A Bird, A Girl, and a Rescue is the second book in the fictional series, The Rwendigo Tales. Designed for eight- to fourteen-year-old youth, this adventure novel is written for children and teens who love reading and learning about faraway and different parts of the world, while relating to characters and issues that seem much closer to home.
Eleven-year-old Kiisa has no idea why her parents would send her away to boarding school. She wonders why they can’t all stay together in their beautiful African valley home. But no matter what she says, they are firm: she must go, and she must go to this school.
As she says a tearful goodbye to her father, he whispers, “For such a time as this. . . . Remember that phrase, and try to open your trunk soon. You’ll find something unexpected inside.” When Kiisa opens the trunk, she is astonished to find a small heap of black-and-white feathers that quickly unfold into a little bird, a wagtail to be exact.
Her surprise only deepens when the bird starts to speak, ”My name is Njili. I am one of the messengers, though a small one. I have been sent to assist you with the Rescue.” Kiisa has no idea what she means, but she will soon find out.
Join Kiisa on the adventure of a lifetime—a dangerous rescue mission that includes rebels, stolen girls, illegal logging, a hungry cobra, and more messengers who help in unexpected ways. Kiisa sets out to rescue others but finds herself rescued from fear and bitterness as she learns that bravery is nothing more (or less) than being in the right place at the right time and taking action despite her fears.
This page-turning story is an adventure that children, young adults, and even full-grown adults will not be able to put down. A Bird, a Girl, and a Rescue creatively and convincingly explores universal themes such as family, forgiveness, bullying, and courage by blending magical realism and compelling storytelling.
Written by a long-time medical missionary to Africa and featuring realistic pen and ink illustrations, it draws first-world readers into another (equally real) world—where young girls are captured by rebel soldiers, terrorism is a way of life, and environmental resources are exploited without a second thought. As Myhre’s characters deal with these real-life issues in the news, readers of all ages will gain a deeper interest in global human concerns.
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 The Rwendigo Tales series were written as Christmas presents. Jennifer is the author of A Chameleon, A Boy, and A Quest; A Bird, A Girl, and A Rescue; A Forest, A Flood, and an Unlikely Star; and A Fever, a Flight, and a Fight for the World.
Acacia Masso grew up in Africa and is finishing her BA in art therapy in the United States. She has illustrated all four books in The Rwendigo Tales series authored by J. A. Myhre.
"A children’s book is a gem if it enables a child to journey into a bigger world, and it's a prize if it woos an adult to return to being a child. This book is an enthralling story that weaves myth, fantasy, and harsh truth about living in the world while also conveying what it means to become a person of character in a hostile terrain. As the father of two girls and two granddaughters, I am especially happy to have a story that magnifies the resilience, courage, savvy, and playfulness of a girl who embodies what it means to grow in wisdom. I love this story and can’t wait to read this prize to my grandchildren."
Dan B. Allender, Professor of Counseling Psychology and Founding President, The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology
"Much of the beauty of fiction is its unique ability to transport us to places we have never been so we can enjoy experiences through the eyes, hands, and minds of fictional characters. J. A. Myhre’s novels invite boys and girls to embark on distinctly African adventures that are as exciting as they are instructive. I think your children—and perhaps also their parents—will love them."
Tim Challies, Author; blogger
"A Bird, a Girl, and a Rescue by Jennifer Myhre captures life in an African school in vivid detail. A mysterious bird befriends Kiisa, the new girl in school, when she feels most alone. More than just a story about school and soccer and adventure, the book also explores universal themes such as self-confidence, standing up for friends, and forgiveness. Worth reading for parents and kids alike."
Shel Arensen, Editor of Old Africa magazine; author of nine children’s books
"Jennifer Myhre’s grasp of God’s grace and gift of writing are a marriage made in heaven. A Bird, a Girl, and a Rescue—the second entry in The Rwendigo Tales series—is a feast of imagination-fueling, heart-engaging gospel storytelling. If Jennifer’s original audience was children and teenagers, then I’m not as old as my birth certificate indicates. I’ll recommend this book to friends of every age. Thank you, my sister, for giving us an honest, formula-free reflection on the gospel of the kingdom, birthed from your own tears, journey, and hope-filled heart."
Scotty Smith, Teacher in Residence, West End Community Church, Nashville, TN
"Dr. Jennifer Myhre’s stories are birthed from the African outpost where her husband and family have shared their lives, skills, and hearts for the cause of the Christ. Each account, written so her own family would embrace and rejoice in the power of the gospel, is told in engaging narrative fiction but also rings true with deep knowledge of the African experience and biblical hope for all nations."
Bryan Chapell, Pastor, Grace Presbyterian Church, Peoria, IL
"Kids love adventure stories. A Bird, a Girl, and a Rescue will have them begging you to read the next chapter, and each one seemed to hold a surprise—a great family bedtime story."
Marty Machowski, Family Pastor; author of The Ology, The Gospel Story Bible, Long Story Short, and other gospel-rich resources for families
"Having lived and worked in rural Africa for many years, I appreciate Jennifer’s poignant use of allegory to draw the reader into the wonder, beauty, and sadness of life experienced by Kiisa. With vivid detail, you are quickly drawn into and captivated by Kiisa’s adventures. Don’t be fooled to think this is just a nice children’s book—it is a powerful read for anyone at any age."
Bob Osborne, Executive Director, Serge
"The geography, tumult, and humanity of Africa loom large in this second installment in J. A. Myhre’s The Rwendigo Tales. Myhre ably brings to life for young adult readers the wild wonder of the continent, and so much more. As the reluctant boarding schoolgirl Kiisa takes a leap of faith, we join in her breathless rescue involving sacrifice and reconciliation—plus one fearless monkey."
Mindy Belz, Senior Editor, World magazine; author of They Say We Are Infidels
"After reading A Chameleon, a Boy, and a Quest, I was eagerly anticipating, and then very excited to see, the arrival of A Bird, a Girl, and a Rescue. Here is another delightful tale from Jennifer Myhre, full of adventure, surprise, and a wonderfully compelling picture of emerging friendship. There is plenty of excitement here to keep our full attention as we witness the awakening of bravery and the beauty of selflessness. A Bird, a Girl, and a Rescue both captivates and teaches. Find a cozy chair and enjoy!"
Mike Bullmore, Senior Pastor, CrossWay Community Church, Bristol, Wisconsin
"Another delightful, gospel-tinged story from Jennifer Myhre. Her storytelling is enchanting. You won’t be disappointed!"
Paul E. Miller, Author of A Praying Life and A Loving Life
"Myhre’s delightful and fast-paced story brings readers to the unfamiliar to explore the familiar. It is spiritual without being religious and important without being self-important. Myhre offers in both Kiisa and her father, Mugisa, compelling characters who model courage and humility and make us care about them and their choices. What happens in the story really matters (at many levels). This work of magical, spiritual realism is true in the most important sense of that word."
Matthew Dickerson, Author of the medieval historical novel The Rood and the Torc: The Song of Kristinge, Son of Finn and the fantasy novel The Gifted: Volume 1 of the Daegmon War, as well as numerous works about fantasy literature and ecology
- J. A. Myhre
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- The Rwendigo Tales