More dismally situated than the heroines of Corcoran's other travel adventures (The Clown, Meet Me at Tamerlane's Tomb), Californian Melody is transplanted to Hawaii, to live in an old shack with one rowdy and another withdrawn half brother while their disagreeable, thrice-divorced mother manages an apartment house nearby. Melody makes a few friends of different ages and races and becomes so interested in the island folklore that she sees herself as Hiiaka, good sister of the ever-threatening volcano goddess, and imagines that a stick she car-. ties around has magic powers. Thus when brother Brian is hurt in an accident she blames herself for cursing him, and in attempting to save his life by sacrificing at the crater, she too has an accident and ends up in the hospital. All ends well for Melody (though you'd expect Corcoran to do better by her readers) when Mother leaves Hawaii and the kids are taken in by a kindly local minister. As if to make up for the story's weakness, Corcoran slathers on the local color--repeated earthquakes, pidgin English, scenic drives--but never achieves more than a picture-postcard background.