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Hawaii: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about Hawaii?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to Hawaii. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about Hawaii.

Our list includes picture books and chapter books. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

When it comes to children’s stories about Hawaii, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Alice on the Island: A Pearl Harbor Survival Story to popular sellers like High Tide in Hawaii.

We hope this list of kids books about Hawaii can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

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Ohana Means Family
Written by Ilima Loomis & illustrated by Kenard Pak
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

**Join the family, or ohana, as they farm taro for poi to prepare for a traditional luau celebration with a poetic text in the style of The House That Jack Built**.**

“This is the land that’s never been sold, where work the hands, so wise and old, that reach through the water, clear and cold, into the mud to pick the taro to make the poi for our ohana’s luau.”

Acclaimed illustrator and animator Kenard Pak’s light-filled, dramatic illustrations pair exquisitely with Ilima Loomis’ text to celebrate Hawaiian land and culture.

The backmatter includes a glossary of Hawaiian terms used, as well as an author’s note.

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Let’s Call Him Lauwiliwili
Written by Tim J Myers & illustrated by Daryl Arakaki
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When two proud fish of different species marry and have a baby fish, an argument erupts over what to name the child. The new parents learn to work together and teach young readers about cooperation and compromise.

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On the Horizon
Written by Lois Lowry & illustrated by Kenard Pak
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-12
From two-time Newbery medalist and living legend Lois Lowry comes a moving account of the lives lost in two of WWII's most infamous events: Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima. With evocative black-and-white illustrations by SCBWI Golden Kite Award winner Kenard Pak.
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In the Deep Blue Sea
Written by Bill Nye & illustrated by Gregory Mone and Bill Nye
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

New York Times–bestselling authors Bill Nye the Science Guy and Gregory Mone take middle-grade readers on a scientific adventure in Book 2 of the exciting new Jack and the Geniuses series. The series combines real-world science along with a mysterious adventure that will leave kids guessing until the end, making the books ideal for STEM education. In the second installment, In the Deep Blue Sea, Jack, his genius siblings Ava and Matt, and inventor Dr. Hank Witherspoon travel to the Hawaiian island home of Ashley Hawking, a technology billionaire. Hawking and engineer Rosa Morris have built a revolutionary electricity plant that harvests energy from the deep ocean, but someone has been sabotaging the project. In their search for the culprit, Jack and crew navigate an unusual world of characters and suspects, including Hawking and her obnoxiously intelligent son, Steven; a family of surfers who accuse the billionaire of trespassing on sacred land; an ex–Navy SEAL with a fondness for cat photos; and a cigar-chomping man who calls himself the Air-Conditioning King of Hawaii. Readers will learn about the mysteries of the deep ocean, the scientific process, and the potential of green energy as Jack and his brilliant siblings use all their brainpower to survive. Integrating real science facts with humor and suspense and featuring a multiethnic cast of boy and girl characters, this engaging series is an irresistible combination for middle-grade readers. With easy-to-read language presented in a fun and accessible way, these books are great for both inquisitive kids and reluctant readers. In the Deep Blue Sea: Jack and the Geniuses Book 2 includes information about the science discussed and used to solve the mystery, as well as a cool project that kids can do at home or in the classroom.

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Junie B., First Grader: Aloha-ha-ha!
Written by Barbara Park & illustrated by Denise Brunkus
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Meet the World’s Funniest First Grader—Junie B. Jones! Junie B. and her family are going on a vacation to Hawaii! And ha! Mr. Scary is giving Junie a real, actual camera to keep a photo journal of her trip! But taking good vacation pictures is not always easy. ’Cause what if there is an unfortunate inner tube incident at the swimming pool? (And, oh my! Let’s not even mention what happens if a tropical bird gets tangled in your hair!) Will Junie B.’s vacation end up picture-perfect? Or will her trip to Hawaii be aloha-horrible?

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  • High Tide in Hawaii - Catch the wave! That’s what Jack and Annie do when the Magic Tree House whisks them back to a Hawaiian island of long ago. They learn how to surf and have a great time—until strange things start happening. Jack and Annie soon discover the cause: A tidal wave is headed their way! Can they help save their new friends in time?

  • Georgia in Hawaii: When Georgia O'Keeffe Painted What She Pleased - Georgia O’Keeffe’s Hawaiian tour celebrates natural beauty and powerful artistic convictions.</p>Georgia O’Keeffe was famous for painting exactly what she wanted, whether flowers or skulls. Who would ever dare to tell her what to paint? The Hawaiian Pineapple Company tried. Luckily for them, Georgia fell in love with Hawaii. There she painted the beloved green islands, vibrant flowers, feathered fishhooks, and the blue, blue sea. But did she paint what the pineapple company wanted most of all? Amy Novesky’s lyrical telling of this little-known story and Yuyi Morales’s gorgeous paintings perfectly capture Georgia’s strong artistic spirit. <i>The book includes an author’s note, illustrator’s note, bibliography, map of the islands, and endpapers that identify Georgia’s favorite Hawaiian flowers.</i>

  • The Bottle Imp - In the magical South Seas, a man named Keawe buys a bottle that grants all wishes but condemns the owner to hell, but he soon discovers the redemptive power of love through his courtship of beautiful Kokua.

  • Alice on the Island: A Pearl Harbor Survival Story - In 1941, thirteen-year-old Alice’s days are filled with swimming in the Hawaiian sea, going to school, and helping watch her younger siblings. But on December 7, everything changes when she experiences an act of war, the bombing of Pearl Harbor. As the United States enters World War II, Alice’s father is sent to a Japanese internment camp, leaving Alice and the rest of her family struggling to adjust to life without him. Featuring nonfiction support material, a glossary, and reader response questions, this Girls Survive story takes readers to one of history’s most important moments.

Did you enjoy our children's book recommendations? Did you know you can help us improve this list? Check out our Community Handbook and learn how to add tags to books.