KINO and the KINGAbout the Book
Unexpected Birthday Gift for Kino
Kino Kahele was hoping for a mobile device but instead receives a shimmery rock as a present – given to her by her grandmother. She tells Kino the stone is filled with mana, the lifeblood of the islands. It had been passed down for generations specifically for Kino on her twelfth birthday – to help her find her destiny.
To keep her rock from bullies, Kino hides in the grass hut at Bishop Museum and drops her special stone into a conch shell. With a flash of bright light, she is transported to 1825, just five years after the missionaries arrived in Hawaii.
Transporting to a New Place of Adventure
She meets an eleven-year-old boy, weeks before he is crowned Kamehameha III. Together, they go on an adventure filled journey around Oahu, braving encounters with sharks, wild boars, Night Marchers, and more, while gathering the four items a kahuna said she needed to fulfill her fate and return home.
KINO and the KING – Adventure Filled Novel
KINO and the KING is a novel filled with adventure, Hawaiian history, customs, language, and lore. Based on real people, places, and events, both historical and current, the story educates as it entertains. Written for middle grade and up (AR Level 5.2), it educates as it entertains, taking the reader back to a simpler time in the Islands.
Today dystopian novels such as The Hunger Games and the Divergent series dominate the juvenile and young adult markets. While each of these series offers strong female characters and serviceable plots, the genre itself is in decline. So where can we look for the next revolution in juvenile and young adult fiction?
I would suggest you look no further than Jen Angeli’s Kino and the King, a fantasy closely related to Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in king Author’s Court rather than Orwell’s 1984. In the story a young 12st Century girl, Kino, finds herself transported back to the early 19th Century Hawaii where she meets and mingles with real personages of the period. In terms of describing the Hawaiian culture of the 19th Century, the author has created a world that feels authentic and real, which is an absolute must in any historical novel.
Miss Angeli also creates real and immediate characters with whom we can identify, including her protagonist Kino, a modern girl who interacts with a not-so-modern culture. We root for her because she is a kid we like and admire.
The writing is utilitarian, and I mean this in the best sense of the word. Too often authors try to dazzle us with their brilliance, but here the writing is clear and precise. This is not to imply that the writing or the plot or the characters are simple. On the contrary, this is a thoughtful novel that keeps us reading because we care about the characters. We want to them to be safe, we want them to succeed.
This is one heck of a juvenile novel.
No, let me restate that.
This is one heck of a novel.