Robin Thornton was adopted from an orphanage in Kolkata, India and is reluctant to take on his future. Since he knows nothing about his past, how is he supposed to figure out what comes next?
Robin and Kat meet in the most unlikely of places — a summer service trip to India to work with survivors of human trafficking. As bonds blossom between the travel-mates, Robin and Kat discover the healing superpowers of friendship.
At turns heart-wrenching, beautiful, and buoyant, Mitali Perkins' new novel explores the ripple effects of violence — across borders and generations — and how small acts of heroism can break the cycle.
"... [E]xpertly explores personal identity, faith, trauma and ethnocentrism, cleverly using a dual narrative to depict Kat's and Robin's individual points of view. Perkins also uses the teens' experience in Kolkata to highlight the way many view service when done in cultures other than their own. Forward Me Back to You respectfully tackles heavy issues with a poignant, honest and refreshing outlook. ―Shelf Awareness, starred review
"In fast-moving prose that is layered with emotion—rage, grief, dismay, hope, vulnerability, love—Perkins’s novel pulses with heart and questions of identity as well as talk of faith, prayer, God, and social justice." ~ Publishers Weekly
"Perkins celebrates Christian faith, superheroes, and Kolkata life through the interleaved perspectives of sympathetic and earnest protagonists and in simple language that speaks straight to the heart. A hymn to faith, friendship, and social justice, sung by gentle men and strong women of many colors and ages." ~ Kirkus Reviews
"What both protagonists face as survivors of different traumas are thoughtfully represented in Perkins’ considerations of a setting where adoption and sex trafficking go hand-and-hand and in her convincingly reflective teenage perspectives." ~ Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Here's a Promo Kit about me and my work.
Feel free to use this Common Core Teacher Guide created for the novel.
And here's another Discussion Guide to prepare for your cross-cultural service trip!
And here's the audiobook narrated by Soneela Nankani.
RESOURCES / INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION
Suggestions for listening, learning, and action
- Follow Family Preservation 365 and Parents for Ethical Adoption Reform.
- Read my Op-Ed at Huffington Post about being an adoptive parent.
- Listen to first mothers through hashtags like #firstmothers and sites like Concerned United Parents.
- Read adoptee memoirs.
- Listen to adoptees through hashtags like #adopteevoices and sites and groups like Dear Adoption or Lost Sarees.
- Learn about the challenges and successes of emerging fostering efforts overseas, like Foster Care India.
- Sponsor the education, health, and nutrition of at-risk children who stay in their communities of origin through Compassion, World Vision, or other non-profits validated by Charity Navigator.
- Empower marginalized women to start businesses through Kiva, Grameen Foundation, or other accredited microcredit providers.
- Offer emotional or financial support in a beloved adoptee’s desire to search for his or her biological relatives.
Suggestions for listening, learning, and action
International Justice Mission (India): IJM uncovers cases of sex trafficking and supports local, national and specialized anti-trafficking police forces with rescue operations, helps with evidence collection and provides crisis counseling for survivors during rescue operations. IJM advocates support the prosecution of traffickers, pimps and other perpetrators, and our social workers help survivors who have chosen to testify prepare to share the truth in court. IJM partners with several aftercare homes in India to ensure that survivors have a safe place to live, and provide ongoing trauma therapy and vocational and educational support. They also equip local law enforcement partners with tools and training to combat sex trafficking, raise awareness and help others in the community respond.
Sari Bari: Sari Bari is an ethical fashion business that employs women who have been exploited in the sex trade or who are vulnerable to human trafficking. Women are trained as artisans to create handmade kantha products from recycled saris.
Mahima India: Mahima India supports Mahima Homes in providing specialized care for minor victims of sex trafficking as well as other children in need of care and protection under the custody of the Child Welfare Committee (CWC).
Jatiyo Kristiyo Prochar Samity: JKPS believes in holistic transformation of the poor and marginalized and justice for the oppressed by empowering women to become entrepreneurs and restoring hope and dignity for survivors of commercial sex trafficking.
RESOURCES / ASSAULT RECOVERY
RAINN: Recovery after sexual assault: Call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) or text HELLO to 741741 (the Crisis Text Line) to speak to someone who can provide you with local information to get help as soon as possible.
Forward Me Back To You