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Kaiulani: The People's Princess, Hawaii, 1889

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In their hope to restore Hawaiis toppled monarchy and the Hawaiian way of life the people of Hawaii turn to Princess Kaiulani, who is only a young girl. Acclaimed author Ellen Emerson White makes her debut on the Royal Diaries list with this compelling narrative of the tumultuous years following Hawaiis forced annexation to the United States, skillfully rendering the voice In their hope to restore Hawaii¹s toppled monarchy and the Hawaiian way of life the people of Hawaii turn to Princess Kaiulani, who is only a young girl. Acclaimed author Ellen Emerson White makes her debut on the Royal Diaries list with this compelling narrative of the tumultuous years following Hawaii¹s forced annexation to the United States, skillfully rendering the voice of the young princess and the unrest of a people.

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In their hope to restore Hawaiis toppled monarchy and the Hawaiian way of life the people of Hawaii turn to Princess Kaiulani, who is only a young girl. Acclaimed author Ellen Emerson White makes her debut on the Royal Diaries list with this compelling narrative of the tumultuous years following Hawaiis forced annexation to the United States, skillfully rendering the voice In their hope to restore Hawaii¹s toppled monarchy and the Hawaiian way of life the people of Hawaii turn to Princess Kaiulani, who is only a young girl. Acclaimed author Ellen Emerson White makes her debut on the Royal Diaries list with this compelling narrative of the tumultuous years following Hawaii¹s forced annexation to the United States, skillfully rendering the voice of the young princess and the unrest of a people.

30 review for Kaiulani: The People's Princess, Hawaii, 1889

  1. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    This entry in the Royal Diaries series is extremely rich in detail, both in the day-to-day activities of Princess Kaiulani's life and in the historical information regarding the overthrow of the monarchy and the annexation of Hawaii by the United States. I especially loved that Kaiulani was real-life friends with Robert Louis Stevenson, and enjoyed his portrayal here very much. The author also makes Kaiulani's voice engaging and interesting. The first 2/3 were pretty stellar as far as this serie This entry in the Royal Diaries series is extremely rich in detail, both in the day-to-day activities of Princess Kaiulani's life and in the historical information regarding the overthrow of the monarchy and the annexation of Hawaii by the United States. I especially loved that Kaiulani was real-life friends with Robert Louis Stevenson, and enjoyed his portrayal here very much. The author also makes Kaiulani's voice engaging and interesting. The first 2/3 were pretty stellar as far as this series goes. Losing the full five stars perhaps isn't its fault - it's just that the last 40 or so pages and the epilogue/historical note are SUCH a downer deluge. I completely understand why this is - Kaiulani is not only losing her birthright as a princess with the annexation, but her people are losing control of their country and their way of life without their consent. It's extremely sad, topped by the fact that Kaiulani died at only age 23. You gotta tell the history as it happened, I get that totally. I just feel that for readers in the 10-12 age range that this series is meant for, there was probably a better way to present this ending. Toward the end it's many journal entries of Kaiulani saying she feels very sad and depressed and has headaches and feels intense grief for herself and her people. The last entry ends with her hope that in her efforts to appeal to the American President she has done something to help her country. Then the epilogue is like "Nnnnnnnope, her dreams for her people never came true, bad things happened and Kaiulani never really recovered from her grief, then she died." The historical note is like "Eventually in 1993 the US realized what jerkwads they had been and issued an official apology but TOO BAD, IT CAME WAY TOO LATE FOR THE PEOPLE OF HAWAII". End of book. Like... kinda harsh for a 10-year-old who wanted to read about a pretty Hawaiian princess and maybe learn something; ya know?

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sheila

    Both I and my daughter really enjoyed this fictionalized 'diary' of Victoria Kaiulani, one of the last members of the Hawaiian Royal family. Told through the eyes of Kaiulani, in a diary format, this book gave us an interesting look at what Hawaii was like in the 1890's, including the politics of that time that led to Hawaii being annexed by the United States. I was especially interested to learn that this girl, who was to become Queen of Hawaii (she was next in line after her Aunt, the Queen) wa Both I and my daughter really enjoyed this fictionalized 'diary' of Victoria Kaiulani, one of the last members of the Hawaiian Royal family. Told through the eyes of Kaiulani, in a diary format, this book gave us an interesting look at what Hawaii was like in the 1890's, including the politics of that time that led to Hawaii being annexed by the United States. I was especially interested to learn that this girl, who was to become Queen of Hawaii (she was next in line after her Aunt, the Queen) was born of a Hawaiian mother and a Scottish father, Archibald Scott Cleghorn, who married into the Hawaiian royal family. Kaiulani was the only child of their union, though she did have 3 older Scottish half sister's from Cleghorn's first marriage. It was also interesting to learn of Kaiulani's friendship with the author Robert Louis Stevenson, whom she met when he traveled to Hawaii for health reasons, and whom she developed a long term friendship with.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey Hanson

