Malia Maunakea Headshot
Monday, June 12, 2023 - 6:00pm

Join Native Hawaiian, Colorado author, Malia Maunakea for a fun and insightful author event for the whole family, so make sure you bring your kiddos with you! Malia is the author of two books, one middle grade fiction, "Lei and the Fire Goddess," which is great for family read alouds and independent middle grade readers alike, and "Backpacking with Children," an excellent guide to getting deep into nature with your whole family. Malia will share her presentation that combines both of these books through the theme of adventures and how to have one with the whole family, whether that's through the pages of her middle grade novel, or on a backpacking trip! Tickets are sold per family and include snacks. 

Lei and the Fire Goddess: Curses aren't real. At least, that's what twelve-year-old, part-Hawaiian Anna Leilani Kamaʻehu thinks when she listens to her grandmother's folktales about sacred flowers and family guardians. Anna's friends back home in Colorado don't believe in legends, either. They're more interested in science and sports--real, tangible things that stand in total contrast to Anna's family's embarrassing stories. So when Anna goes back to Hawaiʻi to visit her Tūtū, she has no interest in becoming the heir to her family's history; she's set on having a touristy, fun vacation. But when Anna accidentally insults Pele the fire goddess by destroying her lehua blossom, a giant hawk swoops in and kidnaps her best friend, and she quickly learns just how real these moʻolelo are. In order to save her friends and family, Anna must now battle mythical creatures, team up with demigods and talking bats, and evade the traps Pele hurls her way. For if Anna hopes to undo the curse, she will have to dig deep into her Hawaiian roots and learn to embrace all of who she is.

Backpacking with Children: Fun, safe, cost-effective ways to get out overnight with kids. Crucial intel on gear: what to splurge on, what to save on, and DIY projects. Info on route selection, games, meals, handling weather challenges, and other tips and tricks. Backpacking as a family creates memories to last a lifetime and can be the start of a child's lifelong passion for nature and the outdoors. But hiking successfully with kids takes planning. Knowing how to start, where to go, and what to bring are crucial to everyone's enjoyment. The benefits of going lightweight with kids are huge, since the easier it is to hike, the more fun everyone will have! Backpacking with Children teaches the basics of backpacking with kids--how to make it easy, fun, and as comfortably lightweight as possible without breaking the bank. With intel on gear, meals, games, choosing a route, and dealing with weather, animals, accidents, and more, Backpacking with Children is an indispensable resource for any family seeking to share their love of the outdoors together.

Malia Maunakea is a Kānaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) writer who grew up on Hawaiʻi Island and Oʻahu before relocating to the continent for college. She writes both middle-grade fiction and nonfiction and is the author of Lei and the Fire Goddess  and Backpacking with Children. When not at her computer, she can often be found roaming the Rocky Mountains with her husband, their two children, and a rescue mutt named Peggy. Malia is online at and @MaliaMaunakea on Twitter and Instagram.

Event Type: 
Lei and the Fire Goddess By Malia Maunakea Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593522035
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Workshop - June 6th, 2023

Backpacking with Children: How to Go Lightweight, Have Fun, and Stay Safe on the Trail By Malia Maunakea Cover Image
ISBN: 9781937052874
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Colorado Mountain Club - April 1st, 2023