Malia Maunakea, children’s author of “Lei and the Fire Goddess,” delighted third and fourth graders during a visit to Punahou on Wednesday in the Chapel. Maunakea’s book, infused with the moʻolelo of the Islands, tells the tales of Anna, a 12-year-old part-Hawaiian girl.
Born and raised on Hawaiʻi Island and Oʻahu and now living in Colorado, the author was inspired to pen the book after her son read the popular Greek mythology-based book series “Percy Jackson & the Olympians” by Rick Riordan. Maunakea wanted to write her own adventurous stories that featured Hawaiian legends.
She shared about her writing process, the influential tales and songs of her childhood, and incorporating elements of Hawaiian culture into her stories. She answered students’ questions and left them with an inspiring message to take pride in what they’re learning, even from a young age, because it can shape their future in surprising ways, just as it did for her as an author.
The presentation was made possible through the Albert C.K. Chun Hoon Endowed Fund.
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