Madame Pele is the polite form of address for the feminine spirit which inhabits Kilauea volcano in Hawaii, and Kimo was a young boy who lived near by. The most personable character in this story, however, is Kimo's grandmother, who calls the goddess ""my friend, Madame Pele."" When the volcano showed signs of getting restless, the volcanologists from the nearby observatory began explaining the properties of the volcano and doing careful studies. People like Hiroshi, Kimo's worst enemy at school began discussing the scientific details of the coming eruption, and the villagers started evacuating. Kimo's 300 pound grandmother, however, watched her friend benignly, assumed that the lava flows would go around her home, and drank gin toasts to Madame Pele when the fireworks began. Much of the text concentrates on explanations of how a volcano works, the ways that it is studied, and the methods taken for protection from it. The description of how Kimo and Hiroshi got together to budge the grandmother from her defiant stand at home never erupts into anything very compelling. However, the descriptions of Kilauea are made interesting, and the story does capture the atmosphere of the rural part of the Islands and its natives.