    This book was really good, but had a very somber ending. You know going in that Hawaii is ultimately going to get annexed by the United States (it's one of the 50 states after all), but Kaiulani, who seems to be a very dedicated leader who strives to do what is best for her people, has such hope of restoring the monarchy. It's very sad to read the epilogue (I have noticed that many of the books in these series focus on the bright spots of these girls' tragic lives). Still it was very interesting This book was really good, but had a very somber ending. You know going in that Hawaii is ultimately going to get annexed by the United States (it's one of the 50 states after all), but Kaiulani, who seems to be a very dedicated leader who strives to do what is best for her people, has such hope of restoring the monarchy. It's very sad to read the epilogue (I have noticed that many of the books in these series focus on the bright spots of these girls' tragic lives). Still it was very interesting, especially Kaiulani's friendship with the writer Robert Louis Stevenson. I also enjoyed the many descriptions of Hawaii (I live in Wisconsin and it is December).

  4. 4 out of 5

    Forever Young Adult

    Graded By: Maria Cover Story: NBC BFF Charm: Yay! Swoonworthy Scale: 0.5 Talky Talk: Dear Diary Bonus Factors: Robert Louis Stevenson, Hawaii, Boarding School, Grand Tour Relationship Status: Bosom Friends Read the full book report here.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Alex Black

    I didn't enjoy this quite as much as some of the other diaries by Ellen Emerson White that I've read recently, but this was still a truly lovely book. Not only is it touching and emotional, but it's also so informative of a time we often gloss over in history. I think perhaps the elongated timeline (this book covers 4+ years where many of the others are just a few months) affected my enjoyment the most, but I would highly recommend this.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jinny

    Another Royal Diaries read for me! The Royal Diaries books can be a hit or miss since they all have different authors; I’m happy to report that this one is definitely a hit, for me. This one is on Kaiulani, the last princess of Hawaii. I had no idea Hawaii used to have a monarchy, so this book was very interesting and a big eye opener for me. I don’t know much about Hawaii, I never even been there before, so this book has been the most educational experience for me. Fourteen year old Kaiulani is Another Royal Diaries read for me! The Royal Diaries books can be a hit or miss since they all have different authors; I’m happy to report that this one is definitely a hit, for me. This one is on Kaiulani, the last princess of Hawaii. I had no idea Hawaii used to have a monarchy, so this book was very interesting and a big eye opener for me. I don’t know much about Hawaii, I never even been there before, so this book has been the most educational experience for me. Fourteen year old Kaiulani is a princess of Hawaii, second in line to the throne (her uncle is the king, and next in line is her aunt (the king’s sister), then her). Kaiulani is half Hawaiian and half Scottish, actually (on her father’s side), but she considers herself very much a Hawaiian person all around. Knowing her destiny is to sit on the Hawaiian throne, her family sends her to be educated in England for a year or two. Kaiulani is a dutiful and obedient girl so she does as she is told, even though it breaks her heart to be away from her family and her beautiful Hawaiian nation. Even though England is often chilly and nowhere as colorful and vibrant as Hawaii, Kaiulani enjoys her time at boarding school, applying herself so that she may become a properly educated princess. However, bad news travels to Kaiulani about her beloved country back home — the Reformers from America are illegally taking over their nation and forcing the monarchy to dissolve. Kaiulani desperately wants to save her country, but she is on the other side of the world, what can she do? I really enjoyed this book. I love learning about Hawaii and its sad history. This book is a children’s book so it doesn’t dive into the nitty-gritty political details too much but you get the big picture — Hawaii is full of profitable natural resources which the Reformers want to take advantage of. The Reformers want to annex the nation to the USA, but of course, the monarchy does not want that to happen. Obviously, you know what ends up happening to Hawaii due to its present day situation as the US’s 50th state, so you know the book is not going to have a happy ending for Kaiulani, making her efforts to save her country seem even more tragic. Kaiulani herself is an admirable young girl. Even though she is only fourteen when the book begins, you sense an air of maturity around the young lady. She loves Hawaii dearly and you can tell it breaks her heart to be far away from her nation and her family. She is also very much in control of her emotions and appearance, as evident when the reporters swarm around her in America and in England. She knows her role, she is a princess, and she acts accordingly. I think Kaiulani would have made an amazing queen for Hawaii if she hadn’t fallen ill and died shortly after Hawaii fell to America. Romantically, many like to believe she died of a broken heart. This is definitely one of The Royal Diaries books that I highly recommend. She’s not a very well known princess, admittedly, but this book does a great job providing an introduction to Kaiulani. As with all of the books in this series, it is a middle-school book but even for adults, an interesting (and short) read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Amalie

