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Healing Water: A Hawaiian Story

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  • Posted October 31, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Julie M. Prince for

    Things will never be the same for thirteen-year-old Pia, now that he has leprosy. He will be sent off to the island of Molokai to die with others who have the same condition, ripped from the arms of his ohana, his family. No more comfort from his mother and sister, nor from the only father figure he's ever known, Kamaka. <BR/><BR/>Since even Kamaka has shunned him, and because the island of outcasts is a place with no law, Pia quickly learns to harden his heart, and to do what he must to survive for as long as he can. <BR/><BR/>This is the story of the neglect and abandonment of people, the loss of a beloved culture, and the strength of a young boy facing extreme obstacles. But most of all, this is a story of forgiveness and hope. <BR/><BR/>Joyce Moyer Hostetter, author of BLUE, tells another historical tale of an epidemic that once clutched the very souls of the inflicted and spun their lives out of control. She shows the strength and determination that can rise from those tossed into the worst imaginable conditions and she doesn't hide the ugliness that unfolds with it. It's a balanced story that explores a specific time and place with obvious accuracy and integrity, and it's woven around the personal experiences of one brave but lost boy. <BR/><BR/>Strong writing and a uniquely captivating story!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2008

    Understanding Aloha

    ¿¿I kept a little place inside that did not let go of my anger.¿ And Pia has good reason for anger. At thirteen, he must deal with a horrendous disease, being sent away from his family, and abandonment by his best friend. Pia¿s story takes place during Hawaii¿s leprosy outbreak when those who suffered from the disease were banished to a harsh isolated peninsula to endure life without those that loved them. Joyce Moyer Hostetter takes you through a period in history that isn¿t much fun to know about¿and she doesn¿t let you out of anything. If you don¿t know the true meaning of ¿aloha¿ before reading Pia¿s straight-forward tale, you will not finish his story without a full understanding of its beautiful meaning.

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