Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Pia, a fatherless thirteen-year-old, has an older best friend who has helped him learn the lessons that his missing father should have. Kamaka encourages Pia to challenge himself physically, explore his world and to work hard. Aside from his mother he is the most important person in Pia's life and when Kamaka deserts him when it is discovered that he has leprosy, he is devastated.

Hard times lie ahead for Pia when he is torn away from his family and sent to the leper settlement when life is anything but pleasant. Fortunately he has the skills learned from Kamaka and is able to survive. But will he ever be able to forgive his friend's desertion?

Healing Water: A Hawaiian Story by Joyce Moyer Hostetter gives the reader a compelling and interesting perspective on an actual period in the history of the Hawaiian Islands. While this story is a work of fiction, the leper colony on Molokai is not, nor is Father Damien a Catholic priest who chose to live and work on the island. For readers in grades 5 though 8.

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