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Cry Ohana: Adventure and Suspense in Hawaii    by Rosemary Mild & Larry Mild order for
Cry Ohana
by Rosemary Mild
Order:  USA  Can
PublishAmerica, 2010 (2010)
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Hank Pualoa does something one should never do. He drives drunk, killing his wife in a horrific accident. Driven by shame, remorse and grief, he departs Hawaii. Left behind to be raised by their grandmother are his daughter Leilani and son Kekoa.

Life continues without their mother and father. Good, but not what they had lost. Then Kekoa witnesses his uncle's murder. Frightened that he might be next, Kekoa runs away. He is befriended by an old homeless man and his dog. Then he is hired (at twelve years old) to be a baker's assistant.

At fourteen, Kekoa returns home to find that his grandmother has died and her house has been sold. Leilani is nowhere to be found. Kekoa searches for her as she looks for him. Each time he is seen, he runs, afraid that the killer also saw him.

The boy needs his family and a sense of permanence. Will he find it? Will he and his sister reunite? Good questions for a good read. At times, this novel felt like a young adult's. There are a few scenes that qualify it for adult fiction, but this is incidental in the overall reading of the book.

It read quickly and I enjoyed it. Cry Ohana took me on a tour of the Hawaiian Islands and introduced me to their diverse ethnicity. The characters were easy to get to know wouldn't mind meeting those resilient kids. And, of course, the baddie gets his in the end.

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