Kanani enjoys working at her family's new shave ice stand to raise money to protect the Hawaiian monk seal. If only she hadn't promised her best friend Celina that she would take surfing lessons with her! When the girls' friendship starts to unravel, Kanani finds herself spending summer days alone--and loney. She realizes that her elderly neighbor could use some help and begins spending time with her and other elders in need. As the annual arts and crafts testival approaches and the big surfing competition nears, Kanani searches for a way to renew her friendship with Celina--and finds inspiration in an unexpected place.
School Library Journal
Gr4–6—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