The Kingdom of Oceana by Mitchell Charles

A Quick, Colorful Read

The Kingdom of Oceana is a classic story of sibling rivalry—a novel based on action and adventure that we’d recommend for readers twelve and up. Set in a fantasy version of a timeless Hawaii, it has fire walking and surfing and sharks and zombie fish… plenty of thrills to capture the imagination.

It also has magic, mystery, and a message of environmentalism weaving a natural thread throughout the story. Many books for younger readers attempt to merge entertainment with education, but few do it well. This one does.

It’s a short, quick read—appropriate for the age group. The only catch for some will be the Hawaiian words peppered throughout the novel. The words are explained, so there’s no confusion, but pronunciation will be tricky for those not familiar with the language.

The story takes some predictable turns, and there are a few plot elements that are either unexplained or left hanging. (Not so much in a cliff-hanger way as in a never-got-back-around-to-it kind of way.) Still, the plot moves along well, and the interactions between the brothers—not to mention their intertwined relationships with a strong supporting cast—are both realistic and entertaining. Add to all that a gorgeous, mystical setting, and Mitchell Charles has created a pearl of a book.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Colorful and quick, the perfect white magic to heal any reading slump.

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