    I found this book very interesting and enjoyable despite its sad end. This book was my door-opener to the history of Hawaii. I found the history of this monarchy is fascinating. The book is about the life of Hawaii's last princess, Victoria Kaiulani. When she was 13, her world is shattered when she is forced to go to school in England. She becomes more accepting towards her fate as time goes by, yet she still misses her beloved Hawaii. The story starts in the year 1889 and continues till 1893 in I found this book very interesting and enjoyable despite its sad end. This book was my door-opener to the history of Hawaii. I found the history of this monarchy is fascinating. The book is about the life of Hawaii's last princess, Victoria Kaiulani. When she was 13, her world is shattered when she is forced to go to school in England. She becomes more accepting towards her fate as time goes by, yet she still misses her beloved Hawaii. The story starts in the year 1889 and continues till 1893 in the form of diary entries. Her story is sad and touching, the losses of her loved ones and her country seem to have driven her in to a forlorn existence by the end of the book and it is sad her dreams for her country did not come true. I found, Kaiulani heart-warming friendship with author Robert Louis Stevenson, fascinating. They share a great deal of wisdom and insight in their literary discussions. Kaiulani struggles bravely with her intense homesickness, having been sent halfway around the world, into a new culture and a new climate, and strives to excel in her studies in spite of the turmoil that dwells within her. The books carries a fascinating view of Hawaiian culture, the language, and the people, as Kaiulani learns the ways of her people and their beliefs and dreams. This poem written by Robert Louis Stevenson to her, still lingers in my head… Her Island here in the southern sun Shall mourn their Kaiulani gone, And I, in her dear banynan’s shade, Look vainly for my little maid.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    It was a good book as all the books in this series. My daughter was the one who borrowed it and I wanted to see what the authors take of Kaiulani was. She was young when she died. It is a sad story, she was friends with Robert Louis Stevenson who wrote Treasure Island. I think he wrote a poem for the princess as well.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    I don't know why this was so different from Ellen E. White's Titanic story, but this one really stinks. It was so dull I couldn't even finish it. *yawwwwwn* Don't read it unless your CD player broke, can't play you a lullaby and you need something to put you to sleep. This'll do it, I swear.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kimberley

    Not one of my favourites. But I guess that's cos I don't know much about Hawaii.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    I felt so sad for her throughout the entire book. I much prefer reading about monarchies much further in the past than this.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Anna ~ Don't let anyone dull your sparkle ~

    not super interesting

  13. 5 out of 5

    Baylie Giek

    This book surprised me. I didn't think I would enjoy it, as it was a recommendation from my friend who has very different tastes in literature than I! However, historical fiction is a fun genre. Through reading the diaries, I felt connected with the young princess! Great book and great for upper elementary readers.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Paige

    I've had this book sitting on my shelf since I was a little girl. I'm not really sure why I never finished reading it, but I thought, after finishing Alan Brennert's "Moloka'i," the time was right to give "Kaiulani" another try. Ellen Emerson White's "Kaiulani: The People's Princess, Hawaii, 1889" is a tale following the life of a princess that could have been queen. This story, told in the form of Kaiulani's diary, is rich with historical facts and interspersed with both real and fictional char I've had this book sitting on my shelf since I was a little girl. I'm not really sure why I never finished reading it, but I thought, after finishing Alan Brennert's "Moloka'i," the time was right to give "Kaiulani" another try. Ellen Emerson White's "Kaiulani: The People's Princess, Hawaii, 1889" is a tale following the life of a princess that could have been queen. This story, told in the form of Kaiulani's diary, is rich with historical facts and interspersed with both real and fictional characters. The diary spans a few years, its story following the historical events of the annexation of Hawai'i. As a historical novel, I enjoyed the historical research evident throughout the novel. White used the Hawaiian language well--there weren't so many foreign words that the reader could get confused, but when she did throw in Hawaiian words, she explained them well without dumping too much information on the reader. A lot of the Hawaiian words I learned (and re-learned) in "Moloka'i" were echoed in this novel, which is evidence of good research on the part of both White and Brennert since the Hawaiian words and their definitions matched up in both books. Honestly, the parts I enjoyed most were at the back of the book: the historical note, the photographs, and the Hawaiian language index (which would come in handy if I were to ever write a story about Hawai'i!). As far as reading this book for purely educational purposes, it's a great read. However, I didn't enjoy this book as a novel. As a work of fiction, the story line didn't work for me. Even though Kaiulani had a goal, her goal wasn't accomplished (I feel comfortable giving this away since these facts are written in history). And if there's anything I've learned from my professional writing class, it's that most readers want a complete and happy ending. Sometimes I'm the exception to this rule--I love vague and ambiguous endings (especially in film!). But I was not the exception this time--I was very disappointed with the ending. I felt shorted on the story. I do respect White's decision to end the story on a historically accurate note, but I think I would have enjoyed a happy, fictional ending better. Moreover, since the story is told through the eyes of a teenage girl, there was bound to be a little bit of angst and whiny-ness involved. After all--no matter the year or the place, a teenage girl is always a teenage girl. But to me, this account of Kaiulani's character came across as overwhelmingly whiny and spoiled. Because of this, she just wasn't a very sympathetic character, in my opinion. (But what average American girl can relate to a princess?) Even though Kaiulani didn't exactly accomplish her goal in the story, at least she learned a lot in the process--she traveled to many places, received a superior education, and maintained loving relationships. I feel as though this a story that truly reflects how life is sometimes--we may not achieve our dreams, but we can keep learning and loving. And maybe that's all we can ask for sometimes. I would recommend "Kaiulani" to children who want to learn about Hawai'i. The read goes by quickly, and it's entertaining enough to keep the reader interested long enough to learn a lot about Hawai'i's history. I would also recommend this to elementary school teachers who might present this book as a part of their history curriculum.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    Kaiulani lived an influential, albeit tragic life. This was, admittedly, my first real exposure to the Hawaiian monarchy. It has definitely piqued my interest in the period. It blows my mind that it was only seventy years between Christian missionaries settling in Hawaii, to the annexation of the country by the U.S. I found Kaiulani's cultural mixture fascinating. Born of a (royal) Hawaiian mother, and a Scottish father, young Kaiulani strives to quell her Hawaiian side in favor of her British. Kaiulani lived an influential, albeit tragic life. This was, admittedly, my first real exposure to the Hawaiian monarchy. It has definitely piqued my interest in the period. It blows my mind that it was only seventy years between Christian missionaries settling in Hawaii, to the annexation of the country by the U.S. I found Kaiulani's cultural mixture fascinating. Born of a (royal) Hawaiian mother, and a Scottish father, young Kaiulani strives to quell her Hawaiian side in favor of her British. She follows Western trends, speaks European languages, and disparages Native Hawaiians fairly often. I can't even begin to understand the amount of brainwashing that must have taken. However, Kaiulani is a very likable character. She is bright, and has a refreshing amount of agency for the time period. While I knew it was coming, it broke my heart when the monarchy was overthrown. I never thought I'd be supporting a monarchy, but when a (at least nominally) Native system of government is illegally abolished by the U.S., it is easy to side with the oppressed. I feel guilty that I've thought so much of America's subjugation of Native Americans, but I've paid little thought to Native Hawaiians. What is now a cherished American travel destination was once a sovereign nation. The U.S. was fully founded on domination, and although it's hard to reconcile with, as an American, it is vital to remember.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea K.

