Lehua Parker's new book, "One Boy, No Water" was released September 29, 2012. She'll be visiting our blog next week, and you'll be able to meet this fun lady, otherwise known as "Aunty Lehua."
Review: One Boy, No Water by Lehua Parker
Alexander Kanoakai Westin, “Zader” for short, is not your typical 11 year old boy, though his concerns are fairly ordinary. He has a bully out to get him, an allergy that marks and isolates him from his peers, a mother whose protectiveness makes him appear ridiculous and real worries that his grades will keep him from going to an elite prep school with his adoptive “twin” brother.
But Zader, growing up on the island of Oahu in Hawaii, is anything but ordinary. Abandoned newly born, he was found by Kahana and his dog, ‘Ilima, lying on a hard spur of lava jutting out into the water where a huge Niuhi shark circled. When Kahana realizes the child was born already armed with a tooth and carrying a strange birthmark on his back, he takes him to his niece, Liz. Not only has Liz just had her own son, Jay, but Kahana is sure this newborn is ‘ohana—family—and therefore now his responsibility.
Welcoming Zader into their hearts and home, his adoptive family soon discovers Zader’s strange allergy. Even a drop of water causes him excruciating pain as his skin blisters into weeping sores, and then eerily heals into ashy flakes. This is Hawaii, where it rains almost every day and life revolves around the beach. His mom makes Zader carry an umbrella with him everywhere, which only makes him even more the butt of jokes. Other mothers worry Zader isn’t safe for their children to be around.
Hidden secrets also plague Zader. He suspects Uncle Kahana knows some of them, but his uncle isn’t telling. Every year on his birthday, someone sends Zader an expensive present. A Dream Girl haunts his nightmares along with the mysterious man that the Dream Girl calls Kalei—a scary man with too many teeth.
As Zader tries to help his surf crazy brother with a sudden fear of sharks, Zader works out ways to deal with his own challenges. This first book in the Niuhi Shark Saga hints that those challenges are only beginning.
This summary cannot hope to convey the magic of One Boy, No Water. Like sunlight glinting off the top of an incoming wave, ready to crest, Lehua Parker’s writing shouts this is THE wave to catch, the one to ride all the way in. With the first page, Ms. Parker plunges the reader into Zader’s world with wit, warmth, and Hawaiian Pidgin English. Her expert unfolding of Zader and the people in his life as well as the worries and mysteries he faces, all become a lure that eventually sets the hook.
Where can you find this wonderful book? Released just in time for the holidays, Lehua Parker’s One Boy, No Water is available online from Barnes & Noble and Amazon, in hardback, trade paperback, or ebook, as well as anywhere books are sold.
I’m still trying to figure out how to get a signed copy for my grandkids (and me). Ms. Parker has a book signing next week in Layton, Utah. My sister-in-law lives nearby. Hmm...