Friday, June 6, 2008

Healing Water: A Hawaiian Story

For those of you that enjoyed Molokai and would either like to read a child's version of life on the leprosy island or would like your children to learn about the events that took place during that time period in Hawaii, Healing Water by Joyce Moyer Hostetter would be a great choice.

When thirteen year old Pia is diagnosed with leprosy, he knows his Hawaiian life will never be the same. Shipped to Molokai, with the rest of the leprosy patients, he will never again be able to see his family or friends, and is forced to leave all of his childhood behind, instantly becoming a man. Worst of all, his newfound disease has caused the only male role model in his life, Kamaka, to shun him, leaving Pia hurt, confused, and more lonely than ever.

On Molokai, Pia learns that in order to survive in a world without law, rules, or parents, he must lie and steal. His feelings of abandonment grow and he gets himself involved in events and with people that are definitely down the wrong path. The reality of Pia's life is probably incredibly close to what the reality of the actual Molokai island life was like, making for a very solemn story.

Educational and interesting, this is a great story for older juvenile readers, young adults, and you adults as well. I read and enjoyed Molokai and really liked being able to see the story from a child's perspective.

1 comment:

Carol said...

I agree, that this is a solemn but well-written story. I read your review after Joyce linked to it from you blog; I have used it as a literature model for my book, "Teaching the Story: Fiction Writing in Middle School" and for Maupin House's Craft Plus series. Carol Baldwin