Islanders: The Pacific Chronicles

When eleven-year-old Kilikina and her brother, fourteen-year-old Kaimana, are unknowingly given access to a hidden and legendary world in their native O’ahu in the Hawaiian islands, they are also gifted with an unexpected set of magical abilities. Soon, they find themselves on an adventure, one in which they experience the interconnectedness of the world around them and begin to learn firsthand about the islands’ vast history and traditions.

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Their journey has them meeting a variety of quirky personalities including the comical and affable Eleu and Molawa, two Menehune, a mythical race of dwarf people in Hawaiian tradition. This amusing duo, with their clever and farcical use of language, introduce the children to other distinctive creatures of Ke Akua, or the Creator, including Ho’onani, an enormous spider, Huikau, a tiny shark, and Hau’oli, a feisty crab that takes them on an underwater escapade. They finally learn the reason for being brought to this very special place, to help defend this paradise against a great evil and bring unity—the biggest adventure of their lives.

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The author/illustrator brothers were raised in Hawaii; the humor, background, scenery and creatures of their book are things that they grew up around or learned about as islanders themselves. Author James Eldridge explains, “There is a fascinating concept of duality in the animal world in Hawaii: there are native species and invasive species…My brother and I love the idea that they are secretly at war with each other for control of the island and nearly no humans are aware of it except for a chosen few.”

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