MB teacher recounts experiences with two teenage Rwandan refugees in new book

By Christine Jenkins, MB math instructor, author

Christine and her daughter Sydney at the Yellow Umbrella book store in Chatham, Mass.

Christine and her daughter Sydney at the Yellow Umbrella book store in Chatham, Mass.

I was fortunate to recently have my first book signing in Chatham, Mass., where people vacation from all over the world. One woman was from the Netherlands, and she jokingly promised to post a review of my book and make me famous there. I especially enjoyed speaking to the children because they were curious about the process of writing a book. In fact, on separate occasions, two young girls convinced their parents to buy the book for them. I guess I now know who my target audience is!

About the book Fake Smiles & Lasagna

Book description:

one high school teacher…
two Rwandan refugees…
and a three-year journey of self-discovery

Christine Jenkins is a high school math teacher who has never heard of Kinyarwanda or Kigali. Sonia and Eugene are Rwandan teenagers who have just set foot on American soil. Assuming they need a parent, social worker, and miracle maker, Christine enters their lives with naïve notions of how their relationship will unfold. Her attempts to overcome cultural barriers come in the form of awkward conversations, forced smiles, material gifts – and lasagna. Lots of lasagna.

A series of life-changing events throws Christine’s plans off course, destroying her sense of security and control. As she slowly discovers what matters most, Eugene and Sonia gift her with lessons of faith, love, and resilience. Based on actual events, Fake Smiles and Lasagna is a tale of the transformative power of unlikely friendships – and how to find joy in unexpected places.

http://www.christinejenkins.net

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