Synopsis: 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.
My Thoughts: I have never read a book like this before and it was delightful. The story follows Kusiima, a 13 year old boy who lives in Africa with his grandmother and younger sister, who is severely underweight and unhealthy. I loved the author’s descriptive writing…I was able to picture the scenes in the book very easily and felt like I was transported to Africa while reading. This book was what I think of as an “escape book”…it’s written in a way in that the reader truly escapes their current environment and enters the world of the book.
The plot was full of adventure, suspense, and drama. I found myself on the edge of my seat several times while reading. The illustrations were also delightful and provided a better glimpse into the world.
I adored Kusiima, he was a very strong, courageous young man of amazing character. I think this would be an excellent story for boys to read. It causes the reader to see that there are people in the world that don’t live as comfortably as those in the western world. In spite of Kusiima’s poor circumstances, he still persevered.
There was a bit of violence and some scenes that might be scary for younger readers.
I highly recommend this book and plan to pick up the other 2 in the series (this is book 3).
I received this book from Litfuse Publicity Group to review.