    For what this is, which is a Royal Diaries children's book installment, this is not a bad book. This is the first Royal Diaries I've reread as an adult (Hawaiian history is a pet project of mine), and I seem to recall liking others better than this one when I was a kid, such as the Marie Antoinette and Anastasia. However, there is a lot of politics that I didn't understand or retain when I was a child reading this. I'm actually very surprised and impressed to find that this book paints the overt For what this is, which is a Royal Diaries children's book installment, this is not a bad book. This is the first Royal Diaries I've reread as an adult (Hawaiian history is a pet project of mine), and I seem to recall liking others better than this one when I was a kid, such as the Marie Antoinette and Anastasia. However, there is a lot of politics that I didn't understand or retain when I was a child reading this. I'm actually very surprised and impressed to find that this book paints the overthrow of Hawai'i as a grave injustice, which in my opinion it was. I have three main complaints about this book. The first is that, in spite of the smattering of Hawaiian words, this is so....Americanized. Yes, the royal family was Christian, and yes Ka'iulani studied for years in Britain, but they had such intense native pride, and I felt like this was a very watered down representation. Much of the action that takes place on the island is about her friendship with the British novelist Robert Louis Stevenson, and much of what takes place away from the islands is about her school in Britain. Native culture is severely lacking, except in occasional food-related laments. Admittedly, you're not going to try to make too much social commentary in a kids book. My biggest distraction was if Ka'iulani would actually call Lili'uokalani "Auntie Lydia", ie/ by her English name. Perhaps she did -- I'm honestly not sure, but it felt a touch disingenuous. Second, I feel like the word "haole" was set up wrong, and taken out of its racial context. Again, perhaps because this is a kid's book. Third -- ultimately, this book is very critical of Queen Lili'uokalani. This is a stance you don't usually see taken up, especially in books that are sympathetic towards Hawaiian Royalists. By people who desire Hawaiian independence, Lili'u is almost always seen as a shining beacon of the monarchy, unjustly deposed, a victim of her circumstance and the rulers who came before her, and largely not to blame for the overthrow. Lili'u's stance during the coup was complex: she didn't want Hawaiians to fight back more aggressively after the coup because she didn't want to shed their blood when so many have already died out, though it is commonly agreed upon that had she been willing to sacrifice a few Hawaiians in the fight, the monarchy might have persevered. In this rendition though, it's her political maneuverings surrounding the passing of her new Constitution before the coup that make her to blame for Hawai'i's loss of independence, which is what makes the critique unusual and seemingly biased. Ultimately, almost all of my critiques are situational and based on complexity of the narrative: a rather moot point, considering the age range for the book, but advisable for any adults who might be reading this. As far as children go, I think this is a pretty good first step into an invasion story that is not well known.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Carlyn Brody

