5 New Books By Hawai‘i Authors
The stories, poems and plays reflect experiences deeply rooted in our Island home.
October heralds a season of change, the first nod toward the holidays and the coming of cooler weather (we hope). If you’re starting your holiday shopping early, you’ll find a variety of new books to excite local bibliophiles of all ages. And you might find something for yourself, too.
by Shane Petosa-Sigel
Graphic novels have exploded in popularity recently, particularly with younger readers, so we can’t help but be over the moon about this comic book for kids set in Hawai‘i. Haku and Sam is a gentle story of new friendship and big adventure between a young boy and his own creation. This sweet, accessible narrative will delight and engage local keiki.
by No‘u Revilla
Venerated ‘Ōiwi poet No‘u Revilla compiles a moving collection of verse about queer love, belonging, and the inheritance of cultural power. Revilla’s deft writing weaves into poems of grief and rage strands of beauty, restoration and sacred wholeness. The end note is not to be missed: a detailed, intimate testimony connecting points of Revilla’s poetic journey.
by Lee Cataluna
Lee Cataluna is no stranger to local theatergoers. Her insightful wit and distillation of local culture has entertained audiences of all ages. Cataluna’s newest book, Flowers of Hawai‘i and Other Plays, is a compilation of four plays (Flowers of Hawai‘i, Aloha Attire, The Great Kaua‘i Train Robbery and Uncle’s Regularly Scheduled Garage Party is Canceled Tonight) bound together in a single, beautiful volume published by Bamboo Ridge. Each play includes backstory and archival photographs from past stage productions.
The Codebreaker’s Secret
by Sara Ackerman
Fans of historical fiction and historical romance will delight in another riveting slice of wartime history in Hawai‘i from Sara Ackerman. Ackerman highlights the little-known story of female codebreakers who worked at Station HYPO deciphering naval code on the airwaves. Told through dual timeline narratives, The Codebreaker’s Secret draws the reader into 1940s and 1960s Hawai‘i through intrigue, anticipation and romance.
by Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson, illustrated by Daniel Sousa
Kapaemahu is a powerful picture book, written in ‘ōlelo Ni‘ihau and English, about the four travelers who held both male and female spirit, brought healing to Hawai‘i and imbued their healing powers into four large stones that sit in Waikīkī today. Vivid imagery by Daniel Sousa recalls the illustrative style of the Oscar-nominated animated short film of the same name. It’s a moving story from Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, known to many as Kumu Hina, that teaches and affirms Native Hawaiian healing practices, the honored role of māhū in Hawaiian culture, and the history of the healer stones of Kapaemahu.
All of these books can be ordered through da Shop, our 2020 Best of HONOLULU winner for Best Place to Find Your Next Great Read. Find more suggestions here. The Kaimukī bookseller is open for browsing Tuesdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.