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LEI AND THE FIRE GODDESS

From the Lei and the Legends series , Vol. 1

An exhilarating, adventure-filled celebration of Hawaiian culture.

Anna comes face to face with the Hawaiian legends she doesn’t want to believe are real.

Ever since her family moved to Colorado seven years ago, 12-year-old Anna Leilani Kamaʻehu has been spending summers with her tūtū, or grandmother, learning the family’s moʻolelo. Usually she enjoys these stories that connect her to her Native heritage. She also normally loves spending time with Kaipo, her best friend in Hawai‘i, and eating li hing mui gummy bears, but this year is different: Kids at school are mocking her, and her Colorado best friend has left her for the popular crowd, leaving Anna feeling conflicted about her heritage. Now she refuses to believe in the Hawaiian gods and goddesses and tries to convince Tūtū to let her do touristy things. Then a frustrated Anna loses her temper, insults fire goddess Pele, and picks a sacred ʻōhiʻa lehua flower to prove her point. Pele, angered by her disrespect, causes two earthquakes, a lava flow heads toward Tūtū’s house, and a giant hawk takes Kaipo away. To fix things, Anna must find herself and her Hawaiian roots. This exciting, fast-paced adventure is full of humor and action. Anna wrestles with friendships, being biracial (her mother is Polish American), figuring out where she belongs, and finding pride in her culture. Hawaiian cultural elements are seamlessly woven into the story, giving just enough context for those unfamiliar with them without taking away from the narrative.

An exhilarating, adventure-filled celebration of Hawaiian culture. (Adventure. 8-12)

Pub Date: June 6, 2023

ISBN: 9780593522035

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2023

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THE WILD ROBOT PROTECTS

From the Wild Robot series , Vol. 3

Hugely entertaining, timely, and triumphant.

Robot Roz undertakes an unusual ocean journey to save her adopted island home in this third series entry.

When a poison tide flowing across the ocean threatens their island, Roz works with the resident creatures to ensure that they will have clean water, but the destruction of vegetation and crowding of habitats jeopardize everyone’s survival. Brown’s tale of environmental depredation and turmoil is by turns poignant, graceful, endearing, and inspiring, with his (mostly) gentle robot protagonist at its heart. Though Roz is different from the creatures she lives with or encounters—including her son, Brightbill the goose, and his new mate, Glimmerwing—she makes connections through her versatile communication abilities and her desire to understand and help others. When Roz accidentally discovers that the replacement body given to her by Dr. Molovo is waterproof, she sets out to seek help and discovers the human-engineered source of the toxic tide. Brown’s rich descriptions of undersea landscapes, entertaining conversations between Roz and wild creatures, and concise yet powerful explanations of the effect of the poison tide on the ecology of the island are superb. Simple, spare illustrations offer just enough glimpses of Roz and her surroundings to spark the imagination. The climactic confrontation pits oceangoing mammals, seabirds, fish, and even zooplankton against hardware and technology in a nicely choreographed battle. But it is Roz’s heroism and peacemaking that save the day.

Hugely entertaining, timely, and triumphant. (author’s note) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2023

ISBN: 9780316669412

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2023

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CHARLOTTE'S WEB

The three way chats, in which they are joined by other animals, about web spinning, themselves, other humans—are as often...

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A successful juvenile by the beloved New Yorker writer portrays a farm episode with an imaginative twist that makes a poignant, humorous story of a pig, a spider and a little girl.

Young Fern Arable pleads for the life of runt piglet Wilbur and gets her father to sell him to a neighbor, Mr. Zuckerman. Daily, Fern visits the Zuckermans to sit and muse with Wilbur and with the clever pen spider Charlotte, who befriends him when he is lonely and downcast. At the news of Wilbur's forthcoming slaughter, campaigning Charlotte, to the astonishment of people for miles around, spins words in her web. "Some Pig" comes first. Then "Terrific"—then "Radiant". The last word, when Wilbur is about to win a show prize and Charlotte is about to die from building her egg sac, is "Humble". And as the wonderful Charlotte does die, the sadness is tempered by the promise of more spiders next spring.

The three way chats, in which they are joined by other animals, about web spinning, themselves, other humans—are as often informative as amusing, and the whole tenor of appealing wit and pathos will make fine entertainment for reading aloud, too.

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 1952

ISBN: 978-0-06-026385-0

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1952

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