    This book is a fictional diary of the last princess of Hawaii Victoria Kaiulani (1875-1899). I knew that Hawaii once had a monarchy but I didn’t know the circumstances to why it dissolved or when Hawaii became a state of America. So I learnt a little bit about Hawaiian history from this book. The diary starts from 1889 when Kaiulani is 13 years old and ends in 1893 when she is 17. The book is about when she was educated in England. She was the heir to throne as her uncle, King David Kalakaua did This book is a fictional diary of the last princess of Hawaii Victoria Kaiulani (1875-1899). I knew that Hawaii once had a monarchy but I didn’t know the circumstances to why it dissolved or when Hawaii became a state of America. So I learnt a little bit about Hawaiian history from this book. The diary starts from 1889 when Kaiulani is 13 years old and ends in 1893 when she is 17. The book is about when she was educated in England. She was the heir to throne as her uncle, King David Kalakaua didn’t have any biological children and when he died, he was succeeded by Kaiulani’s aunt Lydia Liluokalani (David Kalakaua’ sister) who also didn’t have any children. Kaiulani’s family wanted her to go to England so that she would have a classical education and would become a refined young woman. It was particularly important as Hawaiians were perceived as uncivilised and the Americans wanted Hawaii to become an American state. Kaiulani was a mature young woman. She never complained about her royal duties and was always well behaved and gracious when she had to do public appearances. She knew that her actions reflected on the Hawaiian monarchy. In the book, she has a good time in England and in Europe as she got to travel during the school holidays. She had a guardian named Mr Theo Davies and her step sister Annie Cleghorn was with her for some time in England too. Although Kaiulani did miss her life back home and her friends and family. She was concerned about the politics at home because of the threat of Hawaii becoming an American state. I thought the book would be a boarding school story, where it would be about girls getting up to mischief at school, dealing with bullies and fitting in. While the book does mention the subjects she took, her school friends and teachers, it doesn’t dwell into the everyday school experience. The book covers four years of Kaiulani’s life, her travelling and meeting people, her school life and what’s happening in Hawaii but it doesn’t feel rushed. The book reaches a dramatic point when Kaiulani finds out that the Hawaiian monarchy gets overthrown and becomes an American state. She travels to America to plead her case but unfortunately for her, she is not successful. I enjoyed reading about Kaiulani. She always carried herself with dignity yet she was a down to earth girl and had the normal worries of a young woman such as what to wear and making a good impression on people. I learned more about the 18th century and it was fun reading about her marvelling the different places she got to visit and the people she met. She was good friends with Robert Louis Stevenson who was the author of Treasure Islands and other such classics. She also met Grover Cleveland, the president of America at the time. I think this book would appeal to middle school girls who like to read books about girls in the olden days such as Little Women, Anne of Green Gables, Pollyanna.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn Todd

    The Royal Diaries Series offers wonderful insights into different women of royal heritage in so many different countries and cultures, a perfect way to get your children into history and full of inspiring and wonderful stories of real women.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Crawford

    This diary is the story of Kaiulani, the last Hawaiian princess. Most of the diary is about her regular activities as a princess. She is later sent to England to study, and the diary reflects the subjects she studied, difficulties she had with her health, and how she eventually left the school she attended for what essentially was home schooling, but still in England. The story takes a negative turn, though, when American businessmen, working along with some very sleazy politicians, decide to ove This diary is the story of Kaiulani, the last Hawaiian princess. Most of the diary is about her regular activities as a princess. She is later sent to England to study, and the diary reflects the subjects she studied, difficulties she had with her health, and how she eventually left the school she attended for what essentially was home schooling, but still in England. The story takes a negative turn, though, when American businessmen, working along with some very sleazy politicians, decide to overthrow the Hawaiian monarchy and set up a Hawaii under their own control, a Hawaii which was, essentially illegally, annexed by the U.S. shortly thereafter. Basically, then, Hawaii should not even be a state but should still be its own country, serving its own interests rather than the interests of U.S. businesses and politicians. The time period in this novel was the historical time when the U.S. felt it had the right to force other countries to do whatever it wanted (something which has not changed even today, unfortunately.) The Spanish-American war of 1898 is only one example. Another is the forced opening of Japan to U.S. trade by American gunboats, threatening an until-then isolated Japan. Another would be the invasion of Mexico and the taking of a large amount of territory that included the future Texas. Thus, the novel not only gives us insight into a Princess-in-training, but shows how big business interests can result in overthrow of an entire country. In the July 17, 2005 issue of a local paper is an article entitled "Bill recognizes native Hawaiians." It notes that there are "250,000 indigenous people of Polynesian ancestry" among Hawaiia's 1.2 million esidents. The article notes that "...U.S. troops helped overthrow the independent Kingdom of Hawaii", and that Congress did not apologize for that until 12 years ago. The bill is to "extend soverignty to the native Hawaiian people" much like the Native Americans have in the continental U.S. It would establish "...a governing body that would make decisions on behalf of the estimated 400,000 native Hawaiians in the United States." It also would establish some guidelines for "...the disposition of vast amounts of land and resources taken by the United States when the islands were annexed in 1898." The article also notes that conservatives in the Senate oppose the bill, claiming it would create a "race-based government." The article also says that there are some Hawaiian secessionist groups.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ana Mardoll

