A Forest, A Flood, and an Unlikely Star Review!

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About the Book

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.
My Perspective

The story of Kusiima touched my heart. As a reader you cannot help but be saddened by the poverty, illnesses and poaching that you read about. It is absolutely heart breaking. However, in the midst of that, J.A. Myhre was able to paint a picture of hope.

Kusiima is a strong character that is simply trying to do what is best for his family. I loved the chapters were his grandmother told him of his mother and how he came to be. She was warm, yet honest. While some disagree with her honesty in that moment, I feel that it was necessary and added to the story. It also helped to build Kusiima’s character. His story could have turned out so much differently had his grandmother not told him the truth.

Two extra things that were great about this book – the illustrations and glossary at the end. I found it easier to connect with the setting by having some of the writing in the native language. Having the glossary in the back made it that much easier to follow. The illustrations confirmed what I had already pictured in my head. For a YA book, it may help break up the heavy overtones a little as well.

I think that people of all ages will enjoy this book. It provides hope and encouragement, and was beautifully written. I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

About the Author

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.

Find out more about J.A. at http://paradoxuganda.blogspot.com.

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