post written by Emma Filbrun
Title: Nobody’s Boy
Author: Velina Showalter
Major Themes: Mexico, Mennonites, Kidnapping, Adoption, Cultural Differences, Biography, Central America
Synopsis: As a little boy, Obando could not understand why he was so different from the other children around him—could he find out why, as an adult?
When I was ordering some school books recently, I looked through the story books that the website offered, and Nobody’s Boy caught my eye. It sounded quite interesting, and I was not disappointed! I read most of this book one evening when I was waiting up late for half of my family to come home, and though I was getting tired, I sure wasn’t ready to put this book down!
The story begins around 1930, a few years after the German Mennonites started moving to Mexico from Canada. Three-year-old Heinrich had gone to the field with his father—and disappeared. What could have happened to him? The neighbors helped to search until a rainstorm and nightfall interfered; just before they had to stop looking, they found evidence that suggested the little boy had been stolen. Where could he be?
A number of years later, young Obando wonders why he is so different from everyone around him. He realizes he must have a father somewhere—but where? Why is he often called a Mennonite—and who are the Mennonites, anyway. He searches for answers; will he ever find them?
This book is based on a true story. As an older man, Obando wrote the story of his life, hoping to help people understand how it was to be caught between two cultures. Because this is a true story, the ending isn’t necessarily the way you want it to be—it’s real life. I recommend this book for people who like to read about people’s lives and how they come to the Lord.