Beth Guckenberger and her husband, Todd, are the founders of Back 2 Back Ministries, which currently works with orphan children and needy people in Mexico, India, Nigeria, and Haiti. In Tales of the Not Forgotten, Beth shares the real-life stories of four children, one from each of these countries, weaving them together in a way that distills the overwhelming concepts of poverty and despair into something that a preteen can comprehend.
First we meet Joel, a young boy in an orphanage in Mexico, who is praying along with the rest of the children in the home for God to provide food for them to eat. Next is Seraphina, who spends her days in Haiti picking through the garbage dump looking for anything edible or worth trading for food to feed herself and the two younger sisters she is responsible for. In Nigeria, Ibrahim’s mother might not recover from her illness if they don’t find clean water to drink, despite him making the long trek to get medicine for her. And finally Christiana, in India, who has been rescued from a horrible future and grows up wanting to help others as she has been helped.
In each story, we see how God led someone to give of themselves in some way and thus become an answer to the prayers of these children, showing them that they are loved – that they have not been forgotten.
The stories are well-written, and the book itself is appealing, with interesting facts about the different languages and customs on the countries printed to look like postcards or notes that have been taped or glued like in a scrapbook. After each of the first four chapters, there is an open page with a couple of questions and space for the reader to record his or her thoughts about the story. In the final chapter, Beth shares about some missionaries that have gone to these countries and ends with a call for each one of us to find our own story.
For those who may want to use Tales of the Not Forgotten in a group setting, there is also an interactive Leader’s Guide available for purchase. This is a CD-ROM with everything you need to organize a six-session class based on the book. It includes a variety of customizable files such as creative take-home resources, adaptable elements for a range of ages, and additional activities for Christian schools and homeschools.
We have one copy of Tales of the Not Forgotten to give away (U.S. and Canadian shipping addresses). If you or a preteen you know would like to read this book, simply leave a comment below, and we’ll announce the winner in our book giveaway column on August 8. This giveaway is now closed.
- The winner of the Reluctant Readers Road to Recovery Guide is #2 Leilani.
- The winner of Unlikely Friendships for Kids is #2 Ellie.
- The winner of Gone Missing (with $50 gift card) is #190 Rachel.
Trish blogs at In So Many Words.