The Disappearing Stranger

Thursday, February 12, 2015
“I don’t want to live here!” Kate wished she could shout it out. I want the gas streetlights of Minneapolis. I want our warm little rooms. I want busy, cobblestone streets. I want my friends. Even Mama seemed quiet, no longer the glowing bride of yesterday. Kate didn’t want to look at her. If only we could go back to Minneapolis. I wonder what terrible things will happen tomorrow?

Book: The Disappearing Stranger (Adventures of the Northwoods, Book 1) by Lois Walfrid Johnson, Bethany House Publishers, 1990

Genre: Historical Fiction
Target Audience: Girls 11-15
Subjects: Family Relationships, Blended Families, Moving, Trust in God, Fear
Summary: Kate feels so bad for her mom. She misses her dad, but her mom needs a new husband. She needs someone to bring light and joy back into her life. And the truth is that they both need someone to help support them. They will loose their little home soon if something doesn’t change. So Kate gathers her courage and asks a their minister to pray for a husband for Mama. When that prayer is answered Kate begins to regret it. God’s answer is a farmer from the woods of Wisconsin who wants to marry her Mama and move the two of them to the wilderness where he lives with his two sons and daughter. This is NOT what Kate had in mind! Her friend Sarah has told her about the wilderness – there are bears there! And the people live in log cabins that the cold wind whips right through! And brothers? Seriously? Her friend Sarah has warned her about that too! It seems God is giving her everything she didn’t want! And if all of that isn’t bad enough, there is something strange going on in this new home, something dangerous. A mysterious stranger keeps showing up giving Kate even more reasons to be afraid. Is there anything about this new life that is not scary?
Notes: The Disappearing Stranger is the first in the Adventures In The Northwoods series. The series focuses on a young girl right at the beginning of her teen years as she adjusts to life in a very different kind of home and to a new family. The story covers about a year and a half of her life. The main character, Kate has a strong sense of curiosity and stubbornness so whenever she finds something odd she determines to find out what is going on. Sometimes the mysteries find her, sometimes she seeks them out. Through the series she transitions from someone who has only heard but not accepted a relationship with God to a girl learning to put her trust in God and look to Him for wisdom and direction.
In this first book, Kate has to face a bunch of major changes all at once – a new father, 2 brothers, a sister who does not even speak the same language as her, a new home in a vastly different environment, a new school and new friends. She is extremely fearful of everything and angry as well as selfish. During a particularly scary moment she recalls a Bible verse that helps her realize she has been making a habit of only turning to God when she’s in danger and ignoring Him the rest of the time but needs to put her trust in Him all the time, not just in danger.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 5/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

Psalm 46:1 – God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.


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