The award-winning author of You Bring the Distant Near explores identity, homecoming, and the legacy of assault in this personal and ambitious new novel.
Katina King is the reigning teen jujitsu champion of Northern California, but she’s having trouble fighting off the secrets in her past.
Robin Thornton was adopted from an orphanage in India and is reluctant to take on his future. If he can’t find his roots, how can he possibly plan ahead?
Robin and Kat meet in the most unlikely of places—a summer service trip to Kolkata to work with survivors of human trafficking. As bonds build between the travelmates, Robin and Kat discover that justice and healing are tangled, like the pain of their pasts and the hope for their futures. You can’t rewind life; sometimes you just have to push play.
In turns heart wrenching, beautiful, and buoyant, Mitali Perkins's Forward Me Back to You focuses its lens on the ripple effects of violence—across borders and generations—and how small acts of heroism can break the cycle.
This title has Common Core connections.
About the Author
Mitali Perkins has written many award-winning books for young readers. Her novel, You Bring the Distant Near, was a Walter Honor Book and a National Book Award Nominee, won the South Asia Book Award, and received six starred reviews, in addition to other accolades. Mitali was born in Kolkata, India, and has lived in Bangladesh, England, Thailand, Mexico, Cameroon, and Ghana. She currently resides in Northern California.
*A Junior Library Guild Selection*
"The third-person narrative perspective is as accessible as it is literary. Perkins, who was born in Kolkata, India, knows how to write fiction about serious issues such as trauma, healing, identity, cross-cultural service, and social justice. Her inclusive, diverse characters leap off the page with distinctiveness and relatability. Unique and refreshing." —VOYA, starred review
"Simple prose belies complex themes around faith, service, personal identity, and trauma, and Perkins adroitly threads carefully balanced perspectives throughout the story and draws readers’ attention to cultural bias. This timely, realistic story filled with lots of heart yet devoid of a pat ending is sure to capture readers’ interests and spark contemplative conversations around global issues and activism. A must-have for teen and new adult collections." —School Library Journal: XpressReviews, starred review
"Mitali Perkins (You Bring the Distant Near) expertly 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
"A budding romance, a richly evoked setting, and beautiful intergenerational relationships pepper this story . . . a surprisingly sweet and delicately plotted novel . . . Perkins' present-tense prose and the use of stage direction–like notations about scene locations work to give the book an ethereal tone, a dreamy contrast to the grit and sadness that the characters endure, and more reflective of the overall message of hope, connectedness, and love."
"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 (You Bring the Distant Near, 2017, etc.) 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