    Kaiulain, The People's Princess / 0-439-12909-5 This Princess Diary presents a fascinating view of American imperialism, and is a sad and touching commentary on the life of Hawaii's last princess. While away at school in England, Kaiulani is horrified to learn that her grandfather the king has passed away, and her aunt has been deposed as the rightful queen by the American investors that are determined to annex Hawaii (by force) to the United States. These investors, having already forced the king Kaiulain, The People's Princess / 0-439-12909-5 This Princess Diary presents a fascinating view of American imperialism, and is a sad and touching commentary on the life of Hawaii's last princess. While away at school in England, Kaiulani is horrified to learn that her grandfather the king has passed away, and her aunt has been deposed as the rightful queen by the American investors that are determined to annex Hawaii (by force) to the United States. These investors, having already forced the king to strip the voting rights from the native Hawaiians in favor of the Americans, are incensed at the new queen's attempt to restore those voting rights to the people. When they take over in a military coup, Kaiulani wisely travels to the United States to plead her country's case before the military and the U.S. president. When the president rules in favor of the royal family, and demands that the Americans give Hawaii back to the Hawaiians, the investors refuse and simply declare themselves the new rulers of Hawaii. Kaiulani lives out the rest of her days in mournful sadness, having seen her country plundered and her rightful place stolen from her. As a Princess Diary, there is a great deal else here to enjoy. Kaiulani strikes up a heart-warming friendship with author Robert Louis Stevenson, and they share a great deal of wisdom and insight in their literary discussions. Kaiulani struggles bravely with her intense homesickness, having been sent halfway around the world, into a new culture and a new climate, and strives to excel in her studies in spite of the turmoil that dwells within her. A fascinating view of Hawaiian culture, her language, and her people is presented, as Kaiulani learns the ways of her people and their beliefs and dreams. Though the American reader is grateful that this beautiful land enriches our country with its presence in our union, we can still be saddened that our ancestors did not act with more charity and kindness, wooing this lovely land instead of attempting to steal it. And the reader remembers, gently, that those who do not learn from the past may repeat the same mistakes. ~ Ana Mardoll

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Jackson

    I felt like Kaiulani: The People's Princess was book with a single track on a record player, skipping over and over again: "Hawaii. Hawaii. Hawaii." Kaiulani was so obsessed with going home and so obsessed with nostalgia that it threw me off and I didn't really care to come back for more. The story is of the Hawaiian Princess Kaiulani, who is sent to England for education, but during her time overseas, her country completely falls apart and she feels the need to go home and try to repair things. I felt like Kaiulani: The People's Princess was book with a single track on a record player, skipping over and over again: "Hawaii. Hawaii. Hawaii." Kaiulani was so obsessed with going home and so obsessed with nostalgia that it threw me off and I didn't really care to come back for more. The story is of the Hawaiian Princess Kaiulani, who is sent to England for education, but during her time overseas, her country completely falls apart and she feels the need to go home and try to repair things. So it's completely understandable that she'd want to go home. But the way Ellen Emerson White writes, she sounded more whiny than heroic to me. Even when things were going fine, and she could have been learning or exploring her new surroundings, she complained about it. Plus, she was rarely allowed to participate in political discussions at home, and once she leaves, she suddenly is allowed to talk about politics with her father, so she even gets what she wants. I just didn't feel like I cared enough about Kaiulani, or even the Hawaiian struggle, because I found White's characterization of her extremely annoying. (Plus, I hate it when books written in first-person pull out the "I don't know if anyone will ever read this, but let me dump out a ton of backstory so those potential future readers should understand." No. That's so clunky. You've got to slip the backstory into the rest of the story.) One thing I did greatly admire in this book — which, looking back now, is a great thing for young readers to pick up on — is the clear anti-racist, anti-imperialistic ideals Kaiulani had, naturally. While the American government was trying to make Hawaiians look bad, Kaiulani still had the grace to be civil and prove them wrong. Ultimately, she did not succeed, of course, but it's encouraging to know there were (and are!) many figures like this in real life.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Carrie Slager

