Forward Me Back to You by Mitali Perkins
Although Kat fought off her would-be rapist with her champion Brazilian jiujitsu skills, she is not left undamaged. She is suffering from PTSD and anger that her accusations left her attacker unpunished. In an effort to help her daughter, Kat’s mom sends her away from California to Boston to live with a an elderly (but awesome) family friend. Grandma Vee is loving and wonderful and so, so wise. She insists Kat attend a youth group meeting in order to get to know people Kat’s own age. In all her wisdom, Grandma Vee knew Kat would form a connection with Robin, a member of the youth group. Robin was born in India, christened “Ravi” by the orphanage, and adopted by his loving white parents when he was three years old. Although Robin has enjoyed a life of luxury and love, he has always felt like something was missing. He’s getting ready to graduate but he has no idea what he wants to do with his life, he mostly keeps to himself, and he doesn’t have many hobbies. He feels like a no one. The night Kat attends the youth group meeting, the pastor tells the group about an opportunity. He will be taking a small group of students to Kolkata, India to learn about the realities of the sex trafficking trade and to help its victims in whatever ways deemed appropriate by the relief organization. Robin sees the trip as an opportunity to find his birth mother. Kat sees it as an opportunity to teach young girls self-defense as a way to never again be trafficked. Both will learn much, much more than they bargained for.
Forward Me Back to You is a simple story that packs a powerful punch regarding serious topics without graphic or extraneous details. Its content is very middle school appropriate but high school students will find it interesting, as well. Many teens will be able to relate to both Kat and Robin’s struggles and will see that engaging in selfless acts can actually serve self, as well. Teens who have read Patricia McCormick’s, Sold (the preeminent YA novel on the Indian sex trafficking trade), will be interested in this one. Engaging audiobook.
Author of Forward Me Back to You, Mitali Perkins, will be visiting FZW Library (home of your lit librarians) on Wednesday, April 24, during 2nd and 4th hours. Join us! Your absence from class will count as a field trip. Complete the form found here to attend!