HEALING WATER by Joyce Moyer Hostetter

HEALING WATER

A Hawaiian Story
Age Range: 10 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Hansen’s Disease (leprosy) spells disaster for 13-year-old Pia, who finds himself, like many Hawaiians in the 1860s, exiled to Moloka‘i’s isolated Kalaupapa peninsula, where he is left to fend for himself. Hostetter does a fine job of evoking the isolation, loneliness and desperation of the leprosy settlement and Pia’s life away from his mother and his lifelong friend Kamaka. Pia finds relief from his misery in the teachings of the Catholic church and the arrival of Father Damien, a missionary who takes on the ostracized leprosy settlement as his flock. This inspirational tale parallels the biblical story of Jesus’s healing of the leper, and Father Damien’s character is based on a real-life missionary who lived in this leprosy settlement and died of complications related to the disease. He comes into the story late, however, and never fully comes to life, his purpose only to demonstrate the power of love to turn the settlement from a place of dying to a place for living. Despite this, it’s a memorable story of hope in the most desperate of circumstances. (author’s notes, timeline, glossary, resources) (Fiction. 10+)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-59078-514-0
Page count: 218pp
Publisher: Calkins Creek/Boyds Mills
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2008




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