Moloka’i by Alan Brennert is the story of Rachel Kalama, a young Hawaiian who contracts leprosy and is sent to the leper colony on Moloka’i island. Separated from her family and faced with death and suffering she makes friends with other girls with the same condition. While her disease remains less severe than others, she gets to grow and experience all the hidden joys and pains of the island. Later in life she has the chance to reunite with her family, and again must face the stigma of being a leper.
Rachel is an inspiring main character, and it is interesting to hear the ordinary things that these characters in an extraordinary place with an disfiguring disease do and accomplish.