Quick Overview :
When her Congolese village is destroyed by an invading militia group, eleven-year-old Therese is injured and outcast. Stranded with only her little brother's best friend in a war-torn jungle, she is forced to make a choice: lie down and become another victim of the war or stand up and survive. Desperate to find her mother and beloved brother, Felix, she uses her greatest gift, her knowledge of English, to navigate the vast web of humanitarian aid groups. Along the way, she meets the charismatic one-legged teenager, Robert, who takes her on an adventure with a film crew which becomes her lifeline back home. Luna, Therese's mother, has been taken as a slave and concubine to the handsome and evil leader of the militia, The General. In a harrowing act of bravery, she uses her own knowledge of languages to make the difficult choice to escape into the mountainous jungle. In her struggle to reunite with Therese and Felix, some of the least likely people become her friends. With its themes of women's empowerment, Unnatural Resources is a stunning and unflinchingly brutal redefinition of the meaning of family. This book tells the story of a young Congolese girl who becomes a symbol of hope in the worst place in the world to be female.
Mindy Uhrlaub has traveled twice with Human Rights Watch and Eve Ensler's V-Day to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and has taken testimony of rape survivors and child soldiers. Her interest in preventing the pillage of resources in Congo has also led her to visit Virunga National Park and to sit on the committee for Human Rights Watch s Voices for Justice Dinner. Prior to writing Unnatural Resources, Uhrlaub wrote and produced STALLED, a feature-length film (distributed by Concorde New Horizons). She was also a music reviewer and copy editor for Denver's PULP magazine. In addition, Mindy plays keyboards in 40th Day, a band that has toured with Kansas and performed with groups like The Smashing Pumpkins. She is a contributing author in the anthologies Mamas Write and She's Got This (named 2019 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Finalist, Kindle Book Awards Reader's Choice, and Best Book Awards Finalist). She has spoken several times at San Francisco's Litquake and lives in the Bay Area with her husband and sons.