    After reading The People’s Princess, Kaiulani has definitely joined the ranks of my favourite women in The Royal Diaries. She’s strong, smart and actually has situational awareness, something many other princesses in the series seem to lack. Not only that, but there are actually reasons for Ellen Emerson White’s decision to make the narrative cover 4 years. Covering 4 years in a little over 200 pages is difficult, but the novel never jumps around and you know what is going on. Kaiulani is an incr After reading The People’s Princess, Kaiulani has definitely joined the ranks of my favourite women in The Royal Diaries. She’s strong, smart and actually has situational awareness, something many other princesses in the series seem to lack. Not only that, but there are actually reasons for Ellen Emerson White’s decision to make the narrative cover 4 years. Covering 4 years in a little over 200 pages is difficult, but the novel never jumps around and you know what is going on. Kaiulani is an incredible character who fights in whatever ways she knows how in order to keep her country from being annexed by the United States. Of course with the hindsight of history we know that she fails, but her trip to the U.S. to convince the Americans otherwise is fascinating. The way she writes in her diary is very different than the way she presents herself to the public, which is another surprising bonus in tween fiction. Kaiulani is mature and completely aware of her position, making this an interesting read, to say the least. I wouldn’t call the plot fast-paced, but it’s certainly not boring either. Once again, I can’t exactly vouch for the historical accuracy of The People’s Princess (especially since I didn’t even know her name before I started the book), but it certainly feels like Ellen Emerson White did more than her fair share of research. According to the Historical Note, she didn’t change much, so I’m assuming everything’s accurate as it can be. I give this book 5/5 stars.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Price

    I learned SO much from this book. First off, I'm obsessed with Hawaii, so I absolutely loved it. My boyfriend and I have already decided we will be taking our honeymoon there! Hawaii started off as a monarchy, and Victoria Kaiulani was third in line to the throne, after her uncle and aunt died. At this time, the U.S. thought that Hawaii was filled with savages and heathens so their main objective was to capture it for themselves and take over. Of course, the true Hawaiians, or Kamaaina's, just w I learned SO much from this book. First off, I'm obsessed with Hawaii, so I absolutely loved it. My boyfriend and I have already decided we will be taking our honeymoon there! Hawaii started off as a monarchy, and Victoria Kaiulani was third in line to the throne, after her uncle and aunt died. At this time, the U.S. thought that Hawaii was filled with savages and heathens so their main objective was to capture it for themselves and take over. Of course, the true Hawaiians, or Kamaaina's, just wanted to be left alone and go about their peaceful way of life. Kaiulani was determined to make everything okay after her uncle died and her aunt was overthrown by the U.S. government. Unfortunately, she quickly fell ill after returning to the Hawaiian climate after being in England for four or so years. The monarchy was never restored and Hawaii was officially made apart of the U.S. I loved the culture I felt just from reading the book. And I learned a lot of Hawaiian lingo too! I really like their way of life, so peaceful and friendly. I'm really excited to find some more books about Hawaii and the lineage that Victoria was tied into. I also looked Hawaii up on Google Maps to see streets and etc. It was really awesome to see that in the Waikiki area the streets are named after the king, queen, princess, and numerous other things from that time period. It was so great to actually know the story behind the names!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Born to privilege in 1875 as the daughter of King Kalakau of Hawaii's youngest sister Miriam Likelike and her Scottish husband, Archibald Cleghorn, Princess Victoria Kaiulani Cleghorn enjoyed a luxurious childhood. But her life has not been without sorrow - Kaiulani suffered the tragic loss of her young mother when she was just eleven. Second in line to inherit the throne, Kaiulani is sent to England at the age of thirteen to be educated. Even though it is her duty as an heir to the throne, Kaiu Born to privilege in 1875 as the daughter of King Kalakau of Hawaii's youngest sister Miriam Likelike and her Scottish husband, Archibald Cleghorn, Princess Victoria Kaiulani Cleghorn enjoyed a luxurious childhood. But her life has not been without sorrow - Kaiulani suffered the tragic loss of her young mother when she was just eleven. Second in line to inherit the throne, Kaiulani is sent to England at the age of thirteen to be educated. Even though it is her duty as an heir to the throne, Kaiulani longs for her beautiful home and her family. In England, Kaiulani is a stranger in a strange land. Her only reminder of home is her half-sister Annie, who has accompanied her. But as years go by, England finally begins to seem like something of a second home. But even far from the place of her birth she cannot escape tragedy. Her uncle, the King, dies, and his surviving sister, Liliuokalani, becomes Queen. Now Kaiulani is heir apparent to the throne of Hawaii. But if the Americans have their way, there will be no throne left for Kaiulani to inherit. Told through the form of Kaiulani's fictional diary entries from 1889-1893, this book revealed is a tragic look at the life of Hawaii's last princess. Overall, one of my favorite books from The Royal Diaries series.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    How many people, especially children and teenagers, know the real story of how Hawaii came to be a state? How many knew Hawaii used to be ruled by a monarchy? This diary is another example of why I loved the series, both now and then. Princess Kaiulani and her story is not nearly as well-known as they should be. Although this suffers from problems similar to ones I had with other books in the series (stiff, sometimes inauthentic tone and overly long entries like in Nzingha, not enough action tak How many people, especially children and teenagers, know the real story of how Hawaii came to be a state? How many knew Hawaii used to be ruled by a monarchy? This diary is another example of why I loved the series, both now and then. Princess Kaiulani and her story is not nearly as well-known as they should be. Although this suffers from problems similar to ones I had with other books in the series (stiff, sometimes inauthentic tone and overly long entries like in Nzingha, not enough action taking place in the diarist's homeland like in Cleopatra), it's not as bad as it was in those books. There are moments where I felt like the "actual" teenage Kaiulani was able to shine through all the exposition that was necessary to get to the reader. And while I wish we could've been in Hawaii much longer than we got, Kaiulani's time away and what transpires made sense from a storytelling point of view. Right now The People's Princess rests comfortably in the middle of my Royal Diaries rankings. Not boring or completely unbelievable, but not exciting enough to have me racing through the pages. Last line: (view spoiler)[I can do no more. (hide spoiler)]

