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An American Girl in the Hawaiian Islands Earns AAUP Outstanding Rating


Each year the Association of American University Presses (AAUP) compiles its University Press Books for Public and Secondary Schools Libraries, a bibliography of titles submitted by member presses as a tool for collection development. The books are rated by committees of public and secondary-school librarians from two divisions of the American Library Association.

In the 2013 collection, An American Girl in the Hawaiian Islands: Letters of Carrie Prudence Winter, 1890–1893, received a top “Outstanding” rating. As defined by the selection process, Outstanding titles have “exceptional editorial content and subject matter. They are essential additions to most library collections.”

Reviewer’s comments:

" The use of Carrie Prudence Winter’s original letters is what allows this book to become a rare primary source on topics such as: women missionaries, the last days of Hawaii’s monarchy, and a long-distance 19th century courtship. Ms. Winter’s use of language paints a compelling picture, engaging a reader’s imagination while they learn of a world few knew so intimately.”—Stacey Hayman

An American Girl in the Hawaiian Islands also was also one of three finalists in the biography category of this year’s San Diego Book Awards.



About University Presses:

University presses are publishers. At the most basic level that means they perform the same tasks as any other publisher. University presses acquire, develop, design, produce, market and sell books and journals, just like Random House or Condé Nast. But while commercial publishers focus on making money by publishing for popular audiences, the university press's mission is to publish work of scholarly, intellectual, or creative merit, often for a small audience of specialists or a regional community of interest.


University presses also differ from commercial publishers because of their place in the academic landscape. A university press is an extension of its parent institution, and it is also a key player in a more general network—including learned societies, scholarly associations, and research libraries—that makes the scholarly endeavor possible. Like the other nodes in this network, university presses are charged with serving the public good by generating and disseminating knowledge. That's why the government has recognized our common interest in the work of university presses and similar mission-driven scholarly publishers by granting them not-for-profit status.

Miss Pope sitting at her desk in 1906 at the Kamehameha School for Girls with Lydia Aholo right behind her.


Light in the Queen's Garden is an historical account of a short, stout, blue eyed feisty teacher from Bucyrus, Ohio who arrived in the Kingdom of Hawaii at the end of the 19th century. Ida Pope's assignment was to teach in Kawaiahao Seminary, a lively boarding school for Hawaiian girls, founded by American missionaries and led by Queen Lili'uokalani.


Bonura uses newly discovered primary source materials to flesh out and enliven the historical account of the 1893 Hawaiian Revolution that happened literally outside the school's windows. Many of the towering personages in Hawai`i's history show up in the story as Ida sheltered Hawaii's daughters through the frightening and turbulent end of their sovereign nation. Ida Pope's firsthand account of the years that brought Hawai`i's daughters into womanhood during the annexation of their kingdom tells an important story about resiliency.

Ida Pope became a source of inspiration for all the school's stakeholders, and with the approval of Queen Lili'uokalani, established the Kamehameha School for Girls. As Hawai`i moved into the twentieth century under a new flag, Ida confronted the effects of industrialization, the growing concentration of outside economic power and worked tirelessly to attain social reforms and give Hawaiian women their rightful place in society But, the male-dominated society and their Victorian view of the female role sought to thwart her efforts. Undaunted, Miss Pope, the pragmatic activist, achieved on a small island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, what other extraordinary women like Jane Addams, Ida Tarbell and Lillian Wald were concurrently doing in her homeland.


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BOOK REVIEW Star Advertiser October 2012