When Bill is sent to Honolulu to attend Kamehameha Schools at age fourteen, his peaceful days on Kaua'i described in Kaua'i Kids in Peace and War came to an end. The airplane brought him to a confusing city in 1944, filled with soldiers and sailors and a school requiring military uniforms and discipline. The shoes hurt his feet and the ROTC uniform scratches, and his country bumpkin ways are derided. On Kaua'i the soldiers were friendly, but in Honolulu the racism between the military and locals shocked him. Newspapers teach him about world politics and locals talk about "rap the haole". After the war ended, peace soon seemed remote when Berlin is blockaded by the Soviets, Winston Churchill describes the Iron Curtain descending onto Europe, and tsunamis strike.
In 1948, Bill's family drives around the continental United States where he witnesses racism against Jews, Mexicans, and African- Americans, making him feel insecure about his place in the world. His parents urge him to attend Stanford University. Despite increasing success as a student, he is uncertain if college is for him. His vivid description of a summer of fishing and hiking adventures makes him waiver between college or becoming a fisherman. A sudden shock makes his decision for him. The book ends as he enters Stanford University in 1949 and meets an Olympic gold medalist, Bob Mathias.
Printed in the United States