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Keata, The Girl Who Dared

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In violation of tapu, defying everything she's ever been told, she is ready to risk her life for her dream.

Keata, The Girl Who Dared (74,000 words) is a coming of age story that takes place in the Marquesas Islands before the arrival of Europeans.  My coauthor, Debora Kimitete, and I invite you to share in Keata's adventures as she embarks on a solo journey across the island of Hiva Oa, in search of her brother and her dreams.

Keata stands out from her peers in all the wrong ways, wandering the forest and climbing trees better than most boys. Worse, in a tribe that trains only men for war, she quietly dreams of becoming a warrior. She persuades her older brother to secretly teach her how to fight, but when he disappears on a raid Keata is devastated. Struggling to follow the strict tapu rules that tell her she must embrace womanhood and become a weaver, she's lost hope. But when she hears of a prisoner in an enemy village who resembles her brother, Keata becomes convinced he is alive and sets out to find him. She is determined to return a warrior, or not at all.

On her life-threatening journey Keata travels through dense jungle and rugged mountains, facing food shortages, a powerful and menacing high priest, wild boars and a treacherous waterfall. The greatest challenge awaits at her destination, however: a whole village of enemy warriors she must outwit in order to free her brother.