Punahou Blues

Punahou Blues
Author(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
May 06, 2005
ISBN
B0026L5LGE
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Growing up in Honolulu isn't all it's cracked up to be for Jeffrey Gill. After he gets into prestigious Punahou School, his rite of passage includes losing the babe of his dreams to a creep, surviving Killahaole Day, and getting pushed around by the school bully. In the world of academics, Jeff knows he's hardly Stanford material. Uncle Sharkey teaches Jeff the sweet science and he beefs his arch enemy at Waialae Golf Course. He salvages his senior year by getting into a mainland college and taking a foxy girl to the Senior Prom. But he must wait until graduation night to find out if the feelings he has for her are mutual.

User reviews

2 reviews
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0(2)
Characters
 
5.0(1)
Writing Style
 
5.0(1)
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As good as THE CATCHER IN THE RYE
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
lticultural environment at Punahou School and you can see how getting along with an ethnically diverse student body helped him establish himself as the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States.

Wright doesn't sugar coat the school experiences of the boy narrator. There are excursions off-campus into the drug world, skirmishes between haoles (whites) and locals in a rite of passage known as Killahaole Day, and then there's the tricky matter of interracial dating. Think Holden Caulfield in CATCHER IN THE RYE, only set in Hawaii. And this teenage narrator has a bit more moxie than Holden, especially when he challenges the school bully to a fight on the golf course during the Hawaiian Open.
Good Points
*Easy to read with good conflict between underdog narrator and school bully.

*Great FIRST KISS descriptions as the school carnival, with lips flavored by sugar from the Portuguese donuts!

*Interesting interracial dating dilemma between Hawaiian narrator and Korean girl.

*Realistic in sense narrator loses fight, but still gains respect.
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GREAT Coming of Age Story set in Hawaii
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5.0
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5.0
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Reader reviewed by Nikki

This book covers over 13 years in the young life of Jeff Gill, our narrator.  The setting shifts from the rural east end of Molokai island to the suburbs of Honolulu, just off the slopes of Diamond Head.  Jeff is a classic underdog in the mold of THE CATCHER IN THE RYE's Holden Caulfield, and, like Holden, struggles at school.  However,  Jeff musters the courage to challenge the school bully to a fight on the golf course, which leads to the ultimate conflict with Punahou School's class dean.  This book provides a great window into the school attended by President Obama, complete with multiethnic complexities.  Jeff is 'hapa haole,' which is a mix of white and Hawaiian blood, and he experiences the tricky matter of interracial dating when he takes a Korean girl to the Prom, much to the chagrin of the girl's mother.  

I would recommend this book highly to students at the high school level.  
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