Synopses & Reviews
On April 1, 1946, an enormous tsunami wave struck Hilo, Hawaii. Young Kimo's grandfather shares all of his stories except one: the reason behind their yearly pilgrimage to Laupahoehoe Point. Here, in silent remembrance, Grandfather places a flower lei atop a stone monument. Full color.
"Based on the true story of a tsunami that struck Hawaii's Big Island in 1946, this addition to the Tales of Young Americans line opens years later, as narrator Kimo notes that when he was little, he and his grandfather 'were the best of friends.' Each spring, they drove to a peninsula where Grandfather draped a lei on a monument and they watched the surf roll in. The man promised to share the story of 'this sacred place' when Kimo is older, adding, 'For now, know that the ocean is both friend and foe. It gives, but it also takes.' After Grandfather dies suddenly, Kimo's father reveals the reason for the annual visit to the monument. When Kimo's grandfather was young, he attended a school located on the peninsula. One morning, a tsunami swept away the school and 24 students and teachers, including Grandfather's younger brother. After retelling this story to his son, Kimo's father takes him to the Pacific Tsunami Museum, where a quilt honoring the 1946 victims hangs. The story strains credibility, as kids may wonder how a nine-year-old could not know about this cataclysmic event in local history or be familiar with the museum. Yet Fredericks ably captures the significance and sadness of the disaster that claimed so many young lives. Emotion also fills Yee's paintings, which are rendered in soft, full-bleed watercolors. Ages 6-12." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)