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Bandusky

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Although this novel is about a girl who is supposed to one day rule Hawaii, she never does. Due to her being sent to England for an education, only a small portion of the story take place in Hawaii. And a significant part of that involves her friendship with Robert Louis Stevenson - while this was interesting, it didn't make Hawaii come alive. The novel plods along with her education in England. It finally really picks up at the end when the monarchy in Hawaii is overthrown by United States citiz Although this novel is about a girl who is supposed to one day rule Hawaii, she never does. Due to her being sent to England for an education, only a small portion of the story take place in Hawaii. And a significant part of that involves her friendship with Robert Louis Stevenson - while this was interesting, it didn't make Hawaii come alive. The novel plods along with her education in England. It finally really picks up at the end when the monarchy in Hawaii is overthrown by United States citizens and the takeover of those islands begins. Unfortunately that is where the novel ends with a quick summarizing of how Hawaii became the 50th state of the United States. I found this part to be the most interesting as I was never educated about our treatment of Hawaiians and was saddened to discover it was a repeat of our treatment of the Indians (Native Americans.)

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mary Bronson

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I thought this was a pretty good book. I really enjoyed reading it. Kaiulani is such a great person from history. She was the princess of Hawaii, until the United States decided to take over and got rid of the royal family. During the time she was a princess she had a nice life in Hawaii, but then the king and her father both thought it would be best for her to go and study in England to get a proper education so that when she became queen she would be ready. But once she was over there she kept I thought this was a pretty good book. I really enjoyed reading it. Kaiulani is such a great person from history. She was the princess of Hawaii, until the United States decided to take over and got rid of the royal family. During the time she was a princess she had a nice life in Hawaii, but then the king and her father both thought it would be best for her to go and study in England to get a proper education so that when she became queen she would be ready. But once she was over there she kept receiving bad news, but she still had to stay over in England for 8 more years. I think I might want to learn more about her. It was sad to read that she died young. I think she died young of a different kind of broken heart.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Caity

    Kaiulani was the last princess of Hawaii she is an interesting figure because she was so popular with both her people and the American public. The story is also interesting because it covers some of her life in Hawaii as well as her time in England when she was working on her education, and ends with her press tour of the United States. Overall this covers a interesting period in the history of Hawaii and the United States and I highly recommend it to young readers interested in that history as Kaiulani was the last princess of Hawaii she is an interesting figure because she was so popular with both her people and the American public. The story is also interesting because it covers some of her life in Hawaii as well as her time in England when she was working on her education, and ends with her press tour of the United States. Overall this covers a interesting period in the history of Hawaii and the United States and I highly recommend it to young readers interested in that history as well as fans of the series.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Whitney Collins

    Even for a young adult novel, I felt as if the author was completely lazy in all character development. I read many of the diary books when I was younger, and none of them felt as biographical as this one. The author got all her facts right, but didn't spend any time making the story an interesting one. I was extremely disappointed, because I love Princess Kaiulani and Robert Louis Stevenson, and thought their story could have been further explored. Just because the author makes a character say Even for a young adult novel, I felt as if the author was completely lazy in all character development. I read many of the diary books when I was younger, and none of them felt as biographical as this one. The author got all her facts right, but didn't spend any time making the story an interesting one. I was extremely disappointed, because I love Princess Kaiulani and Robert Louis Stevenson, and thought their story could have been further explored. Just because the author makes a character say "I am sad" or "I am happy" doesn't mean we will actually feel or believe that characters emotion.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    Heart breaking. That's how I would describe this book. It had it's fun and funny parts, but mostly my heart was breaking for Kaiulani and her people. So many horrible things happened to them and to her in particular and I never knew. I had never heard of her or what happened to the people on the Islands of Hawaii. It's a disgrace, really, and I'm glad I know now and I hope I don't forget. The book is worth the read just for the historical value alone if you didn't know about this like me. Well w Heart breaking. That's how I would describe this book. It had it's fun and funny parts, but mostly my heart was breaking for Kaiulani and her people. So many horrible things happened to them and to her in particular and I never knew. I had never heard of her or what happened to the people on the Islands of Hawaii. It's a disgrace, really, and I'm glad I know now and I hope I don't forget. The book is worth the read just for the historical value alone if you didn't know about this like me. Well written, very good. 5 out of 5 stars. I would recommend this book in a heart beat.

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