The Kingdom of Oceana

This book was a slow starter but stay with it. It's an exciting romp through Polynesian mythology. It's a mix between a Percy Jackson book and an X-files episode. At the center, it is a tale of sibling rivalry, and I can tell you if my siblings and I were telepathic we would have fought way more than these two brothers. 

Sixteen-year-old Prince Ailani has always been in his brother’s shadow and feels that he is where he is destined to be. They live on the island of Hawaii, where there is an adventure, surfing, shark taming, fire walking, and even a thousand-year-old curse that they are about to unleash on their paradise. The boys discover an ancient tiki mask at a forbidden burial ground. (this sent me on a rabbit trail to watch the old Brady Bunch episode) Then without knowing it, they set about a chain of events that will send the islands of Oceana out of control. Prince Ailani must get in touch with his inner strength, and his ancestral spirit animal to overcome the obstacles ahead of him. 

The part that sold me was that the author added footnotes all over to explain words that we as nonislanders may not be familiar.

It's also free on Amazon Kindle Unlimited right now so you have nothing to lose.

The Kingdom of Oceana was sent (and autographed!!) to me by the author for an honest review.

One Good Thing About America

Anaïs writes letters to her beloved grandmother who stayed behind in Africa while Anaïs, her mother, and her younger brother Jean-Claude have come to the States to find safety.  Anais knows only a smattering of English, her family is divided, and she is living in a shelter with her mother and her younger brother. She misses the life she knew back home but her mother is seeking asylum for her whole family.

Anais starts school, learns English, and begins adapting to a different culture where almost everything seems odd. To help adjust to her new life, her grandmother tells her she must find one good thing about America every day. This book contains her her series of letters.

 The two best things about this story are that readers from the US really see how hard it is to assimilate to our culture and that you can't help but gain empathy for the plight of all immigrants- especially those that simply cannot just go back where they came from. As well as being a real pageturner, this story is a great one one to discuss and ponder.