A Forest, A Flood, and an Unlikely Star is the third book in the fictional series, The Rwendigo Tales. Designed for eight-to fourteen-year-old youth, this adventure story 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.
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 The Rwendigo Tales books 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 tale through African forests to gorilla lands and ranger rescues. What adventure story could be better than that? The journey of the heart through potential bitterness and sorrow to forgiveness and peace courageously embraced. A Forest, a Flood, and an Unlikely Star is a tale well told and well taken to heart.”
Bryan Chapell, Pastor; author
“What an amazing book! Jennifer Myhre not only tells a beautifully written and compelling African adventure story, but she also deftly incorporates significant social and spiritual issues in the life of a teenage boy. I highly recommend A Forest, a Flood, and an Unlikely Star for kids and teens but also for families and school groups to read, enjoy, and discuss together. It is an exciting, engaging, and inspiring book.”
Robert A. Fryling, Former publisher of InterVarsity Press; author of The Leadership Ellipse: Shaping How You Lead by Who You Are
“Dr. Myhre transports us to the lyrical world of the African village. She teaches you to love by entering the world of those who appear to be poor but are rich in love. What an amazing way to disciple your children with the heart of God.”
Paul Miller, Author of A Praying Life and A Loving Life
“A Forest, a Flood and an Unlikely Star transported me, moved me, taught me, and entertained me. I know Jennifer wrote this book with older children and teens in mind, but adults, this book should also take the top spot for your next book club pick. You’ll discuss family, forgiveness, redemption, and courage—all against the breathtaking backdrop of African skies. I loved this book.”
Kimberly Stuart, Author of the Heidi Elliott series and Sugar: A Novel
“A Forest, a Flood, and an Unlikely Star takes the reader on an adventure they will not soon forget. Myhre shows a world you and your kids may not be familiar with and challenges your hearts to open right here at home. Enjoy this exciting read with your kids or by yourself—you will not be disappointed.”
Jessica Thompson, Author; speaker; podcaster
“Having just finished Jennifer Myhre’s A Forest, A Flood, and An Unlikely Star, several images come to mind (and heart): a non-spin, non-sugarcoated story of redemption; the brokenness and beauty of life in God’s story and world; an intense longing for life in the all-things-new kingdom Jesus has won for us; the hand and heart of God are not always easy to discern; don’t minimize or waste your suffering; the disrupting and delivering power of God’s grace. Once again, Jennifer has written with a hand of honesty, wisdom, and grace, and with the heart and art of a woman engaged in the doxological drama of redemption. The echoes of Eden, nostalgia for life in the new earth, and riches of the gospel permeate Jennifer’s life, writing, and work. I cannot recommend her new book, and the whole Rwendigo Tales series too highly.
Scotty Smith, Teacher in Residence, West End Community Church, Nashville, TN
“We must see new worlds to understand our own. We swim in our own language, culture, and history with little awareness of the wounds, heartache, and glory that is birthed out of our own context. But when we see the drama, intrigue, heartache, and courage in the life of another from a radically different world, then our eyes are open not merely to their story, but renewed to look more honestly at our own. Jennifer Myhre is a masterful storyteller and a genius at capturing our heart for the characters you will come to love. I was riveted and frightened, enlivened and humbled by her writing. If you consider this a child’s story, then it is written with the same allure as the Narnia tales. Most importantly for me, I am asked to enter a broken world and believe that love and courage can turn the tide of greed and cruelty toward redemption. I can’t wait to read this new volume with my grandchildren.
Dan B. Allender, Professor of Counseling Psychology and Founding President, The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology
“In A Forest a Flood and an Unlikely Star, J. A. Myhre brings the challenges of rural Africa to life through a story of rebels, poaching, disease, and disaster. While it is fiction, it tells of the true hardships we rarely face in our western land of opportunity. Get a copy and read it together as a family and allow the unfolding drama to provoke the kind of substantive discussions we desperately lack in our screen time society.”
Marty Machowski, Family Pastor; author of Long Story Short: Ten-Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God, The Ology, and Dragon Seed
“No disease, poverty, or poachers can quench the determination and courage of young Kusiima, the boy hero in this third Rwendigo tale. But the raging waters of an African flood test the limits of his courage and love, plus how far he must go to find forgiveness and healing. Myhre has gifted us with an epic page-turner set amid today’s prevailing challenges for the wonder and the heartbreak that is Africa.”
Mindy Belz, Senior editor, World Magazine
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