A must-read Hawaiian fantasy book with a modern twist in 2023 is The Secret Club and the Manafuls

March 10 04:13 2023

Author Dorimalia Waiau has announced the September 2, 2023, release of her fantastical Hawaiian adventure for young readers, The Secret Club and the Manafuls. This first installment in a planned series combines Hawaiian lore with a mythical world while delving into the real-life challenges faced by preteens in modern society.

Book cover of The Secret Club and the Manafuls, designed by Mark Reid

In The Secret Club and the Manafuls, a trio of 11-year-olds named Pierre, Malie, and Nicole struggle in post-COVID Hawaii as they navigate personal demons ranging from depression to homosexuality. But when magical dwarves that resemble the menehune from Hawaiian legends invite them to a parallel dimension, the three friends in “The Secret Club” travel to Manaful World and befriend the leader, Puna, and his grandson. But before long, Pierre, Malie, and Nicole get caught up in a takeover attempt by a hostile leader known as Uli—and the dark spiritual power at his back. As the children learn about telepathy, levitation, and all the magical elements of Manaful World, they also come to appreciate the unique things that set them apart as people, friends, and explorers.

Fans of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series and Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone will appreciate the themes of good vs. evil, spirituality, and inner strength that appear in The Secret Club and the Manafuls. Although Riordan and Adeyemi draw upon Greek and Nigerian influences, respectively, Waiau’s work is similar in that it introduces children to a new cultural experience and teaches them about Hawaiian mythology.

While writing, Waiau drew upon her Hawaiian heritage and her wealth of experience as a teacher to create a lush, diverse world that honors the menehune dwarves she remembers from her own adolescence. At a point when many children are still figuring out where they fit in a post-COVID society, the Be Manaful series is an uplifting reminder that it’s okay to take the time you need to discover who you truly are.

The Secret Club and the Manafuls is available for pre-order on Amazon.com or wherever books are sold. Sequels are currently in development.

Dorimalia Waiau is an author, entrepreneur, and high school Language Arts teacher with a passion for helping children find their authentic selves. She is the proud founder of Dorimalia LLC, the publishing house that manages the Be Manaful series. In addition to her Hawaiian roots, Waiau adores traveling the world and seeing places as disparate as Turkey and Puerto Vallarta. She loves her nieces and nephews like her own.

Author photo of Dorimalia Waiau

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