Aloha, Kanani Good Job, Kanani

Gr 4—6—Kanani Akina is a typical 10-year-old, small-town Hawaiian. She spends the summer helping in her parents' sweet shop and paddleboarding with her friends. In Aloha, her cousin from New York City comes for a month. Kanani is excited about sharing island life with her and is surprised that Rachel seems unhappy and unimpressed with Waipuna. Finding a trapped monk seal forces the girls to move past their discomfort and work together to find help. In a tender and realistic way, they learn to trust one another. In Good Job, Kanani continues to help the monk seals by earning money to print posters raising awareness while she navigates a changing relationship with a lifelong friend. In both books, full-page, bright, realistic color paintings are interspersed throughout. Hawaiian words and expressions are used realistically throughout. A list of stories about real girls who participate in a range of volunteer projects to help animals or other people is appended. Kanani is a likable heroine to whom young readers can relate. Multicultural titles that are wholesome and sweet without being saccharine.—Amelia Jenkins, Juneau Public Library, AK

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