat and get warm.
Kusiima gets involved with something that he finds out is dangerous while trusting his boss. Oh that made me so mad to see those men not care for his safety and to not worry when they couldn’t find him. Kusiima has a strength in him that kicks in when he realizes he is on his own while lost in the forest. The story is riveting at times and I loved the animals he came in contact with. Will God help Kusiima find his way home? Don’t miss this adventure that reminds us that God is always there. I especially liked the illustrations throughout the book. It was a nice addition to help visualize the story.
I received a copy of this book from LitFuse. The review is my own opinion.